Giving sustainability branding and messaging a SHFT

Nature of Business Radio

Giving sustainability branding and messaging a SHFT

Nature of Business radio, created and hosted by Chrissy Coughlin, is a weekly show on business and environment.

For most of us, particularly those who spend our days balancing work, health, family, and all else that matters, we have to admit, even for the most responsible, the message of "environmentalism" or "green living" can sometimes make us actually feel irresponsible, lazy, or even inadequate ... not to mention relatively guilty when we find ourselves tuning out the message.

It was for these reasons in particular that it was exciting to speak this week with Peter Glatzer. Peter is a highly respected veteran Hollywood producer and co-founder of, a multimedia platform that impregnates the "sustainability" message in an impressive subliminal form with a heavy dose of downright awesomeness.

In other words, they don't bang you over the head with eco-talk, but the message is there.

During our conversation, we drilled down on the growing problem of sustainability branding. Peter along with his co-founder, Adrian Grenier, best known for his role as Vincent Chase in HBO's Entourage, have certainly hit the sustainability sweet spot in the branding realm as well as with the timing of it all.

Yes, the timing. Because it is clearer than ever that the sustainability message needs to shift, or SHFT as the case may be.

What I enjoy the most about is that it sends a message that it's okay to be who we are and do what makes us feel good -- video, art, design, culture…all while making a difference through sustainable living. It's about empowering the consumer and, as Peter points out, answering his own questions along the way.

And so we talked environmentalism as a movement -- something I love to discuss.

Peter feels strongly environmentalism has become anathema. He says, "The idea of environmentalism as a separate category felt dated to us and not relevant. It's that idea of attaching any "ism" to ghettoize (something)...We needed to throw a brick through the glass. Environmentalism absolutely needs to be folded into everything we do."

It doesn't hurt that companies like Ford, Stonyfield Farm, and Virgin are all on board. These companies get that there has to be a new way of communicating with an audience that is both savvy and cynical at the same time. There is more transparency than ever and the message has to be real, dynamic, non-threatening, and of course, effective. (FYI...if you are on a Virgin flight, you can watch SHFT programming.)

With people trending towards digital media, SHFT has a bright future. So I had to ask what was one of the most exciting current projects. His answer was music to my ears (It's Friday afternoon as I write this.) Wine. SHFT has come out with a decadent yet sustainable (wine and packaging) red blend from Paso Robles. As if they weren't already cool enough? Glass, please!

Enjoy the podcast.

George Papoulias edited this podcast.



Photos courtesy of SHFT.