TUESDAY 6 AUG 2019 10:35 AM


This month has seen a number of new initiatives in sustainability, CSR and corporate partnerships and sponsorships. In this review, we examine some of the news in this area from the past month

The Body Shop aids Indian waste pickers

In support of marginalised waste pickers in Bengaluru, India, the Body Shop has presented its inaugural Community Trade recycled plastic program. Through a partnership with Plastics for Change, the Body Shop will be purchasing 250 tonnes of Community Trade recycled plastic to create almost 3m toiletry bottles before the culmination of the year. 

Plans for the future are in place as well, as the programme will be purchasing over 900 tonnes of Community Trade recycled plastic over the course of the next three years, and will continue to accomplish a fair price for their labour, a consistent revenue and promote decent working conditions for some 2,500 waste pickers in Bengaluru. To demonstrate its support and a new mission, the Body Shop has revealed a massive composition made from only recycled plastic collected by the Indian waste pickers; the sculpture is dedicated to the women of Bengaluru as it portrays a beautiful female waste picker.

Getty repictures individuals with disabilities

Photo credit: Getty Images

As Getty Images has seen a 98% increase in searches for the term ‘disability’ between 2017 and 2018, it has partnered with Verizon Media and the National Disability Leadership Alliance (NDLA) to celebrate the Disability Collection. Beyond the increase in searches for ‘disability,’ new search terms have also come into sight: ‘learning disabled,’ ‘intellectually disabled,’ and ‘disabled employees.’ Verizon Media conducted research regarding the public’s perception of dis abled individuals in media, the results outlined that only “37% of consumers agree that the level of representation of people with disabilities in advertising is adequate,” and furthermore that “70% would feel more positively toward a brand if its advertising featured people with disabilities.” Over 1,000 curated images will be devoted to depicting individuals with disabilities in a more voracious light. Lawrence Carter-Long, communications director for the NDLA says, “Creating and curating images that show people with disabilities in an honourable, honest, and human ways on this scale has never been done before.”

Kantar’s Extraordinary People program partners with the Special Olympics

Kantar, the global data, insights and consulting company has partnered with the Special Olympics, focusing on its Global Youth Leadership work, which brings “together youth leaders with and without intellectual disabilities at nearly 200 global, regional, national and local summits.” Kantar will be fundraising to support young leaders, and furthermore will find volunteer opportunities for their employees to assist in empowering these individuals. As part of the project, all Kantar employees are afforded “paid days off to volunteer for non-profit organisations that they feel passionately about, large or small, local or global.” 

This partnership is part of Kantar’s Extraordinary People social responsibility programme. Lynette Cooke, the chair of the program says, “We are very proud to be global partners of Special Olympics, helping to advance their mission to end the ongoing exclusion, isolation, discrimination, and health injustice for people with intellectual disabilities.”  CEO of Kantar, Eric Salama, adds, “The world is hugely varied, and that’s what makes it extraordinary. We want to ensure we’re helping to enable everyone in society to flourish, by building an inclusive and diverse society, creating a positive impact in the communities we live and work in and encouraging our employees to tap into opportunities to support local causes and global programmes.”

Responsible Business special report

The Times has published a Responsible Business special report referencing why social enterprises need an iron-clad business plan to survive; itthey claims “it is not enough just to discuss responsible business any more, there needs to be action.” The report includes a multitude of sectors and companies braving the difficulties, and explains why corporate purpose must be at the centre of commercial strategy. The Times reiterates “how brands can measure their social impact in a time when an accusation of “greenwashing” can be fatal.”

Converse’s eco-conscious, customisable kicks

Converse has added customisable, renewed canvas shoes to its collection of Chuck Taylor’s. Renew canvas will allow buyers to customisze some new kicks made of 100% plastic. Working with recycling and waste management company First Mile to source recycled plastic, Converse then mechanically grinds the bottles into flakes, and thereafter melts such to create a yarn spun into bales. The yarn is then woven into recycled polyester fabric, which is then tailored to the iconic sneakers.