Your company's sustainability commitments can be some of the toughest stories to tell. There's often no "hard news," very few reporters actually cover the topic as a dedicated beat and initiatives often take place thousands of miles away, far from the backyards of the average consumer.
On a recent trip to Calgary, Canada, I noticed that I was repeatedly being asked the same question every time I went shopping and it wasn't "paper or plastic." I was being asked, "Do you need a bag with that?" I wondered ... are Canadian cashiers better environmental stewards? And then I noticed on my receipts that for every "yes" answer, I was being charged five cents. It was enough to motivate a change in behavior: I began answering that question with a polite "no."
A study published in the journal Public Understanding of Science in July 2012 found that the rate of green marketing in the marketplace rises and falls consistently with key indicators of economic growth, such as GDP. According to Lee Ahern, assistant professor of Advertising and Public Relations at Penn State's College of Communications and one of the three primary researchers in the study, "marketers have their fingers on the pulse of public sentiment. Using the level of green advertising as a proxy for general environmental concern, we can see that economic trends significantly predict this 'greenness' indicator."