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August was a dispiriting month, from extreme weather and natural disaster, to the Taliban seizing control in Afghanistan. As always in our round-up, we look for shoots of hope from organisations with the power and pockets to help make change. Read on to see what brand news is keeping us optimistic this August.

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Airbnb offers free accommodation for 20,000 Afghan refugees


Thousands of Afghans were forced to seek refuge in the wake of the Taliban take-over. Airbnb offered a swift short term response by offering free temporary accommodation to 20,000 Afghan refugees. Starting immediately, the initiative is funded by contributions from Airbnb and its CEO, Brian Chesky, as well as donors to the Airbnb Refugee Fund. Providing Afghan refugees with security and shelter as they start over is vital and we think the initiative from Airbnb is a good example of the positive impact businesses can have in our society when guided by a sense of responsibility.

Read more here –

Penguin Classics launches ‘new canon’ of environmental literature


In a month which has brought further attention to the climate crisis – from a series of Extinction Rebellion protests to an alarming report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – Penguin Books has launched the Green Ideas series, twenty texts which have had a substantial influence on our understanding of the living world. The launch of Green Ideas reflects the evolving dialogue on climate and the environment, and shows that appetite for more information is growing.

Find out more here –

Lidl to trial traffic light labels revealing the climate impact of own-brand products


Last month we saw Unilever announce carbon footprint labels for its products. This month it’s Lidl trialling Eco-Score labels, revealing the climate impact of own-brand products such as tea and coffee. Lidl’s Eco-Score labels will use a 5 grade colour-coded system based on carbon footprint, biodiversity and packaging, while also taking certifications like Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance into account. We see momentum building!

Learn more here –

Barbie creates doll of vaccine scientist Professor Sarah Gilbert in hope of inspiring girls to get into STEM careers


Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, a scientist who helped create the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, has been honoured as a ‘Barbie Role Model’ with a doll created in her image. Barbie is also introducing dolls for five other women for their significant work during the pandemic, from treating Covid patients to tackling systemic racism in healthcare. The hope is the new dolls inspire young girls to pursue STEM careers by making these incredible role models more accessible.

Read more here –