Archive for October, 2009

Ogilvy & Mather New York Launch NYC’s First Corporate Bike Sharing Program

Supporting efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and LEED application for its new green headquarters at the Chocolate Factory on 11th Avenue, Ogilvy & Mather New York has launched the City’s first corporate bike sharing program. The program includes the creation of 150 covered bicycle spaces in the agency’s new garage to house the 50 Breezer bicycles the agency purchased, and to accommodate the growing number of agency employees who bicycle to work every day. Some 200-plus agency employees have already taken a bicycle safety course offered by NY Bikes, and the agency is offering free helmets for those who join the program and want to use the loaner bicycles. Shower facilities are available to those who participate in the OgilvyBikes program. “When we moved to our new building we purposefully incorporated as many green elements as possible, underscoring sustainability as an important business objective for Ogilvy,” explained Gunther Schumacher, Chief Operating Officer of Ogilvy & Mather North America and lead driver of the OgilvyBikes program. “The OgilvyBikes program comes at a time when the City is opening up streets for bicycles and a greater number of our staff is looking to be part of a movement driving environmental change close to home, while getting fit and having fun at the same time.” In launching OgilvyBikes, the agency created an event designed to share the joy of exploring NY’s neighborhoods with experienced agency bike riders and those new to navigating NY on two wheels. Images of the ride are posted on twitter to #ogbikes1. Ogilvy & Mather has long supported environmental causes on a pro-bono basis and through its OgilvyEarth practice that works with clients on sustainability initiatives. It recently won a series of awards for the “Polar Bear” campaign for the Environmental Defense Fund and has just launched the Hopenhagen campaign for the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December.

October 29, 2009 at 10:47 am

Southwest Airlines Introduces Its ‘Green Plane’

In addition to not having to pay to check your bags, here’s another reason Southwest Airlines is becoming one of the airlines to watch.  The airline recently announced its ‘Green Plane’, an innovative idea that marries efficiency, environmentally responsible products, customer comfort, and reduced waste and weight. This plane, a Boeing 737-700, will serve as a test environment for new environmentally responsible materials and customer comfort products.  All of the initiatives being tested on this Green Plane, when combined, will equate to a weight savings of almost five pounds per seat, thus saving fuel and reducing emissions, along with adding recyclable elements to the cabin interior and reducing waste.  “Southwest is committed to continuing to lead the industry in emissions reductions through fuel efficiency. Efficiency in fuel consumption benefits our company as well as the environment, and this has been part of our business model since the beginning,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest’s Chairman, President, and CEO. “As we look to the future, we know climate change remains of vital importance to our industry, our company, and our customers, so Southwest works hard every day in every area to be a responsible steward of the environment.”  Some of the eco-friendly products being tested on the aircraft are InterfaceFLOR Carpet, Seat Covers, Life Vest Pouch, Foam Fill and Passenger Seat Rub Strips.  In addition to the Green Plane, Southwest also announced the Nov. 1 kickoff of its more robust onboard recycling program, which is a co-mingled system that will allow the airline to capture more recyclable material and divert it from the waste stream. “The initiative by the Southwest Airlines Green Team, Facilities Maintenance, Inflight Department, and Provisioning Department was a truly heroic effort; when you serve nearly 68 cities there are often 68 different ways to implement a program,” Kelly says. “We appreciate the hard work of our recycling vendor, Republic Services, and we are excited to take a very effective recycling program and make it even better.”

October 29, 2009 at 10:46 am Study Focuses On Ethical Grocery Products

Despite the economic downturn of 2008-2009, ethical grocery products are continuing to make headway in the market, especially when contrasted with the relatively flat market for conventional groceries. Indeed, by many accounts, consumer demand is steadily increasing for products that fulfill eco-friendly, natural, organic, local, humane, and fair trade criteria. Major marketers and retailers are increasingly tapping into this trend by offering more ethical products, upping their corporate responsibility efforts through energy-efficient “green” facilities and sustainable business practices, and increasing their associated cause-related marketing efforts. Underpinning market advancement is ongoing strong consumer demand for products perceived to be healthier and safer. According to Packaged Facts’ February 2009 consumer poll, approximately one-fourth of U.S. adult shoppers frequently buy certified organic food or beverage products, and one-third are usually willing to pay more for organic foods — even in the midst of economic recession. The report, “Ethical Food and Beverage, Personal Care and Household Products in the U.S.; Conscientious Consumerism and Corporate Responsibility in the New Economy, 2nd Edition,” builds on the analysis presented in the previous edition, but also examines key issues and trends affecting the marketplace across two classifications—Food & Beverages and Non-Food Products (which includes personal care products & household products). Coverage includes historical and projected retail sales estimates from 2005 through 2014, case studies of key marketers and retailers, and trends in new product development and competitive positioning. Also covered are government regulations and certifying organizations, mergers and acquisitions, retail trends, eco-conscious demographic profiles, and international trends. For more information visit:

October 29, 2009 at 10:44 am 1 comment

CVS Rewards Customers Who Decline Plastic Bags

CVS/pharmacy is encouraging shoppers to cut down on the use of single-use plastic bags.  The GreenBag Tag program rewards members of the company’s ExtraCare loyalty programming for declining plastic bags when making a purchase.  Available in-stores for 99 cents, GreenBagTag is made with corn-based material, an annually renewable resource, as well as 100% recycled silicone, and is packaged in 100% recycled paper. Shoppers can purchase GreenBagTag for themselves or as a gift for environmentally-conscious friends and family; each tag must be used with an ExtraCare card. Whether they are using re-usable bags or simply carrying out their items, customers who choose not to take a plastic bag, benefit each time they shop at CVS/pharmacy and scan both their GreenBagTag and ExtraCare card at the register. On every fourth scan, GreenBagTag cardholders receive a $1.00 Extra Buck on the bottom of their receipt. Extra Bucks are like free CVS/pharmacy money that can be used on nearly anything in the store.  “CVS/pharmacy is committed to improving the lives of the people and communities we serve, and that includes helping all our customers adopt more eco-friendly practices,” said Bari Harlam, vice president of marketing for CVS/pharmacy. “We have a long history of rewarding our customers with incentives that are both convenient and beneficial to their well-being. Our new GreenBagTag program provides an easy way for shoppers to take a small step in going green, while also receiving Extra Bucks as a ‘Thank you!’ for joining us in making an impact in the fight to reduce waste from disposable plastic bags.”

October 27, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Jamba Juice Joins Forces With MillionTreesNYC

Jamba Juice recently gave NYC a ‘feel good’ moment. On Saturday, October 24th, Jamba Juice joined forces with MillionTrees NYC to welcome and support more than 1,000 volunteers working to beautify NYC neighborhoods and parks—making it a healthier, more environmentally sustainable city. As part of Jamba Juice’s Fall ‘Feel Good Campaign’, the company donated gardening gloves, rain ponchos, and Jamba Feel Good Bucks–in the fifteen different planting locations across New York City. The ‘Feel Good Campaign’ is a three-month promotion comprised of three parts, including ‘Feel Good Bucks’, ‘Feel Good Moment Sweepstakes’ and unexpected public ‘Feel Good Events’. The campaign embraces the excitement customers have for Jamba Juice® products and blends up another way to keep them feeling good. “The Jamba Juice Fall Feel Good Campaign is all about connecting with and engaging our customers in their space, becoming a part of what makes them feel good,” said James D. White president and CEO, Jamba, Inc. “Aligning with MillionTreesNYC allows us to really get our hands in the soil, giving back to a Jamba community and making a mark that will last for years to come.”

October 27, 2009 at 2:46 pm

California American Water Encourages Winter Water Conservation

As we head into the winter months, California American Water is making sure water conversation stays top of mind with consumers.  There are several different elements to the campaign including mailing leak detection kits, water conservation wheels and notices to each customer, bill text messages, education advertising, automated phone calls and conservation messages on public radio.  

“We’ve found that often customers don’t think as much about saving water in the winter, and it is more important now than ever,” said operations manager Al Yanez. “With new water use rules potentially going into effect, we want to help customers comply by reducing water use as much as possible. That is why between now and the end of the year we will be making customers aware of the free rebates on water-saving appliances, free water wise surveys, leak detection kits for toilets, and other conservation tools and ideas.” In addition, California American Water is offering rebates on high-efficiency washing machines and low-flow toilets as well as free home water surveys. “We offer a free survey that will help customers identify any leaks and other areas where they may be able to save water,” Yanez added.

October 27, 2009 at 2:45 pm

The Female Side of Green

In addition to making nearly 85% of all consumer purchases (on everything from autos to healthcare), a recent study from Frank About Women found that 25% of all products in a woman’s shopping cart today are environmentally friendly.  If a brand isn’t connecting with women through their green messaging, they are missing a very big opportunity.  “Women are looking for brands to make it easier for them to help the environment,” says Wendy Cobrda president and founder of Earthsense.  Earthsense ( will be sharing some of the insights from their Eco-Insights survey during Good And Green®-The Green Marketing Conference later this year in a presentation with Red Kite Business Advisors.  The study found that 80% of adult women believe very strongly that individuals can affect the environment.  However, nearly 60% believe that they are personally not doing enough to protect it.

So what can your brand do to give women more opportunity to help the planet?

Offer a Green Alternative (and watch the pricing)

Previous research has shown that nearly 50% of women say they want more green choices—a sentiment reflected in the recent Eco-Insights study as well.  The study found that women are 21% more likely to report buying green cleaning supplies over the past year and when they can’t buy green it is usually because the price is too high or their favorite brands don’t have a green version.

Have a Cause

And make sure it’s the right one for you and your brand.  Women are paying attention to brands that are committed to environmental causes, but you must be authentic with your outreach and mission.  “These girls mean business and are not afraid to boycott (26%) or ‘buycott’ (37%),” says Cobrda.  “Women will go out of their way to buy from companies whose policies they support.”

Pay Attention to Ingredients

Women are excellent candidates for green products because they are more likely (at any age) to be more concerned about what their products may contain—especially when it comes to food.  Women carefully choose their food products for themselves and their family and are concerned about a brand’s use of pesticides, unhealthy bacteria and hormones as well as the safety of food that is imported or could have possibly been contaminated from the environment.

Don’t Forget the Boomers

The Eco-Insights study found the more mature the woman, the more resources she may have to devote to environmental causes.  “Golden Girls (65 and getting better!) are 32% more likely to report donating time and money to further green initiatives,” says Cobrda.

If women are not already part of a brand’s green marketing plan, they soon will be.  In a recent blog post for (, Diane MacEachern, author of Big Green Purse:  Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World and founder of (,  stated, “Women are past the point of letting manufacturers tell them what to buy.  We can—and should—tell companies what to make-based on the purchases WE make day after day.”

Patti Minglin is the editor of Good And Green® E-ssentials, the online community that serves as an extension of Good And Green®-The Green Marketing Conference (  She is also the editor of M2W® E-ssentials and M2Moms® E-ssentials as well as a freelance writer who regularly contributes to numerous regional parenting magazines including Chicago Parent.  Follow her on Twitter (@PattiMinglin) or Email her at

October 20, 2009 at 11:29 am

Hickory Springs Launches “EarthCare Challenge” Via Social Media Networks

Hickory Springs, one of the nation’s leading suppliers of eco-friendly components to the furniture industry, knows it’s not easy being green. Recently the company announced a nationwide search to find six contestants to compete in its inaugural “EarthCare Challenge” for a chance to win $5,000 in eco-friendly home furnishings.  This first-of-its-kind contest will chronicle — in a reality game show environment — the challenges of six contestants aspiring to live more sustainable lifestyles.  It takes place entirely on social networking communities Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and, the program promoting the company’s line of eco-friendly components for upholstered furniture.  “Through the contest we believe many consumers will see how they can improve not only their own lifestyles but their quality of life overall. We think it’s an important step from the home furnishings industry, which traditionally hasn’t been one of the leading industries to show all that it has done to become eco-friendly,” said Hickory Springs executive vice president Dwayne Welch.  “The EarthCare Challenge is a chance to share real experiences within a community that we’re creating with our partners in the furnishings industry, and where consumers can learn how to make more sustainable choices in their everyday lives,” said Welch.

Eco-friendly components from the company’s EarthCare line can be found in products from some of the country’s leading furniture makers including Craftmaster, Alan White Furniture, England and H.M. Richards.  The call for entries runs now through November 15. On December 1, Hickory Springs will announce six regional finalists to undergo a 45-day makeover. A panel of green experts in the areas of lifestyle, diet and home will guide the finalists toward their own sustainable options. As social media sites document their progress, the public may participate by voting for their favorite contestant and becoming a fan of designated online sites for a chance to win special discounts and prizes.  In January 2010, Hickory Springs will award the grand prize to the contestant who has made the most dramatic makeover. The winner will take home his or her own personal collection of eco-friendly home furnishings valued at $5,000. The contest is open to U.S. residents ages 21 and over. For entry details, visit

October 20, 2009 at 7:57 am

Crystal Light Makes An Environmentally Friendly Design Change

With a modern look and sleek packaging that is more environmentally friendly, Crystal Light is setting itself apart while delivering the same great taste people expect.  The new Crystal Light design features a fresh logo and innovative canister configuration that makes the product more user-friendly:

  • Easy-to-open packets
  • A new 1-quart packet size in the 8-quart canister that helps people prepare the amount they want
  • A clear window on the front of the canister shows when packets are running low

Beyond the visual changes, Crystal Light is committed to making significant changes for the better. In total, on a finished case goods basis, the new design will use 250 tons less packaging each year.  “Women look to Crystal Light to add some excitement to their water every day,” says Roxanne Bernstein, director, Powdered Beverages. “Our new packaging also reflects our consumers’ vibrancy and her desire to align herself with more environmentally friendly brands.” The new Crystal Light design is making people look twice at their beverage options.  Crystal Light fans can find more information on the entire line of products by visiting

October 20, 2009 at 7:54 am

RecycleBank Announces Expansion of Hartford’s Single-stream Recycling Program

Recently, Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez joined city officials and representatives from RecycleBank to announce the citywide expansion of its popular single-stream recycling program with rewards from RecycleBank. Already a success in 21 states and in the United Kingdom, RecycleBank encourages people to recycle by rewarding households with Points for their efforts. These Points are redeemable at local and national retailers, restaurants, grocers, and more. Following a pilot that began in May 2008, now close to 25,000 Hartford households will enjoy the ease of single-stream recycling and be rewarded for recycling. The rewards-for-recycling pilot program brought a revolutionary way for Hartford residents to recycle–single stream with rewards. Single-stream recycling means only one collection container is needed for all paper, glass, metal, cardboard, and plastic recyclables–no more sorting! Rewards translate into savings for members during these tough economic times. In May, the City of Hartford celebrated its one-year anniversary with RecycleBank, a partnership that serviced about 4,500 households and more than doubled recycling rates. “Making Hartford sustainable makes perfect sense,” Mayor Perez said. “In the first year, those 4,500 households recycled more than one million pounds of waste. Not only does that make a tremendous impact on the environment, it also makes a tremendous impact on households and in kitchens across Hartford.”

RecycleBank motivates households to recycle by rewarding each household for the amount they recycle. RecycleBank measures the amount of material recycled and then converts that amount into RecycleBank Points that can be redeemed for rewards, gift cards, groceries, products and events at hundreds of local and national partners including major retailers and brands such as Coca-Cola, Kraft, Seventh Generation, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ruby Tuesday, CVS/pharmacy and Bed, Bath & Beyond. There is even an option to donate Points to charities or to local schools for environmental programming through the RecycleBank Green Schools Program. “Hartford businesses have felt a positive surge as well,” RecycleBank co-founder and CEO Ron Gonen said. “We consistently see RecycleBank members using more than half of their earned Points with local rewards partners. This provides local economic stimulus, involving the business community in the city’s recycling effort.” RecycleBank services more than one million people across 21 states. By cumulative recycling efforts, those households have recycled more than 300,000 tons of material, saving more than 200 million gallons of oil and over 3 million trees.

October 20, 2009 at 7:52 am

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