In our Spring 2019 issue of Innovation & Tech Today, we took an in-depth look at how brands were stepping up to make active, positive change in our society. From sustainability to positive portrayals of masculinity, brands from a number of industries were using advertising to tell stories; stories that could change one’s perspective on certain issues.

Now, just some months later, we’re seeing many brands and mainstream personas go beyond just advertising and actually work to make positive change. We’re seeing companies partner together with concrete goals to improve the world we live in, and step up where governments are being slow to act.

Two great examples of this are Brands for Good (sponsored by Sustainable Brands) and Robert Downey Jr.’s Footprint Coalition, two major coalitions focused on championing sustainability and using their influence to help curb climate change.

Target is a member of Brands for Good (Courtesy Target)

As it says on their website, Brands for Good is “unleashing the power of brands to make sustainable living the good life of tomorrow.” Found members include major brands such as: PepsiCo; National Geographic; Nestle Waters; Target; Procter & Gamble; SC Johnson; and Visa, among others. These are brands that we interact with on a near-daily basis, and they are working together to be more eco-friendly and bring sustainability into the mainstream.

The specific goals of Brands for Good are:

  • Embed environmental and social purpose into the heart of their brand promise, products, and experiences.
  • Use marketing, communications, and brand influence to make sustainable living accessible, aspirational, and rewarding.
  • Work together to transform the field of marketing to shift behaviors and drive positive impact for people, communities, and the planet.

Along with Brands for Good is Robert Downey Jr.’s Footprint Coalition. Launching in April 2020, the Footprint Coalition is striving to use technology and artificial intelligence – along with RDJ’s influence – to help curb climate change and clean up pollution.

“Between robotics and nanotechnology, we could clean up the planet significantly, if not totally, in 10 years,” Downey Jr. said during his keynote at Amazon’s Re:Mars event this year. He had been given these insights by a roundtable of experts he had gathered. “God I love experts. They’re like Wikipedia with character defects,” he added jokingly. Just how Tony Stark brought renewable energy to New York in Iron Man 2, it looks like Robert Downey Jr. is on a similar path.

Downey Jr. was motivated by a “quiet sense of crisis” to form this coalition, even admitting his own role in contributing to climate change: “I am a one-man carbon footprint nightmare colossus.” However, he portrayed AI as a ground-breaking technology that gave him hope.

And he has reason to hope. With front-and-center stars like himself, scientific experts, and mainstream brands all working together, our sustainable future is only getting brighter.

The article How Big Brands Are Working Together Toward a Sustainable Future by Alex Moersen first appeared on Innovation & Tech Today.