Greener Printing for Authentic Marketing Communications

Marketing is at the heart of every small business. It is almost universally cited as the number one challenge for small businesses, and is often the highest discretionary expenditure for most small businesses. Many times print advertising is sworn off by green businesses, due to the lingering doubts about the forestry industry and the excessive paper waste (not to mention energy consumption, transit miles, etc.) traditionally associated with print media.   FSC certification is a good way to assure that paper used in printing comes from a sustainable source (as opposed to SFI certification, which is an industry front-group known for greenwashing).

But what about the message that companies want to send?  Is FSC certified paper enough to allay the fears of green consumers?

According to Bruce Barrow, Principal of GreenerDM, “The paper industry really does get a bad rap.” GreenerDM is a full service marketing communications firm (consultation, creative development, and print management), grounded in a mutual passion for changing the way businesses communicate with their consumers. Its Web to Print Store allows businesses to quickly and responsibly print, using high amounts of post-consumer recycled paper products. The store itself is a sustainable operation: all orders are printed on digital presses powered by renewables. GreenerDM also offers carbon offsets as part of a package.

Marketing communications firms like GreenerDM interweave sustainability into the brand messaging, offering a difference from traditional point-click-print solutions that don’t incorporate creative genius. By engaging sustainability professionals like GreenerDM, your small business can avoid inauthentic communications that can deter customers.

“By having on-staff principals both educated in and experienced in sustainable business, creative development, and print management for Fortune 500s; GreenerDM is able to bring this expertise and apply it to communications for small and medium-sized businesses in one place—affordably and at the quality they deserve,” says Martin Kojnok, a graduate of the Presidio Graduate School and Principal of GreenerDM.

Authentic communications are one of the seven non-negotiable strategies for marketing green identified in a free report by GreenBusinessOwner.com. Engaging a full service marketing agency with sustainability professionals like GreenerDM is a great way to generate authentic messages on authentic materials to connect with authentic customers.

Scott Cooney, Principal of GreenBusinessOwner.com and author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill, November 2008), is also a serial ecopreneur who has started and grown several green businesses and consulted several other green startups. He co-founded the ReDirect Guide, a green business directory, in Salt Lake City, UT. He greened his home in Salt Lake City, including xeriscaping, an organic orchard, extra natural fiber insulation, a 1.8kW solar PV array, on-demand hot water, energy star appliances, and natural paints. He is a vegetarian, an avid cyclist, ultimate frisbee player, and surfer, and currently lives in the sunny Mission district of San Francisco. Scott is working on his second book, a look at microeconomics in the green sector.In June 2010, Scott launched GreenBusinessOwner.com, a sustainability consulting firm dedicated to providing solutions to common business problems by leveraging the power of the triple bottom line. Focused exclusively on small business, GBO's mission is to facilitate the creation and success of small, green businesses.