Iliyana's Blog

To Solve Sustainability Issues We Need Focus & Collectivity 

[fa icon="calendar'] 09-Aug-2015 10:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Sustainability

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You see me write about sustainability lately a lot. So by now, you should know that we need to do something, companies need to step up and take action, we as individuals need to do so too.

But there’s so much to do! So many issues to fix… The majority of organisations cannot tackle each and every one of them on their own. What we and they need is focus – start with one initiative, complete it successfully, tackle that one issue to make an impact and then move onto the next one.

You can’t run into every possible direction as you won’t go anywhere – it’s that simple. So today we are going to talk about one issue that needs to be solved – the growing global water footprint.

When it comes to water consumption, everyone has a responsibility to conserve more and use less. The average American lifestyle requires about 2,000 gallons per day – twice the global average – and shows no signs of stopping. CustomMade has created a really cool infographic, outlining our water usage (domestic, industrial and agricultural) and simple ways we can lessen our water consumption.

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Trust Me, PR is Dead But Conscious Business is Not

[fa icon="calendar'] 02-Aug-2015 09:37:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Public Relations, Sustainability

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A few weeks ago, Stephen Waddington asked his community for their favourite 50 PR media – 10 blogs, 10 books, 10 communities, 10 newsletters and 10 podcasts – to crowdsource a summer list blog post (awesome idea, right?).

Of course, I jumped in too and mentioned Trust Me, PR is Dead as my favourite PR book this summer. (My blog actually ended up making his list!)

The one thing that stuck in my mind the most while reading the book was the super strong link that Robert Phillips makes between PR and sustainability. Honestly, I haven’t seen a PR professional advocating conscious business so passionately before. This makes the book more a business book, rather than a PR read.

I myself had researched social media for sustainability, but never really focused that much on the PR practice for sustainability, although it makes perfect sense. It comes natural to me – first because of my passion for sustainability, and second because I am a digital native and I understand or better yet live by the seismic changes that are happening in our society and the economy as a result. But I guess that’s not the case for many others.

The March of Conscious Business

PR as we once knew it might be dead, but conscious business is not. Or shouldn’t be. And it should guide the PR practice of the future.

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Why Companies Need to Step Up and Lead the Sustainability Agenda

[fa icon="calendar'] 19-Jul-2015 11:30:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Sustainability

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In June 1992, over 30,000 people and more than 100 heads of states gathered in Rio de Janeiro for the largest environmental conference that became known as the Earth Summit.

The goal was to respond to the pressing global environmental challenges and to agree on a plan for tackling issues such as biodiversity, climate change, pollution and unsustainable production, extinction of resources, forest management, population growth, consumption rates and poverty.

The result: a declaration of 27 principles for nations to commit to becoming more sustainable. These are still adhered to today and influence political and business decisions.

But how far have we come?

Call me a pessimist, but not as far as we could have.

Sustainability Agenda not on the Corporate Radar

A recent survey by GlobeScan/SustainAbility has tracked and analysed the evolution of the sustainability agenda and what progress the leaders and institutions most responsible for driving it forward have made since the Earth Summit.

The one thing that stuck in my mind after reviewing the infographic with the results (see below) is that corporates and businesses have not advanced enough.

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The ABCs of Social Media for Sustainability

[fa icon="calendar'] 11-May-2015 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Social Media, Sustainability

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Sustainability... What a difficult word, don't you think? And how about social media?

Can you describe the two in a short sentence? No? You are probably asking: "What does social media have to do with sustainability?"

A lot, actually.

Social media and sustainability are both paradigm shifts. The challenge is how to leverage them and do so in synchrony in order to create business value. Utilising social media could transform any sustainability initiative. And because the foundations of social media and sustainability are guided by the same values of community, transparency, authenticity, innovation and collaboration, combining and aligning the two concepts could have a powerful impact on effectively balancing the triple bottom line.

To help you see the connection, let's go back to school and make things a little bit easier to understand. Below you'll find my list of ABCs with each letter representing an important characteristic that ties these two seemingly unrelated concepts. Additionally, you will find multiple actionable tips you can deploy in your business.

So pay attention now!

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WIIFM: The New Language for Sustainability Communications

[fa icon="calendar'] 30-Mar-2015 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Storytelling, Sustainability

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Consumers have changed. They know they have the power. And they use that when they make purchase decisions.

The times when companies simply used to talk about their business and their products are gone. Now is the time of the consumer, where WIIIFM or “what’s in it for me” is more relevant than ever.

In the world of social media, blogging, podcasting, video broadcasting, etc. customer-centricity is the only way for them to be heard among the noise. It is WIIFM that brands need to communicate throughout the entire customer journey.

There’s one industry where this is extremely palpable – sustainability with surrounding terms such as resource scarcity, sustainable supply chains and sourcing, climate change, eco-efficiency etc.

Why? Because all these words are confusing, hard to understand and often regarded as greenwashing by the normal consumer.

That’s something I’ve discovered when I was doing my own research for my dissertation, but is also evident year after year in the results of Sustainly’s Social Media Sustainability Index.

The latest one even opens up with the question: “How do you talk about sustainability when no-one really knows what it means?”

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