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GDUSA Green Newsletter

September 2012

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FACEBOOK OR A MEDIUM LATTE

These days — for good and ill, inspiring and insufferable — Facebook and Google set the pace on corporate behavior and corporate responsibility. Case in point: their respective high-profile revelations on carbon emissions and energy use. Here, intentions are largely good. As Facebook puts it: “We’re releasing this data because we believe in the power of openness, and because we hope that adding another data point to our collective understanding of our industry’s environmental impact will help us all keep improving.” For the record, Facebook appears ahead of its frenemy in performance: its total carbon footprint is one-fifth that of Google. Facebook is also ahead of Google in spinning its energy use. A spokesperson notes that for the typical Facebook user, a year’s worth of liking and posting consumes 269 grams of carbon equivalent – “roughly the same carbon footprint as one medium latte. Or three large bananas. Or a couple of glasses of wine.”
 
— Gordon Kaye, editorial@gdusa.com

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FACEBOOK REPORTS ENERGY USE
Facebook has issued its first report on carbon footprint, energy mix and energy use for it’s array of data centers and global offices. The release, says the company, comes from its “belief in the power of openness, and because we hope that adding another data point to our collective understanding of our industry’s environmental impact will help us all keep improving.” Among the figures reported for 2011, the most recent full year available, include: the annual carbon footprint per monthly active Facebook user is 269 grams; the total energy use from office space, data centers and other facilities is approximately 532 million killowatt hours; greenhouse gas emissions total approximately 285,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent; and the energy mix is 23 percent clean and renewable, 27 percent coal, 17 percent natural gas,13 percent nuclear and 20 percent uncategorized. Facebook says it is looking to source 25 percent of its energy for data centers from clean power of hydro, solar and wind by 2015, a goal it says will not be easy to achieve. The company’s sustainability guru is Bill Weihl, who originally worked for Google.

domtar

BLUE BREAKS THROUGH
FOR EARTHCHOICE

The Brand Union has developed a visual branding identity for Domtar EarthChoice® environmentally responsible paper products. The EarthChoice “Loop,” created by The Brand Union, reflects Domtar’s belief that sustainability is a continuous process, not a destination. “The updated EarthChoice brand strategy and logo, which replaces the color green with blue, were designed to represent the brand’s ongoing commitment to create better products, ideas, and services, while distinguishing themselves in a saturated marketplace,” said Sam Becker, design director at The Brand Union. The result, which effectively breaks through the eco-label clutter (with a staggering 600 eco-green labels worldwide), was a team effort led by the WPP-owned brand strategy and design consultancy, in collaboration with sustainability-centric advertising firm OgilvyEarth. Kathy Wholley, Director of Advertising and Communications at Domtar states, “The new EarthChoice brand will help Domtar communicate our sustainability platform. The loop itself has been helpful as a visual cue to tell the story and we have enjoyed the versatility of the design, consistently finding different images that work well within the brackets. The symbol allows us to stitch our story together in a cohesive way.”

exelon

LOGO WAVES TO CLEAN POWER
Futurebrand developed this new logo, evocative of a flag, for Exelon. The client is a leading U.S. energy provider with its family of business involved in all parts of the process, from generation to power sales to transmission to delivery. It is also the largest owner and operator of nuclear plants in the United States and counts with over 27,000 employees in operations and business activities in 47 states. The emblem has three colors, said to represent Exelon’s commitment to progress, customers — and, course, sustainability.

DESIGN FIRM WINS ‘OUTSIDE’ RANKING
Haberman has been named to Outside Magazine’s “Best Places to Work” list. The Minneapolis marketing and design firm was ranked 91 out of 100 selected companies. For the fifth year, rhe magazine’s listing celebrates companies who set a standard for a healthy work-life balance – those that best enable employees to pursue active lifestyles while also supporting their social and environmental contributions. Comments CEO Fred Haberman: “… we’ve hired the brightest, most passionate people – they’re attracted by our agency’s meaningful work with organizations making a difference in the world, as well as benefits like our employee vegetable garden and our various health and wellness programs.” “We’re thrilled to celebrate these forward-thinking companies,” says Michael Roberts, senior executive editor of Outside. “They believe success depends on helping their employees live more active and fulfilling lives. The kinds of benefits they’re providing – free fitness classes, flexible hours, subsidized healthy meals, lots of time out of the office – result in a more productive and engaged staff.”

‘LUNCH IN THE SKY’ IMAGERY STILL THRILLS

SEE IT >

eggcarton

PACKAGE DESIGNER EGGS US ON
Question everything. Clearly Hungarian designer and graduate student Otília Andrea Erdélyi clearly does since she tackled the ubiquitous egg carton. The result is a minimalist but still effective package design that uses a single piece of recyclable cardboard. It folds back to both display and protect the eggs. She writes: My goal was to design an innovative package using a small amount of material… The eggs are placed into ellipse-shaped cuts. The consumer can get the eggs by the turning of the topside.”
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nakedbrand

MOVIE SAYS BRANDS ARE NAKED
The Naked Brand will have a full digital release on iTunes, Hulu, Netflix and other platforms in November. The high-profile documentary contends that brands — and the planet — will be better off it marketers tell the truth and add purpose to their message — be it sustainability, transparency, cultural activities, or a better consumer experience. It stars the likes of Alex Bogusky and Shaquille O’Neal. A project of the Questus advertising agency, the theme is that companies now find themselves in a connected world where great ads or design cannot cover up shabby products or bad behavior. Unilever Chief Marketing Officer Keith Weed states in the film: “In the digital world, a brand is judged by what it says but more importantly by what it does. Advertising can introduce a brand to new consumers but ultimately a brand is judged by how it acts.”
WATCH THE TRAILER >

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GREEN ADS GROW IN GOOD TIMES
Consumers are more receptive to environmental appeals and marketers do more environmental advertising when the economy is improving. That is the conclusion of a new study by Penn State University — using National Geographic magazine records over three decades — which finds a strong correlation between GDP and the amount of environmental advertising that is run. Lee Ahern, one of researchers said, “We found that changes in GDP do indeed predict the level of ‘green’ advertising… Results support the idea that key economic indicators affect the level of green strategic messaging… This perspective argues that environmental concern will be greater in stronger economies and better economic times. By extension, consumers will be more attuned and receptive to green appeals when the economy is improving, and marketers will employ more green advertising.” Why did the researches select Nat Geo ? It is consistently among the highest circulation publications in the country; it has maintained the same editorial mission and demographics over the last 30 years; and it is a natural outlet for environmental advertising.

aiga

MUCH TO BE GAIN(ED) AT CONFERENCE
Coming this October is the “Gain: AIGA Design for Social Value Conference.” The goal is for design, business and social innovation leaders from a variety of industries to share their approaches to creating social value in an era where corporate responsibility is on the rise. What designers do on a daily basis – create, communicate, strategize, analyze, translate, collaborate – is what puts them in the perfect position to build social value for their companies, clients and communities. The date is October 9-10 and the place is the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco.
REGISTER NOW >

10 TAKEAWAYS FROM 26TH STOCK SURVEY…

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QUOTE: AS MOTHER NATURE INTENDED
“The prevalence of green this spring is undeniable. Similar to the many shades in our natural surroundings, this season’s greens offer a stunning foreground or the perfect backdrop for all other hues. Like the first signs of spring, Tender Shoots, a vibrant yellow-green, is invigorating, active and cheerful, while Grayed Jade, a subtle, hushed green with a gray undertone, brings about a mood of quiet reflection and repose. Sophisticated Emerald, a lively, radiant green, inspires insight and clarity while enhancing our sense of well-being. From one extreme to the other, combining all three greens presents an intriguing choice much like Mother Nature intended.”
— Pantone Fashion Color Report For Spring 2013
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recycling

MAGAZINE INSERT RECYCLES ITSELF
A magazine insert from VW South Africa tells its green story – about the automaker's eco-friendly BlueMotion technology. Then it drives the “reduce your impact wherever you can” message home – by including a pre-paid mailing label to send the magazine to a recy. Ogilvy Cape Town, the direct response agency, says its generated twice the response expected.

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