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Brief Published: 15 Oct 2014

Big Companies Back Sustainability

Collectively homepage screenshot

Twenty-nine global corporations have put financial backing behind a new online sustainability platform called Collectively. The project sees direct competitors such as US beverage monoliths Coca-Cola and PepsiCo united in targeting millennials.

Created by Virtue – the creative services division of US-based company Vice Media – Collectively is an editorial content platform that aims to be a counterweight to pessimistic views on sustainability issues. It plans to focus instead on positive stories to "break through that negativity and cynicism to help people learn how they can help".

Originating in World Economic Forum conversations on how a shift towards sustainable practices and habits can be accelerated, the platform's stated purpose is to help establish sustainable lifestyles as the new normal.

There is limited visibility of the backing partners' presence on the site. This is born of the assumption that – while not always opposed to corporate involvement on principle – millennials don't engage when they feel actively marketed at. Partners will, however, occasionally pitch stories for the editorial team's consideration. The partners make up 50% of Collectively's board of directors, while the other half consists of non-governmental organisations and editorial team members.

We examine the challenges of Marketing Sustainability in our report.

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