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Where the Grass and the Profits are Greener

(March 2008) posted on Thu Mar 06, 2008

Cutting through eco-jargon to nail down green practices and products.

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By Peggy Middendorf

Going green is not just a company tagline or a passing fad. It’s here to stay, and sooner or later you’ll likely have to get on the bandwagon-either of your own free will or, alternately, kicking and screaming.

"It will come to the point within the next five years that if your company doesn’t have green strategies and products, people will stop doing business with you," cautions Peter Evans, partner and vice president of IconPrint ( in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada.
Here in the States, Brandon Gabriel, principal and head of new business development at LAgraphico ( in Burbank, California, "Now that some of the bigger corporations-such as Wal-Mart and Target-are focusing more on the practice, it has everyone scrambling to be green."

When well-known names like that are dropped, and with all the publicity that sustainability and going green has received in recent months, you may be tempted to dive headfirst into the green movement. The key to success here, however, is the same as in any other aspect of your business: Take small steps and be sure to ask all the right questions up front.

Bang for the green buck

Perhaps the first question that inevitably arises is: "Will green products cost more?" Followed by, "And will customers be willing to pay a higher price for a green solution?" The answer is, alas, a firm "Maybe."

Generally, print providers are finding that clients with a commitment will pay more for "green" graphics. Clients with restrictive budgets, however, will tend to stick with a non-green product if it gives them more bang for their buck. "Right now, those without the corporate commitment aren’t ready," says Evans. "There isn’t enough pressure on them to request and pay for green products." But, he adds, "If you show people that there’s money in being green, they’ll do it."