Environmental Sustainability

Nuts & Bolts: Stats
June 1, 2008

65% The increase in blogging posts on sustainability issues between Q1 2007 and Q2 2007. On the retail front, most discussions in November 2007 related to recycling initiatives run by major brands like Staples, Nike, Best Buy, Circuit City, etc. Source: Umbria, “Greenfield or Minefield” webinar, January 2008

Brand Matters: How Bright Is Your Green Light?
June 1, 2008

Green. Greener. Greenest. Just how would you rate your brand’s shade of green? Crayola lists nine different shades of green in its rankings of the top 50 crayon colors. From the original Green (ranked No. 21) to Caribbean Green (No. 6) to Asparagus (No. 26) to Screamin’ Green (No. 49), the hues of green are varied and eclectic. The same is true for brands’ environmental policies. Some brands are extroverts in their environmental policies; others are introverts. When thinking of bold greens, consider Whole Foods, Prius, Ben & Jerry’s, Burt’s Bees, Tom’s of Maine, Aveda and Starbucks. These brands resonate with consumers as good

Nuts & Bolts: Case Study
June 1, 2008

Challenge: Find a heavy-duty envelope with recycled content that could hold two pounds of material and would be a minimum of 11⁄4˝ thick. Solution: Use an expandable, heavy paper material envelope that was 85 percent recycled and printable on the exterior. Results: An outer envelope that accommodates thicker materials, is recyclable and remains affordable. From recycling toner to using recycled content in direct mail, companies across the board are wrestling with how to reduce their carbon footprints while still maintaining their bottom lines. For the Clearwater, Fla.-based BIC Graphic USA, a supplier of custom-imprinted promotional products, developing a more sustainable direct mail package proved

Editor’s Notes
June 1, 2008

Concern for the environment used to be on the fringe of society—something that most consumers and businesses could, like Scarlett O’Hara, worry about tomorrow. Now, with the harsh realities of climate change hitting us all hard, going green has become mainstream. And yet, I’m noticing a peculiar slant on the conversation, something that indicates a fear of being labeled a fringe-riding cuckoo. From consumer magazines to infotainment woven into the marketing campaigns of businesses looking to brand themselves as part of the eco-revolution, the corollary to going green has become, “Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger.” While I understand the hesitation to come

Forrester Research’s Dave Frankland on Environmental Trends
May 28, 2008

As environmental and social responsibility issues begin to collide to create a perfect storm for the direct marketing industry, where do companies in this sector stand when it comes to factoring these larger considerations into their business practices? Dave Frankland, senior analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based research firm Forrester Research, recently released a report on this subject that found direct marketers have been slow to move on this front for a variety of reasons. For Direct Marketing Needs a Green Wake-Up Call, Frankland interviewed 55 direct marketers on Forrester’s Direct Marketing Research panel in the first quarter of 2008. This week, he shares with Target

3 Harbingers of Green Printing
May 21, 2008

Green talk, of course, is cheap. The green transition, especially in the commercial printing industry, is expensive. As a result, the transition is far from complete, according to a recent special report entitled Printing Goes Green: A WhatTheyThink Primer on Environmental Sustainability in the Commercial Printing Industry,” put out by WhatTheyThink, a news and information site for the graphic communications industry. The report compiles the results of a March 2008 survey of commercial printing companies, describes the leading green certification organizations, and lists the steps that printers must take if they hope to become more environmentally sustainable and responsible. Here are three signs that

3 Ways to Protect Your ‘Greening’ Brand
April 23, 2008

Oops. The effort to green your company—both internally and for the whole world (well, prospective world that is) to see—was going so well. Then a blogger caught you in a little lie that he was only too happy to broadcast to that same world as “greenwashing.” Potential crisis is around the corner. What to do? “In the Internet world, it’s almost impossible to keep things under wraps,” says Perry Goldschein, the managing director of SRB Marketing in Denville, N.J., and author of “Conscious Clicks™: A Guide to eMarketing for People, Planet & Profit.” He continues, “Either you’re going to roll with it, or fight

Lose the Chlorine, Help the Environment
April 1, 2008

When evaluating greener paper options, take into consideration not just the source of the fiber in the available stocks but also the processes used to create these more environment-friendly sheets. In particular, the bleaching process produces harmful dioxin gases, even when taking post-consumer material and de-inking it for reuse. The following terminology, as reported by San Francisco–based paper manufacturer New Leaf Paper on its Web site, applies to papers that have been created without chlorine for bleaching and, thus, are less harmful to the environment: Unbleached—Unbleached paper is either gray or dyed during paper-making. This process involves the least environmental impact. Unbleached paper

The Green Production Process
April 1, 2008

Felt-covered amphibians and marketing managers agree: It’s not easy being green. But that doesn’t stop Kermit or your friendly neighborhood production company from trying. “Green” is more than today’s favorite buzzword. Marketing managers should put an ear to the ground for the environmentally sound practices of the companies with which they do business. In doing so, they can save money, exhibit stewardship, reduce their carbon footprints and even improve ROI. Find Where the Green Savings Grow For many years, paper has been easy to recycle, so all direct marketing production companies make it part of their plant processes. But direct marketing managers need to

5 Rules for the LOHAS Market
March 19, 2008

The acronym LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) may not roll off the tongue, but it sure represents plenty of American influence. Conservatively estimated by the LOHAS Web site, the LOHAS market involves 41 million people, or 19 percent of U.S. adults, and $209 billion for goods and services focused on health, the environment, social justice, personal development and sustainable living. (Other estimates increase the percentage to a full third of Americans with $500 billion to spend in 2008.) Also referred to as “Cultural Creatives”—a term coined by Yale sociologist and author Dr. Paul Ray in the book “The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million