GDUSA Green Newsletter

August 2011


Today’s enewsletter notes Interbrand’s top 50 global green brands. The rankings are interesting in and of themselves. But so, too, is another finding: there is often a gap between performance and perception. On one hand, several companies, such as L’Oréal, Nokia, and HSBC, score significantly higher in environmental performance than perception. This suggest that while they do great things internally, they do not communicate their efforts clearly. On the other hand, McDonald’s, GE, and Coke all score much higher in perception than performance. This suggests that powerful consumer brands experience a halo effect. Two life lessons from back in kindergarten. First, speak up if you want to be heard. Second, life isn’t always fair.

— Gordon Kaye


Green News


After 25 years, Laura’s Lean Beef, the country’s leading lean and natural beef brand is getting a makeover. The company will debut its new look in more than 7,000 grocery stores in September. The brand identity refresh includes logo, packaging, point-of-sale, web site, digital and print advertising and tagline — “smarter beef.” “We're attracting a new generation of consumers that are both health conscious and eco-conscious ... [T]hey want to support brands that demonstrate responsibility in the areas of sustainable farming, chemical free processing and humane animal husbandry practices,” says Marketing Director Chris Anderson.

Deep discounts on printing AND a free 30-day trial of Vistaprint Pro Advantage for GDUSA readers. LEARN MORE >


Over the past decade, Growing Greener has invested in thousands of projects across Pennsylvania, helping to improve air and water quality, sustain jobs and local economies, preserve working farms, provide recreational opportunities, and revitalize communities. In these challenging times, funding for the program is running dry, and putting Pennsylvania’s environment, economy, communities, and quality of life at risk. Philadelphia’s Paragraph Design is helping the Renew Growing Greener Coalition identify sustainable sources of funding to keep the program active. Through messaging and a new brochure, the design firm asks the question, “What’s at stake when green is gone?”


In creating a new identity for a 37-year-old member-owned co-op grocery, Geyrhalter & Company developed a design that has an authentic, handmade feel, yet a brand that feels full of life. The identity is part of a full rebranding project for Co-opportunity Natural Foods Market, which will manifest inside the store and online in the coming months.

GDUSA writer Sasha Kaye has a webseries, Waiting on Others, competing in the NexTv people’s choice awards. It’s a comedy about making it as an actress-waitress in NYC. If you have a moment, please watch and/or vote to help it get to the finals! (It is listed under Sasha Kaye.) PLEASE VOTE >

Australian studio Ecocreative designed The Little Book of Solar for the Solar Shop The booklet is a light and wry primer on using and producing solar electricity at home. The piece is printed with vegetable-based inks on postconsumer recycled paper under an ISO14001-certified environmental management system. Creative credits go to Creative Director Matthew Wright-Simon, Designer Clare Andrew, and Illustrator Robin Green.



Toyota, 3M, Siemens, Johnson + Johnson, and HP lead Interbrand’s new global report, “Best Global Green Brands.” In its first global report to focus exclusively on green, Interbrand, combined public perception of environmental sustainability with a demonstration of that performance based on publically available data. Several other American brands, such as Dell, Cisco, Xerox, GE and Coke, made the Top 50 list. The findings show that the strongest green brands consistently differentiate themselves and engage in green activities that consumers find relevant, as well as implement profitable green practices -- from executing environmental programs to measuring and reporting their performance to the public. “As corporate citizenship increasingly becomes the norm, green initiatives may be among the most visible and easiest to claim and yet, can be the most challenging to deliver performance against,” said Jez Frampton, Global CEO at Interbrand. “The strongest green brands lie at the intersection of performance and perception: their ability to build stronger connections with consumers as a result of actionable and credible environmental practices.”

EcoMedia's EcoAd advertising program has recently grown its client base, adding nearly 20 new advertisers, each of which have purchased ad time that will, in turn, support local environmental projects in communities across the country. The EcoAd program provides advertisers with the option of purchasing media that will deliver added value beyond a traditional marketing campaign. With the purchase of every EcoAd package on a CBS platform, a portion of dollars spent goes directly toward funding environmental and clean energy projects. Among the new clients: Boston Properties, Cirque du Soleil, Ford Dealers of Northern California, Solar City and Winthrop Hospital.


Gregory Thomas, a regular subject of GDUSA editorial coverage for his branding expertise, is now a Professor of Design at the University of Kansas Director School of Architecture, Design & Planning. He writes: “Since coming to KU I’ve been working on developing a Center for Design Research. This is a think tank for various disciplines to collaborate on a range of industry related design problems. A big catalyst for getting the Center moving was the recent construction of a new Research Center. The project was designed and built by our Architecture students and is perhaps the only building of its kind. It is inclusive of every form of energy development and distribution imaginable...” Professor Thomas says that the Center, of which he is the Director, encourages collaboration among faculty and students in many disciplines to address challenges and create new knowledge about sustainable practices in fields such as architecture, design, engineering and business. The facility will also showcase new technologies to the public.

The Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company is under attack for an advertising campaign touting the “eco-friendly” nature of its cigarettes. The company, which is owned by Reynolds American, says its green credibility is deserved because it purchases 100% wind power and roughly 75% of company staffers drive hybrid vehicles. in 2010, it was a member of the EPA’s Green Power Leadership Club, and it earned ISO 14001 environmental certification for its headquarters. Environmental and health advocates say it's inherently wrong to call a cigarette green because of its health effects. Not to mention litter issues; 5.6 trillion cigarettes are discarded into the environment worldwide each year. More to come.


A breaking print campaign for the International Mountain Bicycling Assocation -- called “Trail Love” -- takes an indirect path to membership in the group. New agency, Cultivator Advertising & Design of Denver, features the end result of membership -- more trails as the result of IMBA’s trailbuilding. Visually, the campaign alludes to volunteerism with snapshot-style photography, hand-style typography and design elements, and rough-hewn icons Tim Abare is Creative Director and Jeremy Pruitt is Art Director/Letterer. Illustration is by John Fellows.