It's Not Easy Being Clean .. Opps .. Green


Earth_day Earth Day was once a quaint little holiday. Almost four decades later April 22nd has become a day that combines education with celebration. From the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' week long Party for the Planet, complete with marketing sponsorship opportunities to a benefit Shred-a-Thon for the Farmington River Watershed Association in Connecticut to hundreds of events in almost every city, town and school Earth Day sometimes has the feel of a Hallmark Holiday. From a marketer's view point that type of exposure certainly creates grass root awareness. Earth Day 2008 Event Calendar

As my friend Mary Clare Hunt preaches it will be Wall Street, not government, that will turn the tides when it comes to impacting "eco friendly" behavior. Business, including venture capital firms, are beginning to put a lot of green lettuce, and we're not talking salad stuff, in support of environmental initiatives. WSJ reports that VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is devoting about one-third of its $700 million investment portfolio to green technology e.g., alternative fuels, fuel-efficient devices.

Mike Italiano, MTS CEO, in a detailed post on MTS' Smart Solutions For Sustainable Business blog, tells us that Green Building Investment Underwriting Standards are expected to add an estimated $1 trillion/year to the global economy after five years.

Mike's post includes a comprehensive list of companies that are involved in the Capital Markets Partnership program. Major cities such as Chicago, New York and Dallas are working along side of high profiled financial institutions JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase CitiGroup Smith Barney. Bloggy disclaimer: I've worked with MTS on the blog.

In the direct to consumer side, grocery stores like Publix and Whole Foods Market are getting into the act with extensive green initiatives. Dell's regeneration goes a step further and incorporates social media involving customers by giving them a platform to express their vision and ideas of how to "clean it up." These type of programs can't help but influence purchase behavior.

Social media is making an impact too. According to research from Nielsen Online protecting the environment has become increasingly important to consumers, with online buzz around sustainability growing 50 percent in 2007. "...consumers are becoming increasingly vocal online about the  issue of sustainability... Blogger attention to... issues like pollution, toxins and sustainable agriculture reveal an important intersection between personal health and environmental wellness." Jessica Hogue, research director, Nielsen Online.

As we're seeing "Green" has morphed into a cool marketing strategy. However, Nielsen's research cautions businesses to be careful how products/ are positioned and promoted. Nielsen_sustainability_2_2 "Consumers expect consistency in action and authentic and transparent messaging."

That's not to say that if your organization is doing good why not let your customers know and reap a few atta girl sales. It's not easy being clean .. opps .. green. Thank you to the companies that are working to keep our earth green and our skies blue.

Read More

WSJ Special Report - Environmental Capital
Smart Solutions For Sustainable Business
Big Green Purse 
Diva Marketing Talks About Green Marketing With Mary Clare Hunt and Ginny Dyson

Wecai_trust_cover_2_2WE Earth Day Issue - Congrats! to Mary Clare Hunt for being the lead story and the Diva cover girl! Toss of a pink boa .. or should it be green .. to publisher Heidi Richards WE.


Trackback url:


Happy Earth Day, Toby! Thank you for pulling all these silos of thought together in one post. You have an incredible gift for helping people understand complex subjects and their inter-relationships.

My sincere gratitude for your clean/green support, guidance and leadership.


Posted by: Mary Hunt on Apr 22, 2008 12:17:16 PM

@Mary - Thanks for your kind words and what's more important thanks for leading the charge on this issue. as Jeneane Sessum would say - "You're the bomb."

Posted by: Toby on Apr 22, 2008 12:21:40 PM

Toby, as always, you've done your homework! Great content -- and so much of it. Plus, it's timely. I'm going to take a deeper dive into the some of the links you've provided.

If anyone is interested, there's an article on The 60 Second Marketer that has 10 steps marketers can take to become Green. Some of them include what you'd expect, like using recycled paper in your collateral. Other suggestions go deeper like applying predictive models to your mailing list to eliminate unresponsive prospects and reduce waste. Here's a link:

Again, Toby, thanks for bringing an important issue to the forefront of our minds. You rock!

All the best,
Jamie Turner

Posted by: Jamie Turner on Apr 23, 2008 9:49:02 AM

This is an interesting post. You mentioned the work JPMorgan Chase is doing with clean investments--if you'd like to learn more about their efforts, their Managing Director of Energy Investments will be speaking at the Renewable Energy Finance Forum in New York City in June 2008. The conference brings together financiers, investors, and renewable energy project developers to network, strike deals, and to learn how money is made in the industry. Over 40 industry leaders will be speaking at the event, making REFF a "must-attend" event for everyone interested in renewable energy finance. For more information, visit

Posted by: Samantha Jacoby on Apr 24, 2008 3:00:56 PM

Thanks for pointing this out - this is a very important field for me in terms of product development and branding. Mary's teaching me some new ropes and perspectives along the way. I started reading John Grant's "Green Marketing Manifesto", which is a great primer into the field, and types of firms practicing green to various degrees.

Posted by: Mario Vellandi on Apr 25, 2008 1:59:33 AM

I liked how contradictory actions topped the list. It reminds me of the huge 7 MPG SUV that the car company puts a hybrid engine in so it can get 9 MPG. :)

Posted by: Mark - Productivity501 on Apr 25, 2008 9:15:31 PM

We are celebrated to the Earth Day, we're throwing more than 100 parties across North America! You won't want to miss the fun — activities, prizes, giveaways and entertainment of all kinds.

Posted by: George on Apr 29, 2008 4:44:13 AM

Awesome post. I've been looking for a post which mentions the convergence of the 2 biggest trends in today's market, going green and using social media.

Excellent content!

Posted by: Mark on Jun 20, 2008 10:11:48 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.