I have written on a number of occasions about the importance of green business practices – both because they are good for the world around us as well as because they can be profit drivers for an organization.
Once an organization has decided to adopt green practices, it is very important that they quantify the benefits to the environment. In fact, according to Cone, a leading cause branding and marketing agency, the details matter a great deal. Cone, in collaboration with The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, conducted its 2008 Green Gap Survey, focusing on on consumers’ understanding of and attitudes toward corporate environmental marketing claims. According to the survey, 70 percent of Americans indicated that quantifying the actual environmental impact influenced their decisions to purchase a product or service that has an environmental benefit.
Therefore, when my firm works with a client to produce a piece of marketing collateral that has environmentally-friendly elements, we strongly encourage them to devote some real estate to the numbers (i.e. when using 100% post-consumer recycled fiber, you can quantify, for example, energy, paper and water saved versus a non-recycled alternative).
A recent example of a best practice in green printing was the annual report for the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, which my firm produced. Inside the back cover, the foundation devoted a half page to the environmental benefits of using a specific Mohawk paper that is made with 100% post-consumer recycled fiber.
I have written in the past about resources available to quantify such environmental savings. One great paper calculator is managed by Environmental Defense, a leading environmental organization. I prefer it over other alternatives because it is a third-party tool and is not affiliated with the paper industry. Research has shown that when certifications are independent and transparent, they resonate more with the end user. Please click here to visit that post.