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Prove Your Purpose

Research & Insights  -  Prove Your Purpose Blog

January 23, 2015   Vol. 96, No. 3

A dollar charged on your credit card is a point earned for gift cards or airline miles, right? Not so fast. This tried-and-true promotional model is now being applied for greater good with a new card ditching points in order to help the environment.

This week, Sustain:Green launched a new MasterCard that helps consumers reduce their carbon footprints with every purchase. Each transaction on the card activates carbon offsets to benefit Nike's Mata no Peito rainforest preservation project in Brazil. Sustain:Green clearly connects each action to the environmental impact. The first time the card is used, 5,000 pounds of CO2 is eliminated, and each subsequent dollar spent will reduce the user's carbon footprint by two pounds. Individuals can then track their collective impact and calculate their personal carbon footprint on the American Carbon Registry.  

The card does more than offer a new type of promotion to encourage spending.  Not only does it offset consumers' own footprints, but each carbon credit retired helps fund seed projects such as reforestation and the establishment of sustainable land use practices in Brazil, an area that loses the equivalent of more than nine million soccer fields to deforestation every year. Mindful of walking the talk, the card is also made out of biodegradable materials, helping to decrease the 1 – 1.5 billion plastic credit cards that end up in landfills yearly.

Over the past few months we've seen more and more companies unobtrusively integrate CSR efforts into consumers' everyday lives, whether it's a washing machine that triggers a donation to Habitat to Humanity or an app that fights AIDS with every mile individuals run. Sustain:Green's card makes it even easier for consumers to seamlessly incorporate environmental consciousness into their everyday lives. And while it won't require any major effort on behalf of card users, they'll soon see how their routine purchases can ladder up to greater personal impact.  


Timberland* Agroforestry Project Breaks Cycle of Poverty in Haiti (Triple Pundit)
An innovative, five-year community agroforesty development project developed and carried out by Timberland, the Smallholder Farmers Alliance and Haitian farmers has proven successful.

Thanks to Investor Demands, Wendy's Will No Longer Be Slinging Soda to Kids (TakePart)
It joins McDonald’s, Subway, Chipotle, Arby’s, and Panera as the newest quick-serve restaurant to remove soda from its kids' menu.

Ford Foundation Going Deeper in Detroit (Nonprofit Quarterly)
The Ford Foundation has ratcheted the biggest public-private partnership in U.S. history up another notch by pledging an additional $10 million in grants to the City of Detroit for 2015.

How Do You Create A Sense Of Purpose In A Giant Company? (Fast Co.Exist)
PricewaterhouseCoopers is learning that its younger employees need to know why they're doing what they're doing. Just doing it isn't enough.


Tetra Pak, Valio Debut ‘World’s First’ Plant-Based Carton (Environmental Leader)
Finnish dairy producer, Valio, is the first company in the world to sell products to consumers in Tetra Pak’s carton packaging made entirely from plant-based materials.

Johnson & Johnson* targets supply chain for health care sustainability (GreenBiz)
Al Iannuzzi took a gamble when he decided to double down on the environmental and health impacts of his company's products.

This Startup Wants To Reinvent How Businesses Deal With Trash (Fast Co.Exist)
Most waste contractors are paid by how much they fill up a landfill. But one company is trying to make its money based on how much trash they keep away.

L’Oréal, Avery Dennison Collaborating to Reduce Environmental Impact of Labels (Sustainable Brands)
L’Oréal Americas and Avery Dennison have joined forces to identify and reduce the environmental impacts of packaging labels throughout the entire label lifecycle.

4 ways to (really) get employees on board with a green office (GreenBiz)
From conserving power to adding recycling bins to the break room, businesses of all sizes are experimenting with widely varied strategies to make their workplaces — and their workforces — more oriented toward sustainability.


7 Big No-No's for Monthly Giving Programs (, Nonprofit Charitable Orgs)
As you know, I’ve been writing about what to do when starting a monthly giving program. Recently, I’ve been talking to a lot of clients about their programs and helping them become more successful.

Giving Tuesday Tally Surges to $46-Million, Report Says (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)
Fueled by social media and online-giving campaigns, donations on the latest Giving Tuesday surged to an estimated $45.7-million, more than double the amount raised in 2012, when the event began.

4 Options For Targeting Donors (The NonProfit Times)
Here is given, generic to the media-loaded second decade of the 21st century: Our capability of knowing many specifics of our donor-targets is far greater than it was even a single generation ago.

12 Must-Follow Nonprofits on Tumblr (Nonprofit Tech for Good)
If your nonprofit’s social media strategy is built upon engaging young adults, then you might want to invest some time experimenting with Tumblr.

Beyond the Hashtag - 10 Steps to a Nonprofit Online Engagement Campaign (, Nonprofit Charitable Orgs)
Usually when I bring up the concept of an “online engagement campaign,” my nonprofit client does one of two things – their eyes glaze over and they seem to get really busy with something else; or they get very excited and exclaim, “Yes! We could raise a ton of money if only we created our own hashtag!”

Next Frontier of Storytelling in the Nonprofit Sector (Network for Good, Nonprofit Marketing Blog)
Storytelling is quickly becoming part of the everyday fabric of nonprofit fundraising and communications.

*Cone client

This newsletter represents a brief, weekly update of the most pertinent news articles and trending information collected from major daily papers, trade publications, newsletters and other sources.  Just click on the headline to be taken directly to the full article and source.  (Some require a free or paid subscription.) In order to protect the integrity of each article, we do not edit materials that are reprinted in this newsletter. We hope you enjoy the recap of this content and our insight of the week, but please note that the articles and information contained within this newsletter are intended to be informative and are not necessarily representative of Cone’s point of view.


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