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creating value through values

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Photo: Giovanni Randisi

 
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sustainable business solutions

 

At Blu Advisory, we understand that building a respected and profitable enterprise characterised by responsibility and innovation must be driven by a careful alignment of behaviour and positioning.

That can only come from an awareness of perceptions, an acknowledgement of reality, and a clear vision for the future. And, above all, from alignment and motivation around common values that resonate with all key stakeholders – customers, employees, and investors.

For nearly 3 decades, we have provided sustainable business advisory services to major brands and clean technology startups and help each to create short-term results and long-term value.  

For early stage companies, we focus on defining the value proposition and attracting investors and customers. For majors, we help protect and enhance their most valuable asset, their reputation. For all, we work with senior management to establish a "virtuous performance cycle" using communications to influence behaviour, improve results, and strengthen reputation.

RESEARCH

We use a proprietary method of diagnostics, including best practice and competitive benchmarking, client and industry assessments, multi-stakeholder auditing and SWOT analysis to understand obstacles and opportunities. And to set priorities.

STRATEGY

Based on a unique scoring system to validate the research results, we next use proven and professionally facilitated strategic visioning sessions to identify key business and positioning priorities. From this, we advise on key business and communications objectives, and help develop optimal strategies and appropriate actions.

These may include re-thinking the client's mission, vision and values, developing/updating environmental, social and governance policies and programs, re-defining the value proposition or, often, better articulating the go-to-market strategy. We also do a ton of work advising on international protocols, guidelines, standards such as AA1000SES, GRI, CDP, UN Global Compact, EcoCert, UNPRI, etc. We’ve even developed two of them: World Lottery Association’s Responsible Gaming Framework, and the Global Cannabis Partnership’s Responsible Cannabis Framework.

Once the plan is on track, we move to the important business of sharing your story to secure investors, partners, clients and employees!

POSITIONING

Turning a science project into a business demands more than a proof of concept, quality IP protection and a lot of enthusiasm, it requires being able to effectively package and clearly articulate why your stakeholders should care, why they should invest or buy or promote your solution. Same thing for well established businesses seeking to improve their reputation, grow market share and recruit talent.

Our positioning services include such things as writing the positioning statement, re-branding the company or products (names and visual identities); (re)writing Mission, Vision and Values; creating and implementing a credible investor relations programs, including the crucial (and sometimes dreaded) investor pitch; building a credible and impactful B2B, B2C and/or B2B2C marketing communications strategy and plan; and building targeted communications platforms, including web and social media, explainer animations, world-class videos, employee engagement, cause marketing, and others.

Ask about our service packages, including Mobile Mentorship and Virtual VP, and other project based offerings.

Photo: Wil Stewart

BOOK BY RICK PETERSEN

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"The problem will be solved by a symphony with everyone playing a different instrument. Hopefully we’ll all be playing the same song." – Jeffrey Hollender, CEO, Hollender Sustainable Brands and Founder, Seventh Generation.

Quote from Voices for Sustainability, by Rick Petersen, Principal, Blu Communications. The book features insights from international thought leaders and practitioners in sustainable development and, for those with no voices, photos from some of the world's best photographers.

Email us for an electronic copy.

 

 
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clients

 

We have supported a wide variety of clients across many sectors. Some are privately held companies, others publicly traded, some are government agencies, others are non-profits. Some are local or national in scope, others are truly global. Some are well established brands and others are just starting out. All have one thing in common: they want to create a meaningful and sustainable business that provides value to their investors, partners, and customers.

For some, the challenges are external: a change in legislation; a corporate takeover; shifting demographics; evolving stakeholder expectations; evolving markets; or sometimes a crisis. For others, it’s internal: a change in leadership; an organisational restructuring; or an introduction of new products, markets, or operations.

For new companies, it is kind of “all of the above”, living as they do in daily flux. In all cases, the imperative is to transform challenge into opportunity.

While the situations may differ, we bring solutions proven in our clients' sectors and best practices honed by leaders across multiple industries and regions.

At Blu Advisory, we have advised the following clients in their quest to becoming leading and sustainable businesses.

Cleantech:

- TMX Group
- Cycle Capital Management
- 5N Plus
- National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy
- Texdel
- Inno-3B
- Aeponyx
- Arda Power
- Electrobac
- Jaza Energy
- Lito
- Kelvin Storage
- Mogile
- Polystyvert
- Netlift
- Aeponyx
- Inno-3B
- UlysseBiotech
- Sabrtech

Energy & Resources:

- Shell
- Enbridge
- Kruger
- Encana
- Cliffs Natural Resources
- Rio Tinto Alcan
- Kruger

Finance and Insurance:

- National Bank of Canada
- CIBC Mellon
- Standard Life
- ING
- Power Corporation of Canada

Healthcare and Pharma:

- AstraZeneca
- Novartis

Lottery & Gaming:

- World Lottery Corporation
- Loto-Quebec
- Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation
- Atlantic Lottery Corporation
- Interprovincial Lottery Corporation

Manufacturing:

- Gildan Activewear
- Louisville Bedding
- Europe's Best
- Saputo

Media:

- Yellow Pages Group
- TC Media

Retail:

- Walmart
- The Gap
- Yellow Shoes

Charities:

- Montreal General Hospital Foundation
- Fondation Dr. Julien
- Quebec Ensemble

 

Photo: fancycrave

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PEOPLE

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Rick Petersen, Principal of Blu Advisory, is a pioneer in values-based communications. For more than three decades he has worked with leading organisations in Canada, the US and internationally to help them overcome obstacles - real and perceived - and to capitalise on opportunities to achieve their business goals – all through values-based communications.

He was described in Marketing magazine as “one of the world’s leading experts in corporate responsibility” and, in 2009, was ranked as one of “Quebec’s 10 Green Leaders” in the business journal, Les Affaires. He was the founder of the annual Tremblant Forum on Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, one of Canada’s leading international conferences. Articles by Rick have appeared in Corporate Governance Quarterly, Marketing, and the book, Sustainable Development & Communications. His own book, Voices for Sustainability, was released in 2011. He is currently host and executive producer of the web tv series, Voices for Sustainability, which profiles the next generation of sustainable business leaders (www.voices.solutions).

Prior to founding Blu Communications in 2011, Rick was Executive Vice-President, Corporate Citizenship for one of the world’s largest apparel companies, where he was responsible for global environmental performance, social compliance, NGO relations, engagement among 42,000 employees, community investment, as well as all internal and corporate communications.

Rick was, for seven years, Partner at NATIONAL Public Relations – the fifth largest such firm in the world, and founded the pan-Canadian Corporate Responsibility communications unit, a practice that was ranked in the Top 10 in the World for communications firms by Corporate Responsibility Officer magazine. Rick and his team served clients in numerous industry sectors and regions and helped them successfully navigate both crises and opportunities.  

Rick served on the Advisory Board for the Carbon Disclosure Project (the world’s largest network of institutional investors), the Advisory Board of the Network for Business Sustainability (Canada’s leading sustainable business think tank), and was the author of the Capital Markets and Sustainability report for the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. Rick is an active speaker across Canada and internationally at a wide range of conferences, including those on investor relations, green business, labour rights, ethical marketing, human resources, and corporate positioning. He is a guest lecturer at several Canadian universities in both Masters level business and communications programmes. Rick is also currently a mentor for the EcoFuel Accelerator programme of Cycle Capital Management supporting new ventures in the cleantech sector.

Rick is also a serial entrepreneur, including being the co-founding Naked Sports Innovations, a Seattle-based manufacturer of the revolutionary Naked running band (www.NakedSportsInnovations.com), now sold to serious trail runners, triathletes and marathoners in over 75 countries globally. More recently, he co-founded the Global Cannabis Partnership (www.globalcannabispartnership.com) - a collaboration of leaders in the government-sanctioned adult-use recreational cannabis industry. With representation from government, private-sector and affiliate organizations, the Partnership works to create international standards for the safe and responsible production, distribution and consumption of legal recreational cannabis.

Active in the community, Rick is a member of the Board of Directors of the McGill University Health Centre Foundation, and has served on the Boards of the Fondation de Dr Julien, Oxfam Quebec, Public Relations Without Borders, Students in the Running, and the Ruiter Valley Land Trust. A busy father of "children" from 3 to 30 (!), he is also an avid age group triathlete and has competed in 12 Ironman and shorter distance triathons in the last five years.

Photo: Frank V.

gallery

While most of our mandates are confidential client strategies and initiatives, some result in public-facing campaigns designed and implemented with our team of designers and programmers. Here are some recent examples.

 

Video: Trailer for new series by Rick Petersen, Voices for Sustainability