Dow Chemicals’ Nexera canola and sunflower seeds are the signature product of the multinational chemical company’s 2015 Sustainability Goals. The canola / sunflower seeds yield twice as much oil per hectare as soybeans, have lower levels of saturated fats than competing products, and represents Dow’s investment into four key sustainability markets for Dow: (1) Health and Nutrition, (2) Transportation and Infrastructure, (3) Consumerism, and (4) Energy that have an estimated $350 billion in market opportunity and are growing at up to 3x the global GDP. Dow projected $2 billion in EBITDA directly attributable to new, sustainable product innovations.
CVS’ decision to forego selling tobacco products led to a $2 billion decline in revenue the following year, but has resulted in 25% increased customer foot traffic and $16 billion in new business since February 2014. The loss in revenue was easily compensated with pharmacy segment alone in the fourth quarter of 2014 jumping 21.7 percent to $24 billion. CVS’ stock price has increased 66% as it has used the Shared Values decision to pivot into a health-centric brand and the low-margin, brand-eroding products of the stagnating tobacco industry. In the company’s last quarter of 2014– the first complete three-month period after stopping tobacco sales - net revenues increased 12.9 percent to a record $37.1 billion. Moreover, the move has allowed the retailer to recruit and retain top millennial talent, while producing $3.6B in economic, social, and healthcare costs from 1-year decline of 90 million in cigarette pack consumption.
Novartis’ Arogya Parivar $10 million rupee initiative, started in 2006, aims to reach millions of low-income customers without access to health care by establishing 90 local medical distribution networks and health education and referral programs. The initiative became profitable in 30 months (as opposed to initial projections of 5-7 years), and has allowed Novartis to reach 42 million customers in 33,000 rural Indian villages in a rapidly growing $21 billion Indian pharmaceutical market. Sales have increased 25x since the inception of the program, and the program is being expanded to Indonesia, Kenya, and Vietnam.
The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan and Crafting Brands Four Life (CB4L) initiative increased core operating margins by 9.6% over 5 years, boosted free cash flow by 39% within 2 years, and helped make the company the 3rd most in-demand employer in 2014 (above Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon), with 50 percent of incoming talent from universities citing Unilever’s credentials as the main reason for wishing to join” the company. The program has increased sustainable sourcing of its agricultural products over fourfold (14% to 60%). As part of the USLP, Unilever’s Lifebuoy soap has grown rapidly using a hand cleanliness and health awareness campaign, while Unilever’s Signal oral health care brand has grown by 22% since 2008.
Walmart’s $48M Lifelong Learning initiatives trained 60,000 associates in language and GED programs to increase depth and quality of talent.
3M donated $51.3MM in its products for global humanitarian relief, increasing brand awareness and decreasing customer acquisition costs in emerging markets.
Through its Leadership Academy, American Express gains first-mover advantage in lowered customer acquisition costs of 1,500 high-potential (C-suite) nonprofit clients.
Chevron invests in consumer-facing environmental stewardship by implementing its Quarantine Management System to mitigate risk of environmental and social impact from its local operations to ultimately lower the costs of new market entry.
General Electric’s $15 billion investment in its Ecomagination program has generated $200 billion in cumulative revenue since its inception, while reinventing its corporate brand to align with environmental guardianship and sustainability. The program’s revenue has grown twice as fast as overall company sales , and 4 times as fast as GE’s industrial business units, and now powers 30% of GE’s annual revenue. In addition, the program has reduced the cost of wind by 70% , while reducing internal company operational costs by $350 million.
Cisco invests $223 million in its Networking Academy and Cisco certification program within university & secondary education to both increase its talent pool and expand its ecosystem of clients/customers.
Disney directly validates its obligation and responsibility to their key constituents – parents and their children - by enforcing strict nutritional and best practices compliance from suppliers in food and beverages with its Nutrition Guidelines. Disney utilizes this nutrition platform to drive brand development and lower costs of customer acquisition by aligning its family-centric mission statement with its supply chain and products portfolio.
Coca-Cola Brazil’s Coletivo initiative focuses on boosting workforce employment by poor teens / young adults while increasing sales through heightened brand awareness and robust, localized distribution channels. The program has become profitable in just two years, and has trained more than 50,000 people, with approximately 30% earning a first job with Coca-Cola or a Coca-Cola retail partner, and has recently expanded to 150 additional communities. The program has resulted in 9.5% increase in sales per year on average and a 20% increase in consumer engagement. Moreover, the program has secured a viable talent pipeline for the company’s future in Brazil, is able to leverage the benefits of Coletivo to increase its minimum wage 32% higher than the national average., resulting in increased buying power in Coca-Cola's local communities and markets.