Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Gilding the Lily

Am I the only person making a blacklist of agencies which send me unsolicited and over-packaged promotional items? We’re making strenuous efforts to reduce the environmental impact of our business so why would any supplier consider we were more likely to do business with them if they send us a 32-page credentials presentation in an A3 hardback folder or a tiny rubber brain in a huge box filled with polystyrene? Sometimes these items are received by every single member of our marketing team – what a waste!

Clearly as marketers we depend on making an impact, but in these days of inconvenient truths the medium really is as important as the message. I’m much more impressed by companies who present a compelling message in a simple way than by those who disguise their message with loads of unnecessary embellishments.

The question is, what to do with the unwanted items? So far I have been returning them to the sender with a polite letter suggesting that the item could be re-used since I have no need for it. Does anybody have a better suggestion?

Friday, 23 May 2008

Switch it off to save cash and the planet is reporting today that the OGC has told government departments that if they power down PCs when not in use they can save over £10m as well as cutting CO2 emissions by 55,723 per annum. I was also reminded at this week's Green Card event of Barclays' admission that they saved £1.5m pa by turning of monitors at night instead of leavin them on screensaver. On an enterprise level, you can use Nightwatchman for this but individuals can act too, by using a solution like intellipanel which powers down all connected peripherals when the PC is switched off and quickly pays for iteself in reduced electricity bills.

Friday, 16 May 2008

EC backs tech for green future has reported that the European Commission (EC) is backing the use of technology to cut carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency across Europe's economy.

The Commission feels three areas should be focused on in this work: energy generation and distribution; monitoring of energy consumption in buildings; and moving to more energy efficient 'intelligent' lighting.

It is predicted the EU's energy consumption will rise by as much as 25 per cent by 2012 if no action is taken. The IT sector currently accounts for two per cent of global CO2 emissions. Full story here.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

No more plastic bags!

I've been carrying a plastic bag full of plastic bags round in the boot of my car to do my weekly shop. I'm re-using the ones I was saving for recyling, on the basis that re-use is better than recycling (at least until they become unusable) and I kept forgetting to take them to the bag bank anyway.

But now I've found a much better solution - the Trolley Dolly. A funky handbag-style bag containing all the types of different bags you need to contain your weekly shop - including bottle bags and mesh bags for your fruit and veg that you can wash them in, too. Sadly they're out of stock at the moment, but I've ordered one and I'm telling all my friends. Soon I can be a green shopper without looking like a bag lady . . .

Monday, 12 May 2008

The Greening of Corporate Communications

Apologies for the extended silence - being quite new to this blogging lark I neglected to pick it back up when I got back from my holiday.

Found this green PR survey today, which draws some interesting parallels between the attitudes and behaviours of the Brits and their counterparts in mainland Europe. Having presented at last week's Green IT 08 I can vouch for the fact that IT purchasers are keen to be green; their key difficulty appears to be the lack of meaningful metrics by which to make comparisons. As a vendor, this presents us with a dilemma. We can't expect the rest of the industry to take the lead in creating benchmarks which will inevitably demonstrate the superior sustainability of our products, but any standard we create will lack credibility because our products come out top.