Archive for August, 2010
Over the past several years, numerous auto companies have been part of the Good And Green® program sharing insight into how their industry continues to create new ways to better the environment, and now one company is making that message part of their new marketing campaign. The 100-percent electric Nissan LEAF will be part of Nissan’s new “Innovation for All” campaign, a new marketing initiative to showcase the auto brand’s product portfolio. The campaign, which was launched August 28th, begins with a series of five TV spots and will also include print and online components. “Innovation has been the heart and soul of the Nissan brand for nearly 100 years,” said Jon Brancheau, vice president, Marketing, NNA. “‘Innovation for All’ isn’t simply a new marketing idea. It’s the very foundation of Nissan worldwide. This campaign captures Nissan’s spirit and continued drive towards innovation – not just for the elite, but for everyone.” The campaign, developed by longtime partners TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles, depicts Nissan’s innovation through a series of stories. “We’re sharing Nissan stories that are as exciting, intelligent and innovative as the brand itself,” said Rob Schwartz, chief creative officer, TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles.
The highlight of the campaign is the debut of “Polar Bear,” a story that shows a polar bear journey from the icy Arctic through forests, highways, train tracks and over bridges to the big city and then to the suburbs, where the animal finds someone who is trying to help—the owner of a Nissan LEAF.
Time Warner Cable is rewarding its customers for going green. As an incentive for more customers to enroll in its paperless billing program, the company has launched the PayXpress Go Paperless Sweepstakes. Customers who choose to “go paperless,” are entered for a chance to win numerous prizes including the grand prize of a 2011 Lexus HS 250H hybrid car. “We appreciate our customers’ support for such an important issue,” said Sam Howe, chief marketing officer for Time Warner Cable. “Paperless Billing is a simple way for customers to be part of a greater effort to help the environment while having the ability to win great prizes.”
For more simple ways to engage consumers to choose more eco-friendly options, be sure to attend Good And Green®-The Green Marketing Conference, May 11 & 12, 2011 at the Hearst Tower in New York City.
Timberland is expanding the company’s Green Index® label to all Timberland branded footwear and will be collaborating with more than 200 outdoor businesses on an industry-wide eco-indexing standard. Timberland’s Green Index® currently shows consumers the climate impact, chemicals used and materials used for 14% of Timberland’s footwear. The company plans to apply the rating to its entire footwear line by the end of 2012. Besides empowering footwear designers to lessen the impact of their designs, the initiative also extends the company’s commitment to educating consumers on the environmental impact of its products, and to helping them make informed purchasing decisions.
The company is also working through the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) on the development of an industry standard for product footprinting — the Eco Index™. While the Eco Index is not a consumer-facing label at this time, it will become the industry’s first standardized environmental assessment tool. “Individual efforts, like Timberland’s Green Index, are good options for now, but to truly empower consumers, we knew we needed a commitment from the entire industry,” said Betsy Blaisdell, senior manager of environmental stewardship for Timberland. “First mover companies only get so far — collaboration is integral to achieving a consumer-friendly, industry-wide standard, which is why we applaud the launch of the OIA Eco Index as a positive step in the right direction.”
Carfax and Michigan International Speedway (MIS) once again teamed up to help neutralize the carbon dioxide emissions resulting from travel, energy and auto use during last weekend’s “Show Me the CARFAX” Race Weekend at MIS. The initiative is the result of a partnership between Carfax, MIS and The Conservation Fund to help curb climate change and restore habitat for wildlife.
Carfax and MIS worked with The Conservation Fund’s Go Zero® program to zero out the CO2 emissions that resulted from the facility’s energy use during the race weekend and fuel used by fans traveling to and from the festivities. The effort also covered the emissions from the racecars during both NASCAR events at MIS and qualifying and practice sessions on Friday and Saturday. “This is a great step toward curbing the effects of climate change, and at the same time, doing something positive for the environment,” said Larry Gamache, communications director at Carfax. “There are many simple ways to make a difference — it’s so easy to get started. We’re fortunate to have active partners like MIS and The Conservation Fund help us carry out this effort for the ‘Show Me the CARFAX’ Race Weekend and do something good for the planet.”
Nearly 4,000 trees will be planted at Lake Ophelia National Wildlife Refuge in east central Louisiana as part of Carfax and Michigan International Speedway’s efforts.
A new Harris Interactive® study on behalf of Gibbs & Soell, a global independent public relations firm, found U.S. consumers and Fortune 1000 executives doubt there is widespread commitment to “go green” among corporate America. Key findings:
- Corporate America has embarked on its journey toward sustainability, but still draws public skepticism. Only 29% of executives and 16% of consumers believe that a majority of businesses are committed to “going green” – defined as “improving the health of the environment by implementing more sustainable business practices, and/or offering environmentally-friendly products or services.” Many executives (54%) and consumers (48%) believe only “some” businesses are committed to “going green.”
- Financial inefficiency, market reluctance and unclear measurement are impeding the path to corporate sustainability. Executives cite insufficient return on investment (78%), consumers’ unwillingness to pay a premium for green products or services (71%), and difficulty in evaluating sustainability across a product life cycle (45%) as the top barriers to more businesses “going green.”
- Shared duties reflect the nascent stage at which many businesses are organizing their human capital around a sustainability strategy. While more than two-thirds of executives (69%) indicated their companies have people responsible for sustainability or “going green” initiatives, most have merely added responsibilities for green efforts to the primary duties of a team of individuals (35%), or a C-suite or another senior level position (15%). Only about one in 10 say they have a C-suite or other senior level title/position dedicated solely to sustainability (12%), while 31% noted there is no one at their organization who is primarily or partially responsible for green initiatives.
“This general skepticism about the corporate commitment to environmental stewardship represents a critical communications challenge for business leaders,” stated Ron Loch, senior vice president-greentech and sustainability practice, Gibbs & Soell. “Closing this credibility gap is going to require actions and communications that connect with key stakeholders. Having a dedicated staff and line item budget for green initiatives is an important step in making believers of employees, customers, and investors. For connecting with consumers, it means transparency and consistency of message.”
Since April 2010, Anna Gilmore Hall has been the executive director of Practice Greenhealth, a membership and networking organization for institutions in the healthcare community that have made a commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly practices—a subject Gilmore Hall knows well. She spent much of her healthcare career as a nurse and was most recently with the Health Care Without Harm organization, helping transform the healthcare industry so that it is ecologically sustainable. “I’ve seen a lot regarding sustainability and healthcare,” says Gilmore Hall. “The sustainability conversation used to only happen within the fringes of the healthcare community, but now it is a discussion that happens with doctors, nurses, CEOs and patients.”
It appears to be the perfect combination—healthcare and sustainability, but we recently talked with Gilmore Hall about the marketing challenges often faced within each of those sectors and how Practice Greenhealth has been able to overcome the obstacles and find success.
Q: Who are the members of Practice Greenhealth (PGH)?
Anna Gilmore Hall: Members include hospitals, healthcare systems, businesses and other stakeholders engaged in the greening of healthcare to improve the health of patients, staff and the environment. PGH is experienced in working directly with healthcare providers—both large systems and small local facilities—to green their operations, reduce energy use and greenhouse gases, eliminate waste, and institute best practices for environmentally sound operations
Q: What marketing challenges have you faced within the healthcare industry?
AGH: As members of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Health Security and Environmental cluster wrote recently in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, “The health sector is one of the most trusted and respected sections of society, and it is one of the largest employers and consumers of energy. This presents both a responsibility and an opportunity to be an ‘early mover’ to achieve climate neutrality in its own operations, and to demonstrate that this can go hand-in-hand with improved effectiveness and cost savings.”
Outside of healthcare, businesses have begun to recognize that they need to address a “triple bottom line,” which describes a framework for measuring and reporting business performance against economic, social and environmental parameters, rather than simply maximizing profits or growth. In the case of the “greening” of the healthcare system, the impact is not only on the environment, but also on the ability to realize significant savings that could potentially be used for patient care. Applying the “triple bottom line” approach to pollution-prevention initiatives can deliver significant benefits for healthcare organizations and the communities they serve.
As a general rule, anything that is good for the environment is also good for human health, and that is especially true in a healthcare setting. So being “green” is one part of being a healthy hospital. One description of a healthy hospital offered by Trevor Hancock outlines four main components. The first two components occur within the hospital: “A healthy hospital strives to create both a healing environment for patients and a healthy workplace for staff – the two are usually mutually reinforcing approaches. The third and fourth components of a healthy hospital occur outside hospital walls: A health-promoting hospital tries to be an environmentally responsible corporate citizen and to become a partner in the process of creating a healthier community. As hospitals ‘green’ their buildings and operations they are becoming healthy and health-promoting organizations.”
This seems to me to be a great marketing strategy – but I have yet to see anyone take this tactic.
Q: And marketing challenges you face within the green community?
AGH: Sustainability and “green” anything is less about saving polar bears and more about our health and the health of future generations. Making that clear link has been challenging both in terms of the general public – but sometimes with healthcare providers as well. You can’ t raise healthy children on a sick planet.
Q: So becoming a more sustainable healthcare organization will actually enable you to be more efficient not only with your business, but with patient care and ultimately with keeping people well before and after their healthcare visits. Correct?
AGH: Despite recent passage of the healthcare reform bill, healthcare costs are out of control, and there remains a chasm between the care we could have and do have in the U.S. One promising way to improve outcomes and reduce costs is by implementing sustainable (or “green”) design, building and operation practices in healthcare.
The healthcare sector has a large environmental footprint. Hospitals are the second-most energy intensive buildings in the U.S., and generate significant greenhouse gas emissions; health facilities are significant water consumers; and they create 6,600 tons of waste per day. The healthcare sector is also the single largest user of chemicals. Healthcare professionals are influential and serve as role models for society with respect to health. History teaches that changes in health professional behavior has significant impact on the thinking of the general public, with cigarette smoking as just one example.
Data suggests that sustainable practices in healthcare can lead to better patient outcomes, fewer work-related injuries, a cleaner environment, and significant cost savings. For example, system-wide conservation practices in a hospital network cut water use by 20 to 30 percent, saving $100,000 a year for some facilities. Reductions in hospitals’ energy use of 18 to 20 percent are achievable using current standard technology coupled with minor capital expenditures costing one to two percent. One hospital reported that workers compensation claims went down after it implemented a greener cleaning program. When Kaiser Permanente launched an Environmentally Preferred Purchasing Program, they saved $20 million in one year while opening up the market to more affordable, healthier products. HCA implemented a medical device reprocessing program in 2009, saving $30 million across its system with only 20% compliance. In terms of design, access to daylight in hospitals has been linked with reduced depression among patients, reduced length of stay, and reduced intake of pain medication. One U.S. study found consistent positive correlation between 17 greener buildings and staff recruitment and retention. If these savings can be spread across the entire sector, the healthcare cost savings will result in billions of dollars per year.
Q: What exciting projects are you working on at the moment?
AGH: Practice Greenhealth has partnered with Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) and a coalition of major health systems and organizations committed to improving sustainability and safety across the healthcare sector to create the Healthier Hospitals Agenda which is intended to chart a path to a healthier, more sustainable and more cost effective healthcare system. Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI) is partnering with Health Care Without Harm, Practice Greenhealth, and The Center for Health Design to provide expertise and technical assistance and to develop and implement training and other programs to help hospitals carry out the HHI agenda recommendations.
The Healthier Hospitals Agenda is based on the premise that a coordinated sector-wide approach to how we design, build and operate hospitals can improve patient outcomes and workplace safety, prevent illnesses, create extraordinary environmental benefits, and save billions of dollars. The Agenda utilizes evidence-based design and research data on environmental sustainability and community health to delineate a prioritized roadmap; it is a method for moving from good ideas implemented by individual facilities to a comprehensive system and sector-wide adoption of sustainable practices and cost reduction.
Q: As we begin to wind down from weeks of summer activity, what is the most exciting thing you have done this summer—either inside or outside of Practice Greenhealth?
AGH: This past weekend I attended the 20th annual family reunion for my Dad’s side of the family. We have the reunion on the third Saturday of July at the homestead where my Dad and his brothers and sisters grew up. We had 96 people attend – ranging from age 95 to less than one year. We had five generations present.
It was a very special weekend