Sustainable Brands Conference Set for June in San Diego

So just what is a "sustainable brand"? To answer that question you could start with Interbrand’s Best Global Green Brands report, an annual look at what it sees as the top 50 sustainable brands. As the report summarizes nicely, "Consumers across markets have a high level of mistrust when it comes to the information that companies provide about their environmental efforts. Actions speak louder than words, but the words (and numbers) tell the story, both internally and externally, about brands driving change, innovation, goodwill, and more sustainable, cost-effective, efficient operations. It’s all about striking a balance between performance and perception, and being transparent, open, and honest about the journey (with its occasional stumbles) on the road to sustainability." Only occasional?

Certainly it's no easy task for a brand to position itself as sustainable, in a world dominated by scorched-earth, winner-take-all global capitalism. However, the organizers of the four-day Sustainable Brands event remain optimistic, claiming that "The leading brands of the future will be sustainable brands. Building them takes a new kind of thinking, a new group of collaborations, and a new set of tools." It should be noted that Sustainable Brands was founded in 2004 and so can't be accused of jumping on the sustainability bandwagon. The conference apparently attracts a diverse range of attendees, from sustainability executives through brand managers, communications professionals and those driving design and innovation within their organizations.

Sessions in the San Diego event will be grouped within seven tracks: Circular & Sharing Economies, Driving Demand & Behavior, Leadership & Strategy, Macro Trends & Drivers, Smarter Homes & Cities, Supply Chain & Procurement, and The Workplace of the Future. The event will also include workshops, plenaries and breakout discussions in multiple tracks. The speaker list is extensive, including along the 150 presenters Chip Bergh, President and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co.; Len Sauers, Vice President for Global Sustainability at Procter and Gamble; Tim Brooks, the Senior Director for Environmental Sustainability at LEGO; and Arthur Karuletwa, Director of Traceability at Starbucks. .

The event is scheduled for June 1-4 in San Diego, California, with more information available on the Sustainable Brands site.