We haven't focused on green marketing/ corporate policy issues much of late but a recent post over on the Environmental Paper Boy (EPB) raised some interesting questions in these areas.
The piece focused on publisher Simon & Schuster's announcement last week of a new corporate policy related to their paper use. Being a leading book publishing company their actions in regards to paper are important since they use so much of it.
Josh at EPB found the company's new policy to be a "joke" and was highly critical over the conditions the company set on some of their green goals outlined in the plan. While the EPB site clearly has a more green slant to the issues it covers - the piece raises some interesting questions.
In a period when just about every aspect of corporate America is trying to "go green" is it helpful or hurtful to publish a policy that really doesn't seem to accomplish all that much?
Or is Simon & Schuster's policy actually a realistic paper usage policy and we are so heavily inundated with greenwashing and green claims these days that as a result their policy seems insignificant?
Is the fact Simon & Schuster is making an attempt to increase the amount of FSC certified paper they use to 10% by 2012 (with three conditions applied to it) something to highlight or has such an action already become a norm or minimum standard in assessing greenness these days?
Its an interesting question and one with much relevance to the packaging industry. When store brands like Target's Archer Farms Organic are using FSC certified Mixed Source paperboard packaging doesn't that establish a baseline?
So if another company comes out with a sustainable packaging policy that stipulates in five years they plan to convert 10% of their paperboard packaging to FSC certified Mixed Source paper - its not all that impressive. Others in the industry are doing it and have been for a while.