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New Study Shows Earth Day Is Not An Over-Hyped Event

April 20th, 2011 No comments
Earth Day celebrations

Earth Day Celebration

I read a recent study by GreenBiz.com that showed that despite the heavy advertising and marketing of Earth Day’s 41st anniversary this year, only 3% of those polled feel the event is overhyped.

Nearly 60 percent of those members surveyed said it is just about right, while 37 percent feel Earth Day is underhyped. The members studied were part of the GreenBiz Intelligence Panel (GBIP).

The report goes on to say that overall, Earth Day activities at companies have stayed about the same, or grown, over the past five years. Just 14 percent said Earth Day activities have shrunk.

The economic recession appears to have had minimal impact on companies’ Earth Day activities for some 73 percent of those polled.

“I would attest to the accuracy of these statements, as this year saw a marketing spend on eco-friendly promotional items for outreach campaigns up abut 9% from last year, the 11th consecutive increase our company has seen”, says Robert Piller, President of EcoMarketingSolutions.com.  ” The recession and ensuing economic doldrums have not seemed to negatively impact the impact of Earth Day, for businesses and organizations of all sizes”, he continued.

In a very positive note from the report, it notes that in terms of employee engagement, 41 percent of GBIP members see Earth Day as one effort among many. The event also has buy-in from the top, with 80 percent saying their senior management supports the day’s activities.

This should bode very well for Earth Day 42 and beyond.

Let’ continue to make Earth Day about outreach with advertising, marketing and promotional items that educate the public, rather than promote a strictly branding effort or campaign.   It will be a win-win situation, as the public will think more highly of the businesses and organizations that get involved with Earth Day celebrations without blasting their logos everywhere. Subtlety of message is important for Earth Day marketing.

Here’s to a greener tomorrow, today.
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Robert Piller, experienced in green marketing campaigns and recycled promotional products, has worked to help plant over 25 million trees through his live tree seedling gift program over the past dozen years. His company’s website, EcoMarketingSolutions.com, features over 25,000 eco-friendly promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green. The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find biodegradable, organic and recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame.

You can also reach him by email (robert (at) ecomarketingsolutions.com) or comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com or below at his Twitter link.


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Earth Day Marketing: How Are You Communicating Your Green Message?

April 6th, 2011 No comments

Earth Day promotion ideasEarth Day is just 2 weeks away and many marketers are still scrambling to find a last minute effort to come up with their Earth Day campaigns.

In fact, my phone has been ringing off the hook for the past three days (and nights…I just finished a phone call at 8:30 P.M. with a client in Massachusetts) with clients looking for last minute eco-friendly promotional ideas for their outreach programs.

Putting your name and logo on recycled promotional items is great.  I would not be able to stay in business without it, nor I would have chosen it as my profession if I did not believe strongly in them.

That being said, my questions to most of these callers are:

1. What is The Goal of Your Earth Day Message?

  • Are you looking to change behaviors?
  • Are you trying to change the public’s perception of your organization?
  • Are you looking to educate the public–as sort of a public service or outreach campaign?

All three of these agendas require a different mareting message.  Make sure your message matches your goals.

2. Can You Back Up Your Message With Deeds and Achievements?

  • As they say in my home town of Austin, Texas, are you “talking the talk–or walking the walk”?
  • Did you just wake up this morning thinking that you had to do something green for Earth Day?
  • Did your boss call you in for a meeting and declare that you will be participating in an Earth Day event–and this is all news to you?
  • Or has your organization been planning your green agenda for many, many months and Earth Day is a natural extension of your marketing mix?

3) How are You Planning to Communicate Your Goals, Message and/or Agenda?

  • Will you be using social media?
  • Will you be giving a speech?
  • Will you be exhibiting at a community Earth Day event?

Hopefully, if you are truly a green company, the answer is all three.

According to the 2011 Cone Green Gap Trend Tracker, consumers do not expect companies to be saints. A full three-quarters (75%) say it is okay if a company is not environmentally perfect—as long as it is honest and transparent about its efforts.

My advice: Be real. Don’t fake it.

Happy Earth Day.
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Robert Piller, experienced in green marketing campaigns and recycled promotional products, has worked to help plant over 25 million trees through his live tree seedling gift program over the past dozen years. His company’s website, EcoMarketingSolutions.com, features over 25,000 eco-friendly promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green. The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find biodegradable, organic and recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame.

You can also reach him at Twitter (http://twitter.com/ecomarketing) or #ecomarketing , by email (robert (at) ecomarketingsolutions.com) or comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com.


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Motivational Quotes for a New Year

December 31st, 2010 Comments off

motivational quotesAs we begin a new year, I wanted to take the time to offer some of my favorite motivational quotes.  Hopefully they might be helpful in motivating you to a successful new year.

“Good, better, best, never let it rest until the good gets better, and the better is best!”

“When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.” – Leo Burnett

“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough!” – Mario Andretti

“I had no shoes and complained; until I met a man with no feet.”

“You don’t have to see the entire staircase in order to take the first step.” – Rev. Martin Luther King

“The true measure of your character is what you would do if you were Read more…

9 Green New Year’s Resolutions for 2011

December 28th, 2010 No comments

Earth Day 2011Every time this year, we all start thinking about our New Year’s resolutions.

Last year, my diet lasted through January 3rd—which was a day longer than the previous year.  Maybe my willpower is getting stronger as I age.

As we go out and celebrate the start of a new year, you will inevitably be asked about your own resolution.  Don’t freeze up – or give the same old lame answer that you gave last year… and the year before… and the year before: Quit Smoking, Lose 10 pounds; Join a gym.  Any of these sound familiar?

Here is a cheat sheet for you in case somebody asks you what your New Year’s resolution is for 2011: Be a Greener Shopper in 2011.

Below are 9 ways to become a greener consumer in 2011.

1. Support brands that are green, such as Clorox Green Works, Tom’s of Maine, Ikea, Toyota, Disney and others. If you don’t support them, where is their incentive in keeping green?  Money talks.

2. Become an educated consumer.  Read labels. Understand what the different recycling arrows mean.  Learn about sustainability. Know the difference between recycled and recyclable.

3. Question wasteful packaging.  Blog and write about products that come Read more…

FTC has Announced New Green Rules Against Broad Eco Statements

October 11th, 2010 No comments

FTC Announces new Green GuidelinesThe FTC has made some of their proposed revisions to the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides, which are a set of guidelines aimed at clearing up confusion since its last update in 1998.

These are preliminary guidelines, as the FTC is still seeking public comment on the updated guidelines for 60 days, before issuing a final version, which will not be announced until late 2011, at the earliest.

“The Green Guides were designed to help businesses avoid making misleading environmental claims,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said Wednesday during a conference call with reporters. “That, of course, helps consumers.”

Leibowitz described an “explosion” of green claims being made for a variety of goods, ranging from paper towels to textiles, leaving consumers confused about what they’re buying. “We’re not always getting what we think we’re getting,” he said.

At the same, businesses are also unclear about the environmental attributes of their products, so clear cut rules will help all parties. These new guidelines were supposed to be ready by 2009, but, like every other government project, things seem to take much longer than anticipated.

The FTC is looking mostly to have companies able to substantiate their environmental claims, and to use more narrowly-focused terms rather than “eco-friendly” or “green”, to avoid confusion.
I am sure the final guidelines will be watered down, unfortunately, as “interest” groups on all sides weigh in.

However, best business practices are to always be able to substantiate claims a company makes, be it in terms of sustainability, biodegradation, energy efficiency and any other factors. Common sense will prevail in the end.

Let’s make every day, Earth Day!
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Robert Piller, experienced in green marketing campaigns and recycled promotional products. His web site includes a comprehensive advertising specialty search, featuring over 250,000 eco promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green. The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find recyclable, biodegradable, organic or recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame. View the Go Green website at EcoMarketingSolutions.com and comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com.

Burger King Dropping Current Palm Oil Supplier

September 9th, 2010 No comments
Burger King switches to sustainable palm oil

According to an artcile in GreenBiz.com, Burger King has become the latest company to stop buying palm oil from an embattled Indonesian company its critics accuse of deforestation.

Burger King will no longer purchase palm oil from a subsidiary of Sinar Mas after an audit “raised valid concerns about some of the sustainability practices of Sinar Mas’ palm oil production and its impact on rainforests,” Burger King announced on its Facebook page.

According to the article, the fast food giant will transition to a new supplier for 176 restaurants that received palm oil from Sinar Mas subsidiary PT SMART Tbk. Over the last year, Unilever, Nestle and Abengoa Bioenergy, a Spanish energy company, have walked away from PT SMART’s palm oil. Staples, Woolworths, and U.K. retailers Tesco and Carrefour stopped buying products from Asia Pulp and Paper, another Sinar Mas subsidiary. HSBC also sold off all of its shares in Sinar Mas.

The article notes that the driving force behind these developments has been Greenpeace, which launched a series of campaigns to raise awareness of what it considers to be Sinar Mas’ destructive forestry practices, while also applying public pressure on consumer-facing companies to cut ties with the Indonesian conglomerate.  Underpinning these campaigns were a series of reports with titles that include “Caught Red Handed,” “Burning Up Borneo” and “Sinar Mas Continues Rainforest Destruction.”

In response to allegations in the reports of land-clearing and other wrongdoings, Read more…

Too Many Green Labeling Choices Means Greater Confusion for Consumers

September 8th, 2010 No comments

Simplify green certificationIt has been reported that ULC Standards has acquired TerraChoice, the managers of Canada’s EcoLogo program.  This consolidation might make it easier for consumers to differentiate between green claims—so as to compare apples to apples.

Currently, the EcoLogo program covers more than 7,000 products in 80 categories—with 70 different standards.

Simplicity is the key to any certification and for ease of understanding.  Until we get to just a handful of green certifications and labels, manufacturers will continue their greenwashing claims and obfuscate their actual compliance to green initiatives.

An educated consumer is the greatest weapon against false claims, but too many labels will make the entire process into a joke.  How about a grading system- A through F—like used in most schools.  You can add a plus or minus beside the grade to help draw more attention to detail, if so desired. But it would be a simple system that would work for most comparisons.

Here’s to simplicity.. and a greener tomorrow, today.

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Robert Piller, experienced in green marketing campaigns and environmentally-friendly promotional products. His web site includes a comprehensive eco-friendly advertising specialty search, featuring over 250,000 eco promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green.  The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find recyclable, biodegradable, organic or recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame. View the Go Green website at EcoMarketingSolutions.com and comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com.

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Journey through Climate History…and Beyond

August 24th, 2010 No comments

A look at 40 scenarios for the future of our planet's cliamateI just saw this website that had a fascinating presentation on the history of the planet’s climate changes ..and what the future may hold.

It is a interesting and interactive site based on 40 possible scenarios and based on as study by the IPCC, the non-profit Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The results can greatly effect world populations, in terms of famines, droughts, warfare, etc.  Global issue can be considered a security threat that needs to be addressed.

This study is an eye-opening look at what our planet can become if steps are not taken by leading countries and economies to address global warming in the immediate future.  It is time that people take a serious look at alternative energy sources, increased sustainability in manufacturing, transportation, farming, as well as other activities, before we pay an even steeper price.

Earth Day cannot be a yearly celebration.  It needs to become a way of life.

Let’s make Earth Day, Every Day.

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Robert Piller, experienced in green marketing campaigns and environmentally-friendly promotional products. His web site includes a comprehensive eco-friendly advertising specialty search, featuring over 250,000 eco promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green.  The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find recyclable, biodegradable, organic or recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame. View the Go Green website at EcoMarketingSolutions.com and comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com.

Starbucks’ Awards Winner of Contest for Reducing Paper Waste and Consumption

August 16th, 2010 No comments

EcoMarketingSolutions.com offers hundreds of custom printed biodegradable coffee cups The winner of a competition sponsored by Starbucks to gather ideas for reducing non-recyclable paper cup use isn’t even a cup at all, but a concept for encouraging customers to bring their own cups for possible free drinks.

The top four winners of their contest are all excellent ideas to reduce paper consumption, but only one was a reusable or biodegradable cup.

“We’re very interested in looking at the winning ideas and many of the other submitted ideas as we develop new solutions to reduce cup waste,” said Elise Chisholm, Starbucks spokesperson. “We haven’t yet had a chance to determine specific action plans. Increasing adoption of reusable cups – including travel tumblers and our own ceramic serveware – is definitely an important part of the equation for us.”

The Betacup competition offered a total of $20,000 for ideas that could eliminate paper cup consumption. Starbucks sponsored it as part of its efforts to only offer reusable or recyclable cups by 2015.

The winning idea was the Karma Cup, a simple concept for putting a chalkboard by the register at a coffee shop, having customers that use reusable cups make a mark on the board, and then giving a free coffee to every 10th customer that uses a reusable. This is a fun and creative idea – but be sure to move back toward the end of the line once you see the 10th person get their reward.

The three honorable mentions were: Read more…

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New Eco Index Developed by Outdoor Industry Association

August 9th, 2010 No comments

Eco Index will help establish new green metrics for manufacturersAs companies are becoming more green, the next phase is trying to quantify exactly how much energy is being used in the processing, manufacturing and distribution of their products.

A new tool developed by the outdoor gear industry hopes to simplify the comparisons of “eco-friendliness” and to help companies understand what goes into their products and then improve any stage, from sourcing raw materials to recycling clothing.

The Eco Index, a project of the Outdoor Industry Association’s (OIA) Eco Working Group, is being launched this week at the Outdoor Retailer trade show for beta testing is intended for a range of products, from clothes to backpacks to camp stoves.

“It helps you identify the holes in the sustainability of your product and the impact your product is having,” said Beth Jensen, OIA’s corporate responsibility manager.

According to GreenBiz.com, the version of the Eco Index being released isn’t complete, but the OIA wanted to get a version out and in use so it can gather feedback and tweak it if necessary as it finishes up the rest of the Eco Index.

From Guidelines to Facts and Figures

The Eco Index, a web-based tool, has three levels, Jensen said, which are guidelines, indicators and metrics. The guidelines are just what they sound like, guidelines for how companies can be more conscious and sustainable when making products. Read more…

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