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Here’s my latest trend piece for Sustainable Brands.

In earlier articles, I asked whether consumers will back up brands that makes decisions “because it’s the right thing to do” over pure profit motives.

My bet is that these decisions will be rewarded by consumers as it become more normal for companies to make bold pro-health and pro-environmental choices. Here are five recent examples that point positively in that direction.

1. On April 1, Avon announced that it will stop using the antibacterial chemical triclosan in its products “based on the preferences expressed by some of our customers.” This move isn’t that surprising, since triclosan is already on the phase-out list for Proctor & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson. But nonetheless, it’s a statement that some customers’ voices matter enough to stop selling products that other customers might still want to buy.

2. Two days later, on April 3, Nabisco’s graham cracker brand Honey Maid released a video called “Love” as a response to anti-gay comments about the brand’s March 2014 “This is Wholesome” commercial. That commercial, which shows gay and multi-racial families, had been blasted by conservative group One Million Moms as “promoting sin.”

We don’t know yet how the “Love” response video will impact sales. But with 3.5 million views and counting, I predict a graham cracker bump. On Twitter, the #thisiswholesome feed was awash with feel-good comments about wanting to make s’mores and one photo showing empty shelves.

3. Also on April 3, Mozilla’s new CEO Brendan Eich resigned after only two weeks on the job. He faced pressure to do so after online protests and a brief boycott campaign by OKCupid for his support of California’s anti-gay marriage law, Proposition 8, including a $1000 donation Eich made to the campaign in 2008. The OKCupid boycott caught eyeballs, but the real story, in my view, was about talent war pressure.

You can see that in Mozilla’s official corporate apology for Eich’s brief appointment, which cites an “organizational culture” that values “equality for all.” In other words, the most in-demand people want the best workplace. That increasingly assumes pro-equality and pro-environment policies.

The Eich resignation story is also notable for how fast it happened: his resignation was an about-face from his weather-the-storm stance just days earlier.

4. Then on April 6, restaurant brand Chili’s announced that it was withdrawing support for an autism-awareness group’s fundraiser, scheduled for the next day. Chili’s said it cancelled the event “based on feedback we heard from guests.” Others have noted that the autism awareness group’s website includes questionable statements about vaccination safety and the causes of autism. By responding fast to customer feedback, on a Sunday no less, Chili’s was able to extinguish a volatile public relations situation with a minimum of lost face.

5. And finally, on April 8, California lawmakers considered the so-called “Blackfish bill” that would ban keeping orcas in captivity. State assembly member Richard Bloom says that he wrote the bill after seeing the film Blackfish. Months of positive citizen support on social media surely helped, too.

The April 8 hearing attracted hundreds of people, but after testimony from the bill’s supporters and opponents, the committee declined to take up a vote. Instead, they sent the bill for further study, a process that could take up to a year.

For now, SeaWorld’s orca shows will go on as scheduled. I’m curious about what anti-captivity campaigners will do next, and if they will be able to influence ticket sales.

Together, what the first four examples show is that being a good business is good for sales. When customers speak up, and brands respond, everyone wins. Most of the time, at least.

That’s because what’s good for SeaWorld visitors, and good for sales, and good for California jobs, is really bad for these animals. Keeping captive orcas has been compared to spending one’s whole life in a small bathroom. SeaWorld has a huge opportunity here to be a world leader for truly responsible oceanic stewardship. It’s up to the company’s leadership to imagine — and create — that reality for its next generation of guests.

They won’t have to do it alone. As more customers speak up, there will come a day when SeaWorld says, “It’s wrong. So we’re stopping.” I plan to be a customer who supports them in that decision.

CVSEffect, consumer voice edition: “Avon cites customer concern as its reason for reformulating” w/o triclosan http://t.co/jq1QCQYu2F

Cool USDA graph “decline of smoking” How ’bout one for stamping out #climate denial? http://t.co/nNFYEKlZv7

Former SEC Commissioner calls Exxon ‘s bluff on “Nope. No stranded assets here” play. http://t.co/QXqrxvjoIM

Hey NJ–we can do this too! How Boston is-and should be -preparing for rising seas. http://t.co/Zvpu2tHtuG

There goes our last excuse to not take climate action. China ordering 2,000 coal mines to be closed. http://t.co/cqZ6gEeixq

More CVS Effect of doing CSR right: Mozilla’s CEO steps down because of talent war pressure. http://t.co/yy44F2udUn

Another step for CVS Effect. Honeymaid’s LOVE video for #thisiswholesome backlash. http://t.co/cuN2dwywSi

Wow NJ’s FEMA Disaster Plan was filed Mar. 5, 6 days *before* the public comment period opened. http://t.co/mIafbwBWhC

Buzz buzz! The waggle dance of honeybees has been decoded. http://t.co/j996GLc649

Leveraging IPCC: Well-sourced “Dos” & “Don’ts” for climate communications. http://t.co/2pfSIN7rwr

Here’s how NJ can transition to 100% renewable energy: save $$$, create jobs and own our power. http://t.co/IXbELjEdJ8

Expose Climate Denialism: Faux “NIPCC” wants to be compared to IPCC. Um, no. http://t.co/vyR3qJ48Yz

It’s a man. It’s a bird. No. Wait. http://t.co/2xvW8ouTkx

What does the CEO say? Cognitive science research on CSR/sustainability conflicting objectives. http://t.co/eLxOezXZbR

My review of Andrew Winston ‘s The Big Pivot: A Realist’s Guide to a Climate-Challenged Present http://t.co/VeFrFq7RYh

Lesson of the day: “You’ve come here to offer me your gifts. Thank you for your offer, but I do not accept.” http://t.co/7hVlLvFNzx

Let’s bridge it. “There is an environmental literacy gap in the C-suite,” http://t.co/

Exxon won’t disclose business impacts of 2 deg scenario. http://gu.com/p/3z8dg/tw

By me: NJ’s Disaster Plan: Long on Hazards, Maybe Short on Mitigation, Silent on Public Comment? http://t.co/9wYIqKyoSI

MotherJones Mar. 21 on NJ Hazard Mitigation Plan: “a contradictory mess.” http://t.co/pJLaCaDTLY

Change the way NJ business gets done: LeaderShip for Sustainability course starts 4/25. http://t.co/tdPNTgxRfP

Share/link/pin/tag: Carbon Brief ‘s simple 1-page IPCC climate communications summary. http://t.co/Ll5urZMEP9

Share w/your CFO: Solutions for profitably breaking climate gridlock. http://t.co/Lcyl7FLM3i

Now the economists are saying it: Want sustainable growth? Get a long-term focus. http://t.co/Lcyl7FLM3i

Here’s my book review of The Big Pivot on Sustainable Brands.

If you’ve ever thought of dropping a book on your boss’s desk, in the hopes of sparking a Ray Anderson-type conversion, here’s a tip. Don’t use the new IPCC report: It’s gloomy, terrifying and a muddle.

Try this instead: Andrew Winston’s business transformation book for the “new normal” of climate change-fueled disruption. It’s called The Big Pivot.

The strategist and Green to Gold author has written a practical, working handbook for teams, organizations and corporations to “recreate their operations to succeed within the scientific reality of a hotter, wilder, more radically open world.”

In the book, which launches April 9 (join us for the launch! See details below), Winston deftly manages a tricky balancing act: talking about humanity’s impending catastrophes while maintaining a rational, business-minded focus on solutions. I’m glad to say that he pulls it off.

And glad for the rest of us, too, because we need a Big Pivot. That’s what Winston calls the kind of rapid and radical business transformation needed to get from today’s normal of insufficient action to new low/no-carbon, climate-resilient practices and strategies.

To start, Winston briskly lays out the science: Failure is what awaits us if businesses don’t prepare for climate-change-fueled weather disasters, resource scarcities and a radically transparent global marketplace.

For sure, Winston is swinging for the fences by calling for “dramatic improvements in operational efficiency and cuts in material and energy use, waste and carbon emissions.” But only because climate science — not the boardroom — demands it.

Then onto examples: Winston knows The Big Pivot is possible because he’s seen and helped companies do it. He shares stories to show that change can come from decisive leadership rather just than the stick of regulation or crisis. These up-to-date case studies are perfect, sharable examples of what leading companies are doing today.

And finally, he offers 10 strategies for how your company can make big, bold moves for equally big returns on business stability and profitability.

Each strategy is stated as an action, such as “Fight short-termism” and “Set big, science-based goals.” And for each strategy, there’s a “How to Execute” section.

For example, one of the simplest (but hardest) things companies can do is to throw out their goal-setting processes that rely on internal or industry benchmarks. Instead, Winston says we have to peg our goals to meeting the true size of the planetary problem, with suggestions for doing that.

Overall, I appreciate Winston’s refreshingly blunt perspective on two points, both of which can mire sustainability work in problems rather than solutions.

The first is that climate change — as a human-caused, dangerous scientific reality — is not up for discussion. Readers who are grappling with climate denialism or its poisonous cousin, climate fatalism, in their workplaces will find Winston a good model for not engaging and getting on with things.

The second is to dismiss the stall tactic he calls “the increasingly absurd question [of], ‘What’s the business case?’” For readers who are genuinely uninformed about why the world’s businesses need to do things differently, the book’s appendix offers a crash course. Readers can also consult Winston’s earlier book, Green to Gold.

I find his use of the pivot metaphor to be really smart. For one, readers who aren’t comfortable with high-stakes sustainability goals might find themselves on more familiar ground by thinking about entrepreneurial pivots. Successful Start-Up 101 is all about trying one thing, then shifting deliberately to another, to find the right customers and positioning. Giving The Big Pivot an entrepreneurial cast, deliberate or not, may help draw in hesitant readers.

What Winston doesn’t talk much about, by necessity of brevity, are the specific people at leading companies who are making Big Pivot changes towards science-based goal-setting, heretical innovation and radical cooperation.

And that’s a shame, because they’re the real story of The Big Pivot — not companies or strategies or tools to get to zero.

I think that The Big Pivot starts with each of us thinking of ourselves this way. And more importantly, by thinking of our colleagues, partners, competitors and elected officials as capable people who are also up for the challenging of creating a better future.

I’m inspired by Winston’s call for businesses to buck the short-term safety of a quarterly profits-obsessed status quo. It’s time to pivot to a focus on long-term, science-based realities. With a certain climate-challenged future ahead of us, The Big Pivot gives us a realist’s path to making sure it’s a prosperous one, too.