Impact Breakfast Recap, Takeaways and Tips

Last week in bustling Brooklyn, NY we had the honor of bringing together an amazing group of thought leaders and industry influencers that are truly investing in corporate social responsibility.

Whether you were able to attend, or had to sit this one out, we wanted to share with you the insights we gained. Here’s a quick recap of the event and some key takeaways that we hope you will find helpful!

Ronny Sage, CEO of ShoppingGives, kicked off the event by discussing the importance of creating a positive impact through transparency, honesty, and being present.

“We believe that by enabling you all to make more money, we enable you all to do more good and to create more impact.”


Michelle Grant, Head of Retail of Euromonitor International

Not only did she do a great job moderating our thought leader discussions, she delivered some great insights into current consumer behavior trends.

“They [consumers] really are banking on change, there’s no hiding in the digital age.”

Did you know?

• 45% only buy from brands they trust completely
• 57% try to have positive impact on the environment
• 61% of americans give back

Michelle’s Key Takeaways:

• Collaborate with others
• Build sustainability into your business
• Be prepared to be fully transparent


Zak Normandin, Founder and CEO of Iris Nova

Zak focused on how D2C can approach tackling issues that matter. As a leader in the beverage industry, he understands the unavoidable stigma surrounding certain products – like plastic.

“It’s really hard to do this at scale, but we have the opportunity to build a solution to these problems at our level.”

Zak’s Key Takeaways:

• No matter the product, there is a lot of opportunities to do good
• Many campaigns are against single use products, hear your customers and begin to think ahead of the trends
• You may not be able to solve a global issue, but you can create an impact in your local community


Kevin Lee, Director of Marketing and Ecommerce at Zachary Prell

Kevin pulled back the curtain to show us what it means to have corporate social responsibility at the core of their brand.

“Ask stakeholders in your own team to embrace sustainability and start that conversation. We all have voices and we should all speak up.”

Kevin’s Key Takeaways:

• Build authentic partnerships with the people you donate to or help
• People are listening, so use your voice for good


Ryan Babenzien, CEO and Co-Founder of GREATS

Ryan stressed the importance of using responsible materials and creating sustainable products. GREATS recently began producing a shoe made out of recycled ocean plastic and believes that consumers see the value in better ethical supply chain practices.

“It’s not rocket science. If there’s something you can make in a better factory, you should. If you can use a material that’s better that will last longer, you should.”

Ryan’s Key Takeaways:

• The younger generations are well educated on and care about sustainability, while opportunity lies within the older generation to educate them and change their behaviors
• Consumers are willing to pay more if you communicate your ethical practices
• People often believe that value equals price, but that’s not accurate


Final Thoughts:

Joe Yakuel of Agency Within concluded the event with the idea that everyone can relate to giving back a little more, and we agree.

“Take 10 minutes each day to think about what you did to improve your community that was beyond what is transactional, that’s my challenge to you.”


The bottom line is that CSR strategies and giving back is not something you should do, but something you need to do to make the world that much better.

Thank you again for coming to chat with us about the importance of CSR strategies! We hope you feel ready to do even more good for the world!