The Cool Factor
We are living in the world of the cool factor. Why else would one stand in line (or sit in a tent) overnight, waiting to purchase their sixth version of an Apple iPhone with roots over a century ago by Alexander Graham Bell? Because the emotional response of owning the coolest new gadget overwhelms the rational thought of staying in bed. Similarly, Google is cool, Yahoo is not. The success follows.Image. Vision. Brand. Mission.An advent of social media marketing and the growing awareness of an activist generation is beginning to force companies to elicit a positive emotional response from consumers and investors in order to stay afloat.Now, more than ever, companies must focus their efforts on vision and branding to keep the old consumers and lure the new."APPLE, MICROSOFT, DISNEY SHOW LOW-CARBON LEADERSHIP, COMMERCIAL SUCCESS".Guess what?Corporate social responsibility is becoming more and more important in this world of cool. And hand in hand with corporate social responsibility is a commitment to low carbon emission.Apple, Microsoft, Walt Disney, Unilever, and Tesla have become world leaders in low-carbon. Apple has established a goal to power every single corporate office, data center, and retail store with renewable energy. (They are about 95% of the way there!) Microsoft has set an internal price for carbon to measure the cost of business travel, utilities, and other uses of energy. In an economy where mandatory transparency does not exist, Microsoft has committed anyway. Disney is not only the happiest place on Earth, but the company is also striving to reach a long-term goal of zero net greenhouse gas emissions. In the interim, the company will reduce net emissions by 50% from a 2012 baseline by 2020. Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan aims to reach 200 million consumers with products that will help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions while showering. And the admirable Tesla Motors mission of "accelerating the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible" is coming to life as Tesla vehicles become more affordable.In a world where companies strive for the cool factor, low-carbon commitment is becoming ice cold.