Yesterday, we celebrated the 51st global Earth Day. Leading up to the day, we saw trillion-dollar commitments, business leaders signing environmentally focused pledges and increasing engagement in the circular economy. As brands continue to evolve their green initiatives internally, they are also engaging the public externally. Today, we explore three companies that are tackling the climate crisis while creating opportunities for stakeholders to make a difference.
- In the third iteration of Challenge for Change, Apple is marking Earth Day with educational and engaging opportunities related to climate justice. The company’s activations include donating $1 for every Apple Pay transaction, customizing the app store to feature sustainability-focused apps and providing free resources like Dolores Huerta’s “Create a Better World Through Environmental Justice.” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, explains the goal of the campaign is to “amplify voices too often unheard, and give people the tools to learn, engage and be part of the solution.”
- To honor the 51st anniversary of Earth Day, Old Navy is empowering the next generation of climate advocates through the #ImagineABetterFuture Through this effort, the brand is committing to donating to 51 “kid-led” GoFundMe fundraisers. The apparel company appointed 11-year-old climate activist, Ryan Hickman, Head of FUNcycling, where he is in charge of choosing which youth-led sustainability activities to fund and sharing tips “so easy an adult can do them.” The brand also announced that, as part of its Earth Day efforts, it will eliminate all use of plastic shopping bags in U.S. and Canada stores by 2030.
- For Earth Month, Starbucks has announced a month-long “Borrow a Cup” trial program. For a $1 deposit, customers can order a drink in a reusable cup then return it for the cup to be professionally cleaned and sterilized. Upon return, consumers will get their dollar deposit back, as well as 10 rewards points. With COVID-19 protection measures still in place, this program gives patrons the opportunity to safely make a daily, eco-conscious decisions that they weren’t able to since the start of the pandemic.
With the building pressure for brands to be at the forefront of so many social justice issues in the world today, it is important to understand that climate change intersects with almost every human rights issue. Additionally, our research shows that half of Americans don’t think companies should stop their sustainability efforts – even during the pandemic. Earth Day remains a good moment in time for brands to share their continued commitment to addressing climate change, a global crisis that looms nearer than ever.