Bill Gates just invested in this company that grows palm oil in a lab—not the rain forest

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The destruction of rain forest to make room for more palm oil production is one of the leading causes of climate change. C16 Biosciences wants to offer companies another source. On a typical trip to the grocery store, you probably buy at least one product made with palm oil, which is found in everything from shampoo and detergent to pizza dough, ice cream, and instant ramen. It’s the most widely used vegetable oil in the world, with 75.7 million metric tons of production expected globally each year. And despite commitments from food companies to improve sourcing, it’s still a major driver of deforestation as palm oil plantations continue to cut and burn down tropical forests to make more room to grow oil palms. Read Full Story

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Surprise: Your cleaning supplies are full of fossil fuel-based ingredients

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As part of its plan to lower its footprint, Unilever is removing petrochemicals from its home cleaning products. Benzene, a chemical found in crude oil, might also be in your laundry detergent (you might miss it—it’s often in the form of somewhat unpronounceable ingredients such as sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate). Other petrochemicals are also commonly used to make similar products. But Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies, now plans to transition the ingredients in its line of home cleaning products—including dishwashing liquid and laundry detergent—completely away from fossil-fuel-based carbon. Read Full Story

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BP wants to become the world’s largest renewables producer (but still pump a lot of oil)

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Its fossil fuel production will shrink by at least 1 million barrels of oil a day compared to what it produced in 2019 as it expands its clean energy portfolio. But the company will still be a major contributor to climate change. One of the largest oil companies in the world is now making a major shift to renewable electricity. By 2030, BP plans to spend $5 billion a year on low-carbon energy, becoming one of the largest producers of renewables in the world. The company announced a new strategy today that it says “will reshape its business as it pivots from being an international oil company focused on producing resources to an integrated energy company.” Read Full Story

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How COVID-19 has dramatically changed business at Volvo, and what they’re doing about it

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30-second summary: ClickZ hosted a webinar, The Impact of COVID-19 on the Automotive Industry & Marketing with Trevor Hettesheimer, Manager, KPI’s, Analytics, Search & Planning at Volvo. There has been a sharp drop in automotive sales compared to the 2020 forecast in January, which predicted 16.8 million in total sales and 13.4 million in retail sales. As a result of nationwide shutdowns combined with an oil price war, automotive industry sales were down 41% in March 2020 compared with the previous year. To help mitigate the impact on its business, Volvo took inventory of their U.S. dealerships and assessed who could remain open for sales and service. They then assessed what dealers could do business online and brainstormed ways they could safely deliver cars or allow consumers in lockdown to have their cars serviced. Hettesheimer noted that the most significant drop in sales would likely be April at 60-80% below …

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This automated checkout app tries to make shopping feel safe again

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As the immersive retail startup Showfields reopens its doors in New York City, it is launching a contactless in-store app to help customers feel comfortable shopping during the pandemic. As late as March, customers at the four-story shop of Soho-based retailer Showfields were lining up to take a slide into inventive physical installations (think artificial forests and shiny discos) where they could touch and test products on offer, like premium haircare from Act and Acre, olive oil from startup Brightland , and art from independent artists like Azuki Furuya. Read Full Story

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Only one in five marketers have a strategy in place for optimizing their martech stack

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30-second summary: Ascend2’s Martech Stack Optimization survey asked nearly 300 B2B and B2C marketers how are they addressing the challenge of optimizing their martech stack in 2020. 19% of respondents indicated that they’ve implemented a martech stack strategy, while nearly 60% of respondents are currently working on or developing a strategy. Improving marketing efficiency is the top challenge respondents faced, followed by improving revenue attribution. Data analysis, integrations, and real-time processing are key features that marketers look for when implementing an effective martech stack. Nearly 90% of respondents indicated that they either plan to, or will continue to, invest in their martech stack in the coming year. In January, research-based marketing firm, Ascend2, surveyed nearly 300 marketing professionals to assess how they’re addressing the increasing use of different marketing technologies (martech) within their organizations. The survey, conducted during the week of January 13 th , 2020, was answered by a …

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Big Oil is cheap: Should the government take it over?

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The bottom is falling out the fossil fuel industry. The best way to ensure a transition away from oil that helps the people currently employed in the sector might be having the government—not the market—manage it. When the price of oil cratered because of the coronavirus crisis and a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, the Trump administration proposed spending $3 billion to fill up the U.S.’s strategic oil reserve and save the oil industry—a line item that didn’t make it in the Senate’s final stimulus bill, but that the administration plans to continue to pursue. Some environmentalists have a different suggestion: With the price of oil so low, the value of fossil fuel companies has also cratered, so the government could just take ownership of the reeling fossil fuel industry, dismantle it in a way that’s fair to workers and states, and help speed the necessary transition to …

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Interdisciplinarity: How to Integrate Organic Search, Paid Search, and Content Teams

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Posted by HeatherPhysioc As an industry, we talk a good game about collaboration, but the truth is it’s not really happening the way we tell our clients and bosses it happens. We stroll into new business pitches and make big claims about how “integrated” we are. We preach that our recommendations are better because we have a more “holistic” offering. But whether it’s across agencies working on the same client, different teams working within the same agency, or different teams in-house on the client side, collaboration is much harder to achieve in reality than we make it look on the outside. More often than not, experts get sucked into their respective silos, buried by the day-to-day task lists of their jobs, focusing on their own areas of expertise. Agencies write SEO scopes and PPC scopes separately, often without accounting for content resource needs to make the channels successful. Teams bring …

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5 emerging tech and how to leverage them for marketing success

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30-second summary: OTT is solving many of the problems that traditional TV advertising has faced, and the ability for brands to get extremely granular and target their ideal customers better will make this marketing medium a hot topic in the new year. Amazon’s Twitch is a perfect example of a niche network that is Gen Z heavy, has an audience that’s uber-engaged, and offers its own advertising placements that can be catered to reach this audience, like in-stream and video advertising. The real magic of AI image recognition lies with the innovative companies that have started to crawl all of the images on the web and offer them as a way for advertisers to get placements on those pages — even on the images themselves in some situations. Pinterest’s demographics and usage are a match made in heaven for a wide swath of B2C products. Whether it’s fashion, home decor …

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How would an SEO agency be built today? Part 1: Consumers and trends

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The pandemic put everything to a halt. Then, it forced people and businesses alike in the beginner’s mind . The Zen concept hints at a seeming paradox: as you know more and more about a subject, you tend to dismiss other possibilities. What follows is a quest of shaping choices for the near future in a three-part piece that highlights a core question — How would you build an SEO agency in 2020? We’ll explore the complexity of the topic, mapping key touchpoints that create the agency landscape, from assessing current trends on consumer behaviour, to how key partners of an SEO agency have changed: Consumer and business trends that are emerging and transforming the way people interact. (part one) The current SEO agency business model and its in-depth analysis. (part two) The possibilities ingrained in thinking about what a reshaped SEO agency of 2020 and beyond looks like. (part …

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Sonatype ranks sixth on Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators

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The software company cracks the list for the second straight year. The open-source software development company encourages employees to take one day every other week to work on a passion project—more than half of Sonatype’s products began as “innovation day” experiments. Employees can also take advantage of biannual hack-o-­vations, forming small teams to devote an entire week to developing a new idea. Last year, the company launched Sonatype Labs, an internal think tank and incubator focused primarily on open-source security. Read Full Story

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