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Posts Tagged ‘Green Business’

Don't Buy This Jacket – Inspiring Black Friday Ad from Patagonia

by Louise Mulherin on November 28th, 2011

In the midst of all the store flyers advertising Black Friday deals, I saw this ad in the New York Times from Patagonia. I loved the message, what a refreshing approach to the mass consumerism of the day.

With the catchy headline, Patagonia aimed to draw attention to the deeper message – the impact that manufacturing has on our environment. But what struck me more was their approach. The ad outlined the harm that the making of just one jacket has, and in specific terms that don’t take an engineering degree to understand. For example, the jacket requires 135 liters of water in the manufacturing process, that’s enough water, in their estimate, for 45 people for one day.

What’s unusual about this approach, in my experience, is the transparency about one specific product and its impact. It seems many more companies communicate their environmental successes by talking about what they have left out of the process, or what was theoretically saved by using less-intrusive raw materials or methods. That approach might give some consumers a false sense of environmental security – this product uses less material or less energy to produce, therefore it’s better. Which may not always be the case.

Some consumers might read the Patagonia ad in a negative way. Sure, there’s a bit of a guilt trip there, especially compared to the feeding-frenzy mentality of Black Friday sales. Full disclosure, my household was not immune to Black Friday either, my husband did take advantage of a one-day sale on my Christmas gift (purchased online). I didn’t go anywhere near a shopping center, not to make a statement, it’s just not my thing to line up with hundreds of other people to save a few bucks.

Patagonia included a call to action in the ad, asking people to take the Common Threads Initiative pledge. The pledge asks for action on both sides, for example they pledge to make useful gear that lasts a long time, and to repair gear or find a new home for it when a consumer no longer needs it. Consumers pledge to only buy what they need, to fix what’s broken, and to keep items out of the landfill. Their goal is to get 50,000 people to sign the pledge, and they are tracking results online. It will be interesting to follow this Initiative to see if it gains traction. Kudos to Patagonia for asking for mutual responsibility in the effort.

In today’s environmental, and economic, climate, I hope their message was as impactful to others as it was to me.

First posted on Nice To Be Seen.

Green Earth PR in PR Tactics Magazine

by Nancy Rogers on July 7th, 2010

Amy Jacques, Public Relations Tactics news editor, sought comments on CSR best practices from Green Earth PR Network consultants along with communication pros from Ben and Jerry’s, Eastman Kodak and Microsoft.

The industry trade publication “interviewed communications leaders at a variety of companies to find out why CSR is more important now than ever and how they are conveying their socially conscious mindset to their clients and to the community at large.” GEPR responses addressed our values as well as tools and tactics including social media. Please join the conversation and add your comments at
http://www.prsa.org/Intelligence/Tactics/Articles/view/8700/1017/Socially_conscious_Companies_share_CSR_best_practi.

Older than Earth Day

by Nancy Rogers on April 20th, 2009

Being older than Earth Day, I truly appreciate this global celebration as a planetary new year.  Although not part of my school curriculum, stewardship was an integral part of my daily life. Growing up we exchanged produce and plants from various networks—citrus and caladiums from aunts in Florida; peaches, melons, beans, tomatoes, squash and corn when in season on family farms; fish from local ponds; beef and pork raised by an uncle. With this background of weeding, picking, and preserving, I am perplexed about the “discovery” of gardening.

Today, much of my reading and all my work centers on sustainability, so I’m surprised when a dinner companion asks if I think business has any interest in “all this green stuff.” Equally disturbing reminders are claims of being greenest in the world that echo across social networks. Fortunately these boasts do not go unchallenged, the Grammar of Green monitors are at work detecting greenwashing.

Earth Day offers an annual benchmark to reflect on what can be accomplished through our conscious choices and how we influence others.  Being aware and making an effort are steps worth taking toward becoming better stewards. Take action this Earth Day and make the next year one of accomplishments worth noting in 2010.

“When you’ve finished washing and dressing each morning, you must tend your planet.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943