Archive for May, 2010
Good Housekeeping, co-sponsor of the 4th Annual Good and Green®-The Green Marketing Conference, launched the Green Good Housekeeping Seal in 2009 in an effort to help consumers make environmentally responsible choices. We recently spoke with Miriam Arond, Director of Good Housekeeping Research Institute, about the requirements needed to receive the ‘Seal’ and why it is different than other ‘eco-labels.’
Q: In general, what is the Green Good Housekeeping Seal?
Miriam Arond: The Green Good Housekeeping Seal is an environmental extension of the renowned and respected Good Housekeeping Seal. It is an emblem that signals to consumers that a product has been reviewed by the scientists at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute and approved for its performance and effectiveness, as well as for its environmental attributes. Products with the GGHS are backed by the same limited warranty as the primary Seal, which means that Good Housekeeping will replace the item or refund your money if a product becomes defective within two years of purchase.
Q: Can you tell us what some of the requirements are for receiving the ‘Seal’ and how those requirements were created?
MA: After a product has been given the Good Housekeeping Seal—meaning that the Good Housekeeping Research Institute has determined that it delivers on its promises—it is evaluated on a wide range of environmental criteria, including ingredients and composition, water usage, energy efficiency, and waste management in the manufacturing processes, packaging reduction, distribution, and energy efficiency in product usage. A company must provide verification for all of its application responses.
We have worked, and continue to work, with Brown & Wilmanns Environmental, a leading environmental consulting firm, along with a host of other experts in industry, NGOs, trade associations, and academia to develop Green Good Housekeeping Seal applications for each product category.
Q: We tend to see a lot of labels when it comes to eco-friendly products. What makes this “Seal” more effective for consumers?
MA: While there are many “eco-labels,” none have the broad recognition and trust of the Good Housekeeping Seal. Nor are any other green emblems backed by a financial warranty that speaks to a product’s effectiveness. The Green Good Housekeeping Seal is based on a broad, multi-attribute approach and gives shoppers environmental guidance as well as consumer protection — something no other environmental label does.
Q: How many Green Good Housekeeping Seals have you awarded since its creation?
MA: So far we have created applications for the Green Good Housekeeping Seal in the beauty, cleaning, and paint categories. Eleven products (two in beauty and nine in cleaning) have earned the Green Good Housekeeping Seal. Many other products are still under review. We continue to work on applications for the Green Good Housekeeping Seal in other product categories.
According to a recent survey from The Shelton Group, Hispanics are not only America’s largest and fastest growing minority group, but they are also among the nation’s greenest. The study found Hispanics were significantly more likely than other groups to be searching for greener products and feel ‘personally responsible’ to change their daily habits to help the environment. Surprised? We shouldn’t be. “It’s common knowledge how first generation Latinos feel about the food here in the U.S. They search for greener products because they do not trust all the chemicals we put in our food in this country,” says Susan Jaramillo, CCO/Co-founder of thevoxcollective. “And, in general they are an optimistic people who would profess to want to do the right thing.”
But, what Jaramillo and other marketing leaders and brand executives are wondering is if this passion for green translates into actual purchases. “I think Latinos prefer greener products, I think they might pay more for locally grown organic foods; however, I’m not convinced that Latinos want to pay more for greener household products unless there is a specific performance benefit for them such as lowering their electric bill, achieving better health, etc.”
Which is exactly where brands should focus their green messaging when it comes to connecting with Hispanics. “They should center on the health benefits and the savings of going green,” says Jaramillo. “They should also reinforce safety benefits when possible as Latinos are more likely to have children in the house. And, for food brands, underscore the superior taste of products, reminding Latinos that it was raised or grown like it was in their home countries.” Jaramillo also suggests adding a cause-related element to your marketing mix, especially when targeting Latino women. “When my company did a promotion with Dawn that gave money to UNICEF Latin America for every purchase, sales tripled. Green and good are a magical combination.”
4th Annual Good And Green®-The Green Marketing Conference, May 11 & 12, 2011, Hearst Tower, NYC