For immediate release JY&A
International think-tank announces 2009 Brands with a Conscience awards
Stockholm, Seal Beach, Calif. and Wellington, January
1 (JY&A Media)
The Medinge Group (www.medinge.org),
an international think-tank on branding and business, today releases
its sixth annual Brands with a Conscience list. In the Groups
opinion, these diverse organizations show that it is possible for
brands to succeed as they contribute to the betterment of society
by sustainable, socially responsible and humanistic behaviour.
The international collective of brand practitioners
meets annually in August at a secluded location outside Stockholm,
Sweden, and collaborate on the list, judging nominees on principles
of humanity and ethics, rather than financial worth. The Brands
with a Conscience list is shaped around criteria including evidence
of the human implications of the brand and considering whether the
brand takes risks in line with its beliefs. Evaluations are made
based on reputation, self-representation, history, direct experience,
contacts with individuals within the organizations, media and analysts
and an assessment of the expressed values of sustainability.
Two years ago the group added a unique category
commendation, the Colin Morley Award, recognizing exceptional achievement
by an NGO. Mr Morley, a member of the Medinge Group, died in the
London Underground bombings on July 7, 2005. The award commemorates
his visionary work in humanistic branding.
For 2009, the group has singled out the following
organizations as Brands with a Conscience:
Chhatra Sagaran eco-resort in Rajasthan (India)
Ekomarineenvironmentally responsible paint (Sweden)
Kivamicrofinance lending (USA)
Oneenlightened bottled water (UK)
RagbagFair-Traded fashion accessories from recyclable materials
TOMS shoesdeveloping nations shoe distribution (USA)
2009 Colin Morley Award
The third Colin Morley Award for a non-governmental
organization is given to the American actor and philanthropist Paul
Newman in posthumous recognition for an exemplary life of truth-telling
Announcing the 2009 Brands with a Conscience,
Stanley Moss, CEO of the Medinge Group and chairman of the initiative,
remarked, This years Brands with a Conscience winners
are all superior brands who exemplify environmentally responsible
conduct and community involvement. Three of these winners have a
direct interest in water-related issues. And Medinges selection
of Paul Newman for the Colin Morley NGO award acknowledges a hero
whose humanistic beliefs accompanied authentic, compassionate action.
Thomas Gad, Director and Chairman of the Medinge
Group commented, The 2009 Brands with a Conscience awards
show a sensational variety, and not only geographically; we have
award winners from all corners of the world, in a variety of business
categories. Everything from eco-resorts, environmentally responsible
boat paint, microfinance lending, enlightened bottled water, fair-traded
fashion accessories from recyclable materials and shoe distribution
for developing nations. Once again, for 2009 we honour a person
with our Colin Morley NGO award: Paul Newmana legend not only
as an brilliant actor, but also as a business and a brand doing
good for the world.
Ian Ryder, a director of the group added, Every
year we seem to say that the quality of entrants to the BWAC Awards
increases, but the truth is that this year was absolutely outstanding.
In every category, from all corners of the globe, each and every
one of the finalists would have made worthy winners. All of which
says that those who won came from a very select group, and they
embody all that is best in our tough test of brand sustainability
Each of the Brands with a Conscience winners
display awareness, responsibility and action. Sustainability here
is not limited to a temporary green perspective, but is celebrated
as a life-long dedication to future generations, said Patrick
Harris, a Medinge director. One Water is a wonderful example
of a humanitarian focus, founded on an elegant concept. It is a
complete solution, harnessing a commercial opportunity to serve
communities in need, utilizing the natural energy of children. Pure
This years nominees have been the
most amazing yet, agreed Jack Yan, Director. We received
more nominees than ever, and competition was incredibly strong.
The bar was set very high, and it was one of the most difficult
decision-making process I have been through since the Awards
inception. There was greater advocacy among the Medinge Groups
members this year, showing what passions these brands generated.
In the end, our winners are organizations that admirably forward
the Groups agenda in humanistic branding.
The 2009 Brands with a Conscience awards will
be presented at a private ceremony held at the Management Institute
of Paris on February 5, 2009.
The winners in detail
Chhatra Sagar is an eco-friendly tent camp in
Rajasthan, India, a lifetime project by direct descendants of the
Maharajah of Jodhpur. Established in 2001, this small resort overlooks
365 protected acres, where over 200 varieties of wildlife have returned
to the habitat. The sustainability quotient is optimalall
locally sourced food, furnished by indigenous craft, employs 30
local families, sponsors teachers, provides medicine, classroom
furniture and brings specialized educators who address subjects
ranging from family planning to recycling to soil conservation.
The familys personal involvement and constant presence reinforce
For boating-intensive parts of the world like
USA, Australia, UK and Scandinavia, the foul painting of boat hulls
is a serious and not-ecological business. Sweden-based Ekomarines
researchers created the Neptune Formula, a naturally-based vegetable-protein
alternative, with the added benefit of improving performance by
reducing hull friction.
Kiva is microfinance with a peer-to-peer platform.
Lends modest amounts direct to developing world entrepreneurs. A
brilliant combination of technology and humanity, which connects
people through lending for the alleviation of poverty. Kiva is the
worlds first person-to-person micro-lending website, rallies
10,000 bloggers to promote good causes, and upturned the innovation
of Zopas direct lending model, applying it to philanthropy.
A branded giving process in an economic and powerful way, never
preachy and never sentimental.
One sells bottled water in the UK and gives away
100 per cent of all of its profits to water projects in Africa.
Profits are used to install PlayPumps, effectively, childrens
roundabouts that, when played on, pump water to a storage cistern.
Active since May 2005, One water is aligned with the Millennium
Development Goals of getting clean water to 1 billion people who
do not have access to it and helping the 2 billion people who die
each year from water-related diseases.
rag-bag produces fashionable and colourful bags
and wallets made entirely from waste plastics (bags, sheets, etc.)
collected by rag pickers from garbage tips in India, Cameroon and
Brazil. They are paid a fair price for these waste products and
they are trained to manufacture the products. The bags are sold
online and in fashionable and fair trade outlets in Australia, Belgium,
Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. Rag
pickers earn a better income and learn valuable skills, while waste
is reused to create new, valuable and practical products. rag-bag
sets a high example for social, economic and environmental sustainability.
For each pair of shoes you buy from this LA-based
company, TOMS will donate a pair to needy children in developing
nations. Once a year the company does a hands-on shoe drop
into communities, and customers participate. The shoes are comfy
like slippers, and customers effectively vote with their feet. The
website is very transparent, and the thousands of shoes distributed
are a more direct good deed than throwing money at a cause.
Paul Newman (Colin Morley Award)
Paul Newman set up a company in 1982 to make marinades,
sauces and dressings from natural ingredients. All the profits and
royalties reverted to Newman, who, from the businesss inception,
gave away every cent to charitable causes. In particular the money
supports Hole in the Wall Camps, which bring together children with
serious and terminal illnesses for a free summer-camp experience.
Paul Newman disdained fame, opposed the starcelebrity system,
and gave over $250 million to these causes in his own lifetime (in
per capita terms the most generous individual on earth). Newmans
lifes work reminds us that an individual can act unselfishly
and humanistically, according to his own values and make a real
contribution to a better world.
Images for this release may be downloaded from <http://jya.net/090101pr0.htm>.
2009 Medinge Brands with a Conscience Committee
Sicco van Gelder
Ava Maria Hakim
Stanley Moss, chairman
About the Medinge Group
Founded in 2002, the Medinge Group first published a brand manifesto
of eight statements encapsulating a vision of healthy brands for
the future. In 2003, the group authored a collection of essays entitled
Beyond Branding, which explored the ways in which brands
could add value within alternative business and social models. In
2004, the group established the annual Brands with a Conscience
list to recognize organizations who epitomize humanistic behaviour;
in 2006, Medinge added a special category of recognition named in
honour of its late colleague Colin Morley, which acknowledges excellence
by an NGO, in keeping with Colinís humanistic vision. The Medinge
Group maintains an online, automated speakersí and expertsí bureau
accessible through its web site, www.medinge.org.
In 2007 Medinge launched an online resource, The Journal of the
Medinge Group, a digital anthology of papers and articles written
by Medinge members.
Notes to editors
The JY&A three-stroke logo is a trade mark of Jack Yan &
Associates and is subject to protection in certain jurisdictions.
All trade marks are the properties of their respective owners and
are used in a descriptive fashion without any intention to infringe.