5 Brands with Inspiring Sustainable Innovation Stories

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in – one of the key innovation trends is sustainability. That means business practices, products, packaging, etc.  Almost all of our customers have run a sustainability campaign (and if they haven’t yet – they’re planning on doing so soon). But there are a few brands with new innovative offerings that we truly find inspiring so we thought we’d highlight them here:

Lego. Lego created a new line of Lego blocks that are shaped like plants, but they are also made out of sugarcane so are more sustainable than their traditional plastic. Considering it will take about 450 years for a piece of plastic to break down (that means basically every piece of plastic that was ever created still exists…), moving to more sustainable materials is a big move!

Avery Dennison. Avery Dennison is known for its labels and packaging solutions – which is sometimes the hardest part of recycling materials. With its new product called WashOff – it cleanly removes labeling from glass or other containers when submerged in hot water, which means that it will be easier for anyone to recycle materials. When you think about the prediction that “when U.S. recycling levels reach 75% it will be the environmental and CO2 equivalent of removing 55 million cars from U.S. roads each year” – things like this could make a huge impact.

Adidas. Adidas has debuted shoes with biodegradable biosteel fiber. In addition to its new levels of sustainability, it has other benefits like being 15% lighter in weight than other synthetic fibers and is (possibly) one of the strongest natural materials made.

Johnson & Johnson. J&J has made a commitment to sustainable innovation by creating its own award for products in their brand family that are thought leaders in sustainability. Earthwards honors those who “incorporate sustainable thinking across the entire product lifecycle, including design, manufacturing and product use.” One example of a winner was HARMONIC FOCUS®+ Shears with Adaptive Tissue Technology. These Shears reduce product materials and packaging, which  “decreases the hazardous waste of hospitals by six pounds per 100 devices.”

Hershey’s. Hershey’s has made a major investment (half a Billion dollars!) into sourcing sustainable cocoa. This is an important challenge to overcome for companies like Hershey’s, because some people say that we’re heading towards a global cocoa crisis, mostly because cocoa farmers live in extreme poverty and are therefore unlikely to keep farming this crop, which is just as vulnerable to disease and poor cultivation as any other.

Studies have also shown companies that lead in sustainability are 400% more likely to be considered innovation leaders, as well. That’s an impressive correlation. The reason this relationship exists is because thinking creatively about these types of problems often leads to creative solutions in other areas, as well. To learn more about the relationship between innovation and sustainability, download our infographic.