30 November 2017Trademarks

INTA Berlin 2017: Why CSR is crucial for brands

Companies have evolved from philanthropic efforts to having a truly embedded corporate social responsibility (CSR), explained Etienne Sanz de Acedo, CEO of the International Trademark Association (INTA).

Earlier today, November 30, Sanz de Acedo opened INTA’s Brand Authenticity conference, taking place in Berlin, Germany. He welcomed 120 attendees from more than 30 countries.

The world is in a period of major challenges, he explained, listing global warming, water prices and large scale population displacement as three of the key problems.

“Greenhouse gas levels are the highest in 800,000 years, and CO2 concentration has grown by 30% since the beginning of this century,” said Sanz de Acedo.

On a more positive note, the CEO noted that consumers are increasingly expecting brands to behave in a better way, and that millennials, when choosing companies, are looking for businesses that are authentic, sustainable, and have strong CSR.

He added that companies are paying more attention to certain issues, such as restoring nature, ensuring dignity and fairness, and valuing diversity.

Why has INTA hosted a brand authenticity conference?

According to Sanz de Acedo it’s because of the three Ps—people and planet, followed by profit, as businesses need to make money. “It’s about being authentic to consumers, employees, stakeholders and society at large.”

He added that INTA was ensuring that IP professionals speak the language of companies and transcend purely legal concepts.

In May, Sanz de Acedo outlined the association’s strategic plan for 2018-21: promoting the value of trademarks and brands, reinforcing consumer trust, and embracing innovation and change.

“But we cannot talk brands, consumers or change without paying attention to integrity and CSR, he said. “We need to be a true not-for-profit and a true corporate socially responsible organisation.”

He also noted that INTA perhaps needed to communicate more about what it does.

“A lot of people think there was a lot of food waste at the Annual Meeting [in Barcelona, in May]. Not true, we donate that,” said the CEO.

He concluded: “This is the starting point of a conversation going on over the next [few] years.”

INTA’s Brand Authenticity conference is taking place between November 30 and December 1 in Berlin, Germany.

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