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GDUSA Green Newsletter

October 2012

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BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

Years after the process began, and months after the FTC released its initial draft of the new Green Marketing Guides, the final version has now been published. The Guides, like rest of the Code of Federal Regulations, is a dry affair, unlikely to be made into a movie anytime soon. But at its heart, it is a sensible set of rules for marketers that should reduce “greenwashing” and over-the-top claims. As FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz nicely puts it: “The introduction of environmentally friendly products into the marketplace is a win for consumers who want to purchase greener products and for producers who want to sell them. But this win-win can only occur if marketers’ claims are truthful and substantiated. The FTC’s changes to the Green Guides will level the playing field for honest business people and it is one reason why we had such broad support.” A long time coming, but better late than never.
 
— Gordon Kaye, editorial@gdusa.com

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printcity

PRINT! SEEN! LEAN AND GREEN!
Graph Expo has given its “Positively Print” award to PrintCity, a print advocacy group based in Germany. “The purpose of the ‘Positively Print’ program is to share examples of creative and effective print advocacy campaigns with the entire graphic communications industry,” explains Ralph Nappi, president of GASC, which operates the annual Graph Expo graphic arts mega-show. The winner, PrintCity, produced a program and brochure entitled “Print! Seen! Lean and Green” which promotes a two-part strategy to optimize successful uses of print. Firstly, print needs to be understood and seen as effective communication in its own right. Second, print needs to be produced with a combined lean and green manufacturing strategy to ensure profitability and sustainability. Graph Expo took place earlier this month in Chicago.
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AMAZON’S VINE ALIVE AND CLIMBING
If buying green is important to you in your domestic life, a new site now in beta wants to be your retailer. Vine.com is live, and invites consumers to “live life green.” All products on the shopping site are said to meet certain criteria for being labeled as green or eco-friendly. Quietly, Amazon is behind the site, since it owns the parent company, Quidsi, a network of specialized shopping sites. What are the green criteria? Vine states that it carries only products “made with healthy, environmentally sound ingredients and materials [and] at its core, is better for you and better for the planet.” Qualifying green products must meet at least one of these standards: made from sustainable materials; energy efficient; natural; organic; designed to remove toxins; or powered by renewable energy, reusable, or water efficient.

exelon

exelon

IS THIS HEAVEN? NO, IT’S IOWA!
To help WinField raise awareness for its Answer Plot Knowledge Events — which are held to inform farmers with the detailed crop and seed information — Colle+McVoy took on the notion that bigger is better. Two larger-than-life (22 foot tall) farmers were placed in a cornfield along Interstate 35 near Ames IA. Colle+McVoy worked with a California-based mural artist, John Cerney, to turn a photo of an actual Winfield seller and farmer into hand-painted works of art. At the agency, credits include Mike Caguin, CCO, Greg Wetzel, Group Creative Director. Matt Pruett, Senior Art Director, and Chris Peters, Art Buyer.

safeway

WINE GETS STRANGER & STRANGER
Safeway, not necessarily known for its wine collection, is now known for its creative and sustainable wine packaging. The folks at New York and London design firm, Creative Director Kevin Shaw, and his team are seeking to elevate the humble brown paper bag to create illustrated outer jackets for each wine. “This was an idea I had last year and I got together with a winery I was doing some labels for, and presented the idea to Safeway, who jumped at it,” says Shaw. The 100-percent recyclable, tear-free paper layers, designed to correspond with the wine labels — also by Stranger & Stranger — feature recipes and illustrations, along with facts and miscellany appropriate to the wine or a related occasion. The wines are produced by Sonoma Valley's Truett-Hurst winery, including a pinot noir, chardonnay, rose, sparkling wine and a red blend. The wraps are 100% FSC certified.
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artecnica

TOTE DESIGNED WITH A MESSAGE
Artecnica, founded a decade ago to provide artchitectural and interior design services, has developed a separate business, “Design With Conscience, ” whose goal is “to manufacture and produce products in accordance with humanitarian and environmentally friendly principles.” Their most recent product: a collaboration with the the Studio Lin graphic design firm, and Homeboy Industries, the largest gang prevention program in the US, to produce tote bags with a message. The bags are are screenprinted by ex-gang members using original calligraphy, featuring slogans like (see above) “Nothing Stops a Bullet Like a Job,” “Hard Work Is Easier Than Hard Time” and “We’re A Whole Lot More Than The Worst We’ve Ever Done.”
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KEURIG BREWS SUSTAINABLE STORY
Noting that it ranks number two of all brands in the new Landor Associates’ Breakaway Brands study, Keurig officials tell GDUSA that one major way it has differentiated its brand is with the concept of “single-serve sustainability.” Keurig conveys a consistent message that its one-use K-Cups are BPA free, and have a recyclable filter. In addition, the company donates 5% of pretax profits to support social and environmental causes, and in 2010 became the largest purchaser of fair trade certified coffee in the world. The Landor study highlights brands that have shown strong upward momentum in the past three years. The design firm contends that its brand selections are able to sustain brand strength because they foster Connection, Convenience and Confidence.
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SEE OUR SPECIAL
‘GREEN PEOPLE’ FEATURE

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WHAT THE FTC GREEN GUIDES SAY

The following are highlights excerpted from the FTC’s official executive summary of the new rules. The Commission has also made a video summary of the guides.
Visit…business.ftc.gov/multimedia/videos/green-guides

FTCvideo

General Claims

  • Marketers should not make broad, unqualified general environmental benefit claims like ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly.’ Broad claims are difficult to substantiate, if not impossible.
  • Marketers should qualify general claims with specific environmental benefits. Qualifications for any claim should be clear, prominent, and specific.
  • When a marketer qualifies a general claim with a specific benefit, consumers understand the benefit to be significant. As a result, marketers shouldn’t highlight small or unimportant benefits.
  • If a qualified general claim conveys that a product has an overall environmental benefit because of a specific attribute, marketers should analyze the trade-offs resulting from the attribute to prove the claim.

Third Party Certifications

  • Certifications and seals may be endorsements. According to the FTC’s Endorsement Guides:
  • Marketers should disclose any material connections to the certifying organization. A material connection is one that could affect the credibility of the endorsement.
  • Marketers shouldn’t use environmental certifications or seals that don’t clearly convey the basis for the certification, because the seals or certifications are likely to convey general environmental benefits.
  • To prevent deception, marketers using seals or certifications that don’t convey the basis for the certification should identify, clearly and prominently, specific environmental benefits.
  • Claiming “Green, made with recycled content” may be deceptive if the environmental costs of using recycled content outweigh the environmental benefits of using it.
  • Marketers can qualify certifications based on attributes that are too numerous to disclose by saying, “Virtually all products impact the environment. For details on which attributes we evaluated, go to [a website that discusses this product].” The marketer should make sure that the website provides the referenced information, and that the information is truthful and accurate.
  • A marketer with a third-party certification still must substantiate all express and implied claims.

Recyclable & Recycled Content Claims

  • Marketers should qualify recyclable claims when recycling facilities are not available to at least 60 percent of the consumers or communities where a product is sold.
  • The lower the level of access to appropriate facilities, the more a marketer should emphasize the limited availability of recycling for the product.
  • Marketers should make recycled content claims only for materials that have been recovered or diverted from the waste stream during the manufacturing process or after consumer use.
  • Marketers should qualify claims for products or packages made partly from recycled material - for example, “Made from 30% recycled material.”
  • • Marketers whose products contain used, reconditioned, or re-manufactured components should qualify their recycled content claims clearly and prominently to avoid deception about the components.

Source Reduction Claims

  • Marketers should qualify a claim that a product or package is lower in weight, volume, or toxicity clearly and prominently to avoid deception about the amount of reduction and the basis for comparison. For example, rather than saying the product generates “10 percent less waste,” the marketer could say the product generates “10 percent less waste than our previous product.”

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