Sustainable Brands Encouraging Business Leaders to Imagine a World of Tomorrow

Ford, Dow, General Motors, Erb Institute and others gathering in Detroit to conceptualize a future driven by sustainability-led brand innovation
Apr 11, 2016 9:00 AM ET
Press Release

SAN FRANCISCO, April 11, 2016 /3BL Media/ – Sustainable Brands® is bringing together over 145 notable sustainability leaders, influential business leaders, and prominent local and government representatives this week in Detroit to visualize a future of global social and economic prosperity. At the forefront of discussion: The influence that brands have in shaping a vision for the aspirational lifestyle of the future.  

Senior leaders in the Sustainable Brands Corporate Member Network will gather today for a private evening reception hosted by The Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan at the Shinola Flagship Store in downtown Detroit. Bridget Russo, Chief Marketing Officer at Shinola will be a keynote speaker sharing the challenges and opportunities of revitalizing midtown Detroit along with Kerry Duggan, Associate Director for Policy in the Office of the Vice President & Deputy Director of the White House Detroit Federal Working Group.

A closed member meeting, hosted by Ford Motor Company on Tuesday, April 12, will explore sustainability as an innovation imperative for brands, highlight opportunities for delivering new purpose-driven brand value and explore how member brands are successfully working to impact the design innovation process. Thought-provoking conversations and case studies will be presented by distinguished leaders:

  • Mark Fields, President & CEO of Ford Motor Company
  • Paul Murray, VP of Sustainability at Shaw Industries
  • Atlanta McIlwraith, Senior Manager Community Engagement at Timberland
  • Ryan Kuhn, Senior Director of Marketing at Goodwill Industries International

“As one of the first members of the Sustainable Brands community and Corporate Member Network, Ford is honored to welcome other sustainability leaders to our Dearborn campus as we host this member meeting,” states Kimberly Pittel, Vice President, Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineering, Ford Motor Company. “We hope to share successes, challenges and innovative solutions from which we can all learn. Ford is focused on making the world a better place through a commitment to advanced technology, environmental stewardship, community engagement and responsible business practices, and we are eager to hear what drives sustainable innovation in your organizations. We are happy to share that Mark Fields, CEO of Ford Motor Company, will be joining the member meeting, and my entire team and I look forward to the learning and inspiration that everyone will bring to the table.”

Sustainable Brands corporate members, advisory board members, media representatives from Fortune, Time, The Guardian, Upworthy, News Deeply, as well as academics and local and federal government representatives will come together after the meeting for a special event hosted by Ford Motor Company at the Detroit Institute of Arts. SB community members will begin to ideate the design of Sustainable Brands 2017/18 global activities which will kick off with the relocation of its flagship conference to Detroit in May of 2017. Several organizations have already committed their support to SB’17 Detroit including Dow, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, The Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan, the Detroit Experience Factory and others. The conversation will focus on how the global SB community can help Redefine the Good Life toward a global societal aspiration that is both inspiring and sustainable. Special guest, Christine Harada, Federal Chief Sustainability Officer at the White House Council of Environmental Quality will echo the importance of business leadership in collaboration with multi-stakeholder support.

Attendees will embark early Wednesday morning on a Detroit Revitalization Tour with visits to Green Garage, El Moore, Goodwill’s GreenWorks and Earthworks Urban Farm. Members of the Sustainable Brands community and guests participating in the tour will be able to see first-hand how Detroit is rebuilding its economy and communities by attracting entrepreneurs and creative talent from across the nation.

The Sustainable Brands Corporate Member Network began in 2012 with a select group of companies dedicated to advancing learning and skill-building in three primary areas: 1) spurring disruptive innovation in products, services and business models toward a sustainable future, 2) defining and measuring new forms of business value and connecting this value to the triple bottom line, and 3) collaborating to understand and shift consumer demand and behavior toward healthier consumption and lifestyles. It has since grown to over 60+ companies in multi-sector industries. Contact Patrick McCartan at 415.626.2212 or for further information about the SB Corporate Member Network.

This week’s member meetings in Detroit are closed to the public and operate under Chatham House Rule. The Tuesday networking dinner at the Detroit Institute of Arts is by invitation only. Press attendance is limited.

About Sustainable Brands
Sustainable Brands® is the premier global community of brand innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide. Since 2006, our mission has been to inspire, engage and equip today’s business and brand leaders to prosper for the near and long term by leading the way to a better future. Digitally published news articles and issues-focused conversation topics, internationally known conferences and regional events, a robust e-learning library and peer-to-peer membership groups all facilitate community learning and engagement throughout the year. Sustainable Brands is a division of Sustainable Life Media, headquartered in San Francisco, CA.