Concern for the environment is making its way from news headlines into retail shopping lines. According to national research, about 35 million Americans routinely buy environmentally friendly or "green" products. Nationally, more businesses are taking notice of consumers' growing desire to go green.
This summer, Ad Age magazine held its inaugural "Green Conference," celebrating marketers that are integrating environmental sustainability into their brands. Conference presenters included Ben & Jerry's, HP and Toyota.
At Tipping Point Media, we have begun a concerted effort to make green marketing an integral part of our business. Here are a few tips based on our experience:
- Conduct an internal audit to determine actions your organization can take to cut down on the waste generated, conserve energy and improve the way you operate your business.
Our audit looked at routine office activities, including the amount of trash generated and whether staff members were recycling; whether office documents were printed on two-sided, black-and-white paper whenever possible; how much office paper was created from recycled products; were lights and computers turned off when employees left; the amount of paper towels purchased, and the environmental and fiscal impact of switching to a hand dryer.
- Service businesses can consider extending green business practices to their client relationships. We do not preach to our clients, but we offer them options that can help the environment while helping their bottom line. All of the marketing plans we develop now integrate environmental strategies and options. For example, our suggested activities include using soy-based inks and recycled paper for brochures and direct-mail campaigns.
- Consider ways to make your offices more eco-friendly or consider Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified space when your lease expires. Later this fall, we will be moving into a LEED-certified office building.
- Join the Rochester Green Business Network. The Environmental Management Council's group provides a forum for sharing ideas and experiences to improve environmental performance. Joining may make sense for your organization.
The steps we suggest may not be feasible or applicable for all employers. However, one business, no matter how small, can make a big difference. After all, helping the environment while meeting consumers' needs is every organization's business.
Michelle Ashby is president and CEO of Tipping Point Media. With over 15 years of advertising and sales management, promotional and event marketing experience, Michelle has first-hand knowledge of project management and results-driven marketing campaigns. Much of her time is invested in researching new and emerging media that will further develop the complete consumer engagement programs at Tipping Point Media. She is formally educated in Journalism and Advertising and holds a Bachelors of Science degree from Ohio University in Athens, OH. Michelle was recognized for outstanding community service and leadership by the Rochester Business Journal as a "Forty Under 40" recipient in 2006.
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