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Introducing Green StoryDoing

By Sustainability

We are in the midst of a huge global and economic sustainability transformation that is as profound as the Industrial Revolution. Change is happening quickly, most companies and brands are engaged with this transformation, and so many companies are doing great work.

The same leaders of the Industrial Revolution, Europe and the United States, are also leading the sustainability transformation. While the Industrial Revolution occurred over approximately 100 years, the sustainability transformation is happening much more quickly because we are globally connected. The speed of change can make it difficult for consumers to know exactly where in this transformation a given company may be. For instance, today it is difficult for consumers to make sense of the many labels describing environmental performance of products (both goods and services) and companies. I’ve identified key concepts that are crucial in determining exactly where in the sustainability transformation a brand, company, or country is at any point in time.

As I shared in my website blog, greenwashing, a term coined nearly 40 years ago, describes the way companies exaggerate about their environmental credentials. In the European Union, it was recently found that nearly half of the “green online claims” being made by companies were exaggerated, deceptive, or false.

On March 23, 2023, the European Union proposed the Green Claims Directive, which is designed to bring clarity to companies’ environmental claims and to address greenwashing. Consumers will be able to make better informed purchasing decisions with credible and trustworthy environmental labels. These changes will also boost the competitiveness of businesses who seek to increase the environmental sustainability of their products and activities.

As greenwashing companies have begun to face consequences for their choices, greenhushing has surfaced in response to the growing level of scrutiny. Rather than face such unwanted attention, other companies intentionally stay quiet about their environmental accomplishments. While greenhushing companies may appreciate a sense of protection from scrutiny, ultimately, this behavior isn’t helping consumers, may impact credibility, and may slow the broader sustainability transformation. Communicating about accomplishments is crucial to driving further transformation.

I propose that the next logical step in this evolution related to how companies respond to pressures from consumers, regulations and legal challenges is Green StoryDoing.

Green StoryDoing is a credible and creative solution for the current phase of the sustainability transformation. StoryTelling is a well-known marketing term and its extension, StoryDoing, is less common. I’ve created Green StoryDoing by applying StoryDoing specifically to sustainability; it’s about taking action and also provides a framework for companies to communicate about their sustainability-related credibility and accomplishments.

My observation is that companies who have continued to use traditional marketing strategies can fall into greenwashing without realizing it. When they seek my expertise in sustainability, I guide them through the transition from unintentional greenwashing to Green StoryDoing.

Through this process, we have defined the following 4 aspects of Green StoryDoing projects:

  • Identify the tension to be resolved and design a project to address this tension based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals; follow established sustainability approaches for achieving goals.
  • Establish credibility by initiating a relationship with an endorsing partner, such as the UN and/or foundations.
  • Develop a succinct, powerful headline to describe the project.
  • Celebrate and communicate the project’s success, while inspiring future actions.

In conclusion, this credible, powerful, creative solution provides a framework for companies to take action and direct their resources toward empowering consumers to make sustainable purchasing choices. Green StoryDoing also allows companies to proudly communicate their sustainability successes, generating confidence in consumers while inspiring others in the process.

The time for Green StoryDoing is now!

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Sustainable generation

By Sustainability

The first native sustainable generation

As you know from my previous two articles on the connection between Gen Alpha and Gen Z and sustainability, I’m fascinated by this topic. This is the third and final article in the series. I hope my articles have been inspiring and thought-provoking for you.

The research I’ve discovered seems to put Gen Alpha on a sustainability pedestal. They will be the generation to save the planet!

We’re proud of calling them the first native sustainable generation. But let’s think about this from the Gen Alpha point of view. When they hear these descriptions, what if they view this as older generations leaving them with a mess to clean up?  I can see their point.


We need to do everything we can now instead of looking to the younger generations to solve the problems we have created. This is why we need to take greater responsibility and bring urgency to our work in changing consumer behavior and developing better products. An important step in quantifying progress, engaging Gen Alpha in these areas, and setting them up well for the future is first defining key concepts to bring clarity and accountability to the conversation.


Key Concepts: Bringing Transparency

Most brands are part of the huge sustainability transformation. Change is happening quickly and so many companies are doing great work. I’ve discovered key concepts that are crucial in determining exactly where in that transformation a brand or company is at any point in time. Let’s get on the same page by defining these concepts.

Sustainable Brand

According to Forbes, a sustainable brand is one that has successfully integrated environmental, economic and social issues into its business operations. However, many companies that consider themselves to be sustainable only meet one-third of this definition. This is why we need to be able to describe accurately where brands are in the sustainability transformation.

Native Sustainable Brand

I chose this term to describe new brands that clearly have integrated environmental, economic and social issues into their business operations. These brands have been defined by the unique solutions they bring to the issues.


This term, coined nearly 40 years ago, describes the way companies exaggerate about their environmental credentials. In the European Union, it was recently found that nearly half of the “green online claims” being made by companies were exaggerated, deceptive, or false.


As more of the so-called Sustainable Brands have been found to be greenwashing, more organizations and governmental bodies have taken legal action to push back against this deception. Given what we know about Gen Alpha, they won’t be shy about calling out greenwashers. Gen Z has already been doing just that.


This term describes company behavior in response to fear of the level of scrutiny of companies that greenwash. Greenhushing companies intentionally stay quiet about their environmental accomplishments rather than face unwanted attention. At the current phase of sustainability transformation, it’s not surprising that companies would want to avoid scrutiny. At the same time, communicating about accomplishments is crucial to driving further transformation.

Green StoryDoing

This term applies the marketing term StoryDoing specifically to sustainability. While Green StoryTelling involves communicating the brand’s sustainability values, Green StoryDoing is about taking action and also provides a framework for companies to communicate about their credibility and accomplishments in relation to sustainability. The goal should be to incorporate Green StoryDoing into a company’s license to operate.

In conclusion, we need to act decisively to move away from Greenwashing and Greenhushing to Green StoryDoing. By defining these important trends in the interest of supporting Gen Alpha and Gen Z in Green StoryDoing, we take responsibility for our role in the situation. We can also better support brands in the sustainability transformation by providing transparency

Gen Alpha and Gen Z

Gen Z or Gen Alpha?

By Sustainability

Could Gen Z or Gen Alpha be the first truly “native sustainable” generation?


Each generation of workers comes with its own name or letter of the alphabet, such as Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials / Gen Y, Gen Z, and Gen Alpha. Plenty of research and articles are available on each generation. Today, I’d like to focus on Gen Z and Gen Alpha and their relationship with sustainability.

Let’s start with Gen Z, the generation that was born between 1995 and 2010.

Research featured in an article by the World Economic Forum states that Gen Z, “the first generation of ‘digital natives,’ shows the most concern for the planet’s well-being and influences others to make sustainability-first buying decisions.”

According to the article, Gen Z cares more about sustainable buying decisions than brand names. They are also inspiring other age groups to act more sustainably. For instance, their insistence on making values-based sustainable choices has influenced their Gen X parents, who are now also making more sustainable choices.

But is Gen Z the generation that will save the planet?

Probably not, for the reasons stated in the World Economic Forum article, The main reasons for consumers not adopting a more eco-friendly lifestyle are a lack of interest because they think it’s too costly or insufficient information.”

These research results align with research we at Old Surfer conducted with Hamilton Global Intelligence and CINT.

Does this mean that Gen Alpha will be the first native sustainable generation?


Mark McCrindle first coined the term Generation Alpha. In his article, The Future of Sustainability for Gen Alpha, he states that sustainability will be at the forefront for this generation. He says, Growing up, Generation Alpha will have access to more information and will increasingly be faced with the importance of sustainability, more than any generation before them, even more than Generation Z. For today’s young people, sustainability has become a lifestyle through purchasing and consuming products that avoid harming the environment as well as choosing products that are good for their own wellbeing.”

Research from the Annie E. Casey Foundation states that, Pre-pandemic, experts projected that Generation Alpha kids would follow in the activist footsteps of Generation Z and keep sustainability near the top of their priority list. Now, COVID-19’s radical reset of societal norms could further intensify this age group’s interest in reimagining a greener, healthier world.”

Dayna Winter states in her article, Generation Alpha: Everything Brands Need To Know, that Gen Alpha feels a deep responsibility to reverse the damage of past generations. Quoted in the article is Abdaal Mazhar Shafi, serial entrepreneur, milennial, and co-founder of UpstartED, an organization empowering equity-seeking, marginalized, and at-risk youth to discover their potential and make an impact. He shares the following insights from his work with Gen Alpha.

“These kids are starting to feel that they’re the ones who are going to suffer because of the consequences of inaction. They want to move quickly. We talk about sustainability, climate, nutrition, work, gender diversity, and race. These are topics that they bring up themselves, says Abdaal. “They want to shed light on these issues that have been overlooked or even silenced in some ways to try to improve life for all.”

Abdaal says that his and older generations came to their feeling of responsibility for protecting the planet later in life.  In contrast, he says that “These kids have had it from day one.”

Now that we have a sense of the relationship that Gen Z and Gen Alpha have to sustainability, I’d next like to consider the current state of affairs regarding the efforts of corporations and brands to respond to the rapidly growing importance placed on sustainability by consumers.

My observations are based on years of guiding corporations as they seek to adapt to consumer demands for sustainable products.

I’ve seen that major multinational corporations have been investing in the development of more sustainable products. While they have the goal of meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the speed of transformation varies from one corporation to another. One challenge in this process is consumers who are unwilling to pay more for sustainable products, meaning that the extra cost of transformation will not be fully passed on to the consumer.  With changing learning curves, simplification of these processes, and innovative solutions over the next few years, this transformation will happen faster, resulting in more sustainable products at lower prices.

The following factors will bring us as close as possible to the birth of our first Native Sustainable Generation. Lower product prices for the consumer. More detailed product information specifically related to sustainability.  Effective digital communication of this information. We need to understand  the context of this generation, which has felt acutely the social, educational, emotional, and health impacts of the pandemic. All of this means developing more specialized marketing that connects the corporations with the insights and behaviors of the largest consumer population in history, Gen Alpha.

In the next and final article in this series, we’ll explore the relationship between brands and Gen Alpha.


By Sustainability


In this article, I’ll introduce you to Generation Alpha (GenAlpha) by sharing key facts I’ve learned from leading experts. GenAlpha was first named by Mark McCrindle, a social analyst and demographer, in 2008.  I’ll share highlights of his work on social trends and generational analysis and I’ll also share ideas from other writers on marketing to GenAlpha. In a future article, I’ll share my insights on the intersection of sustainability, GenAlpha, and brands, based on this foundational work.

What is Generation Alpha?

GenAlpha was born between 2010 and 2024. It’s interesting to note that GenAlpha begins the same year the iPad was created. Every week, more than 2.5 million people are born into GenAlpha. By 2024, there will be more than 2 billion of them; according to McCrindle’s latest report, this will be the largest generation in history.

A Generation of Global Digital Natives

Tracey Wallace, Director of Marketing at MarketerHire, states that this generation represents a growing consumer phenomenon for three main reasons:

GenAlpha includes our COVID kids (some call them GenC), who masked in elementary school and were involved in remote schooling in various countries. As a result of this unique experience, while very young, they’ve spent a lot of time at home and have learned to use screens to communicate, learn, and play.

One impact of having such early access to screens and the internet means that GenAlpha is more global than prior generations. They’re comfortable sharing customs, values, and experiences across cultures online.

Growing up on Facetime, on the verge of the metaverse, and with the rising popularity of artifical reality, GenAlpha is more social and more visual than some prior generations.

Another source of GenAlpha information is the article, Generation Alpha Everything Brands Need To Know, by Dayna Winter, Lead Writer, Content Marketing at Shopify. This article introduced me to another GenAlpha expert, Ashley Fell, a social researcher and co-author of the bookGeneration Alpha. Fell describes how the economic, social, educational and psychological impacts of COVID will have a profound impact on this young generation. She also predicts they will value family more, admire “everyday superheroes,” and see work from home as a normal way of life. “They will be a more creative and resilient generation due to the challenges they experienced,” she says.

According to Winter:

“Generation Alpha may simultaneously be growing up faster—or “upaging”—because of their heightened awareness of the world around them, but they’ve also been cut off from critical in-person social interaction. This has increased their dependence on the technology that has replaced it. 

Screen time increased dramatically over the course of the pandemic, with school, activities, and even play dates moving to a virtual format. While possible fallout from this could be shorter attention spans or delayed social function, screen time today isn’t the passive experience of generations past. It is a two-way street where kids can have input, interact, and collaborate.”

According to Ashley Fell, “GenAlpha are using video games from a young age and it impacts their mindset in terms of being active participants to solutions.”

More interesting observations from Dayna Winter include “The generational technology gap is closing, too. Millennial parents have been raised in a digital world and understand the risks and challenges of connected kids—but also the benefits. According to the McCrindle report, tech-enabled play can “increase connectivity, facilitate community, and develop social and global skills.”  

Through so much technology use, GenAlpha kids are developing agency. According to Ashley Fell, “Generation Alpha are using video games from a young age and it impacts their mindset in terms of being active participants to solutions.”

GenAlpha and Sustainabilty

According to Mark McCrindle in his article, The Future of Sustainability for GenAlpha, “Growing up, Generation Alpha will have access to more information and will increasingly be faced with the importance of sustainability, more than any generation before them, even more than Generation Z. For today’s young people, sustainability has become a lifestyle through purchasing and consuming products that avoid harming the environment as well as choosing products that are good for their own wellbeing.”

Now that you have an overview of GenAlpha, in the next article we’ll explore GenAlpha and GenZ’s connection with sustainability.


By Sustainability

A few decades ago, cities were synonymous with urban grandiloquence and they even displayed a certain city pride in their tall buildings, wide avenues and large shopping malls.

Those were times when no one thought about incorporating environmental sustainability into urban development. Today, however, the tastes and preferences of the real estate and tourism markets demand sustainability.

What measures make a city more sustainable? What are the most widespread practices in the world?

The reduction of CO2, the transformation of public transport to electric, waste separation, recycling, the promotion of the bicycle as a means of transport, the generation of renewable energies, the creation of more green spaces, eco-tourism certifications and the regulation of plastic production are some of the most widespread measures because they have worldwide examples and models.

At Old Surfer, thanks to a great communication project, we have the possibility to work with some of the cities in Europe that are standouts in sustainability such as Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Berlin, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, Munich, Vienna, Zurich, Lyon and Barcelona.

However, the list extends worldwide, and many more are leading the way, such as Singapore, San Francisco, New York, Tokyo, Reykjavik, Montevideo and Vancouver.

As cities move forward, the real paradigm shift will be to change our perception of and relationship with the environment at the same time. That a big city may feel like a small city. That a main avenue may be overflowing with bicycles. That a major shopping mall may be an open-air mall instead of a mega-structure.

Fortunately, these paradigms are changing in the world and in our heads. Being more sustainable means relating better to our environment, being more connected to nature and living in a more balanced way.

These cities and these measures mark the path to sustainability, which is also the path to a better future for us all.


Terra Carta

By Sustainability

Old Surfer proudly supports the Terra Carta from HRH the Prince of Wales


But what does it mean?
The Terra Carta provides a roadmap to 2030 for businesses to move towards a more ambitious and sustainable future: one that will harness the power of Nature combined with the transformative power, innovation and resources of the private sector. The global business proposition outlines ten areas for action and comprises of nearly 100 actions for business as the basis of a recovery plan that puts Nature, People and Planet at the heart of global creation.

About the Terra Carta
Deriving its name from the historic Magna Carta, which inspired a belief in the fundamental rights and liberties of people over 800 years ago, the Terra Carta aims to reunite people and planet by giving fundamental rights and values to Nature, ensuring a lasting impact and tangible legacy for this generation.

In the words of HRH the Prince of Wales:
“The ‘Terra Carta’ offers the basis of a recovery plan that puts Nature, People and Planet at the heart of global value creation – one that will harness the precious, irreplaceable power of Nature combined with the transformative innovation and resources of the private sector.” HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES

Prince of wales

But what does it mean for us at Old Surfer?
It’s a clear sign that we’ve been on the right path since establishing our purpose: unlocking sustainability in businesses, brands, companies and governments. It is an honor to be included among the 447 highest-level local and global companies dedicated to sustainability, including BANCO SANTANDER, BANK OF AMERICA, DIAGEO, IBM, L’ORÉAL, PEPSICO, SIEMENS, UNILEVER, XEROX. We’re equally dedicated to working locally in support of the United Nations SDG2 -Zero Hunger. In Guatemala, where the child malnutrition issue is serious, we’re working with Granjazul on a variety of projects, including helping to advance Granjazul Plus, a nutrient-enriched egg. Our purpose is unlocking sustainability, whether globally or locally.

There is no Planet B.
Based on our experience with the most diverse companies in the world, we have discovered the urgent need for sustainability to be taken seriously in all sectors, with its success depending on the consumer. For this reason, we feel very grateful and honored to be included in Terra Carta. This recognition validates the path we’ve been on locally and globally, surfing the most rewarding wave of all, which is sustainability.


By Sustainability


Travelers have become increasingly aware of their ecological footprint, so they have begun to demand sustainable practices from the travel industry so as not to affect the balance of the places where they choose to vacation. “Enjoy a place yes, harm it no” seems to be the motto of the new type of traveler that is already being expressed in the logarithms of search engines around the world.

And if there is anyone who knows search trends, it is Google. In fact, in Google Trend the search for “green hotel” has quadrupled since 2020, and that is why the company has made the decision to provide a tool that meets this need, the Eco Certification of hotels on its Google Travel platform.

How does it work?

Google uses the following terms and definitions to align hotel sustainability practices: energy efficiency, water conservation, sustainable sourcing (organic and/or locally sourced food and beverage) and waste reduction.

By clicking on the “green certification” link, travelers will be able to see the details of the establishment’s specific sustainable practices, which will be uploaded and updated by the hotel’s own staff using the free Google My Business profile.

Google currently recognizes 28 independent certification programs to establish green credibility. These include Green Key, Leed, Green Seal, Green Globe and the Green Growth 2050 Standard.

This tool not only responds to the needs of a more conscious and committed traveler, but also offers more transparency against so-called “greenwashing”, where brands and institutions claim to care for the environment without any evidence in order to capture this growing demand.

At Old Surfer, we exist to unlock the latent sustainability in businesses and brands. That’s why these types of initiatives excite us. Remember, the next time you go on vacation, Google Travel is a reliable tool to help you find a place that cares for its environment and resources.


By Sustainability

Environmental awareness has been increasing year after year until it has become a social concern and all industrial sectors have undertaken – or are beginning to undertake – the search for more sustainable production models to leave the smallest possible footprint on the planet.

Perhaps there is no need to explain why sectors related to electricity, food or transportation should adopt more sustainable methods, nor do we need to think about it much when we talk about textiles, cosmetics, technology or automotive companies. But there are others where this explanation is not so obvious and a clear example of this is the film industry.

The demand for series and movies is increasing, which means that the film industry can become an excellent channel for transmitting messages about sustainable behavior and raising awareness among the population. In fact, in advertising, brands are beginning to demand certain sustainability criteria in their filming. And in some countries, there are even sustainability technicians whose job is to advise producers on how to make film “green” shoots. How? By reducing electricity consumption, recycling sets, optimizing transportation during filming and eliminating single-use plastics.

In Spain, one of the great references of this new cinematographic “green wave” is Another Way Film Festival, an initiative of the non-profit association Another Way, created to inform, educate and raise awareness about the climate crisis through culture, especially cinema. As agents of change, at Old Surfer we support and encourage the activity of this great team that works in alignment with the United Nation’s SDG 12 (Responsible Production and Consumption), 13 (Climate Action) and 17 (Partnerships to Achieve the Goals) of the UN Agenda 2030 for building a better world.

In addition to screening films related to sustainable development, the festival offers training courses for directors concerned about the environment along with talks, workshops and contests. Check them out!  And enjoy the 7th edition of the sustainable progressive film festival from October 21 to 28, 2021.

A wave that has already reached FORBES!

By Sustainability

At Old Surfer we exist to unlock the latent sustainability in brands and businesses, a purpose that is beginning to generate rewards. As agents of change, we are proud and committed to being involved with a media company like Forbes, and even more so for achieving it with the most comprehensive global research on consumer behavior and the UN’s sustainable development goals. Yes, we created a new wave that reached Forbes, a space in direct relationship with our audience, an audience that today has the enormous responsibility of leading sustainable change.

Old Surfer, Double Nomination for the Premios Latinoamérica Verde

By Sustainability

Old Surfer, Double Nomination for the Premios Latinoamérica Verde

When Old Surfer started on our sustainable path and defined our purpose of unlock the latent sustainability in businesses and brands, we never imagined such recognition. Thank you! The rewards came organically and for us this is a reason for pride and celebration, not for one project, but for two!
The first nomination in the Communication Category is for #SmileWithYourEyes, an idea that became a whole movement when we discovered the other smile, the smile that was taken away from us at the beginning of the pandemic, when the world ran out of smiles. As wave makers and agents of change, we could not leave it at that. It began as a response to the UN’s public call to the world’s communication agencies and we responded with a proposal as simple as it was powerful. We started with the idea of providing solutions to the problem of “the other health”, the emotional and psychological one, which still continues to affect more than a third of the world’s population. Looking at this problem as a starting point, we created a Call to Action that in a very short time became a movement: #SmileWithYourEyes. A call to discover a new kind of smile and it was quickly joined by leading brands that took our communication to heart. They took action, transforming smiles into donations of safe water and thousands of packets of protective gear that were taken to where they were needed to save lives.

The second nomination is Granjazul Plus for our client Granjazul, a finalist in the Human Development Category, Subcategory: Health. Granjazul Plus is an egg enriched with more nutrients than a normal egg, such as iron, zinc, selenium and vitamins A and D, it is the most important and healthy source of protein in Central America. It is a product of nutritional excellence that is linked to a sustainable production process; from the care and nutrition of the laying hens, through the production processes and a circular economy model. Granjazul has positioned itself as the number one sustainable egg brand in Central America and has been recognized and supported by the UN Global Compact, a unique distinction in the region that fills us with energy to bring the best protein to the furthest corner of Guatemala to fight malnutrition.

What is the Premios Latinoamérica Verde?
It is the most relevant Sustainability Festival in the region which each year awards, gives visibility to and creates networks among the best 500 social and environmental projects in Latin America. It thus contributes to boosting the green economy through the exhibition of regional initiatives in eight categories aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

What does it mean to be a double finalist in the Premios Latinoamérica Verde?
CNN: “A meeting with the most important actors in the region”.
El País: “The great reward for socio-environmental projects”.
El Comercio: “Exciting. Inspiring. Transformative”.
El Mercurio: “The Oscar for the environment”.
Telemundo: “The most important awards for our future”.
Infobae: “From Latin America to the world”.

What does it mean to us to be a double finalist?

It is an honor, a tremendous recognition of the effort and commitment that we assume as agents of change. It also means an enormous motivation to continue on the path that all of us who are part of the Old Surfer team have set for ourselves.

Click here to see our finalist projects:


Granjazul Plus