Green marketers: practising what they preach?

LONDON - As a growing number of brands urge consumers to be greener, Marketing asked two key industry figures to chart their environmental behaviour over a week to see whether they are following their own advice.

ROISIN'S DIARY

Roisin Donnelly is corporate marketing director at Procter & Gamble, and The Marketing Society's Marketer of the Year. Here's her diary.

DAY 1

Camping in France, so conserving power compared with stay in a hotel. However, the campsite had no recycling facilities. Had a lovely lunch where all the ingredients were locally sourced. Drove back with husband and three daughters through the Channel Tunnel. Was worried about the carbon footprint of the journey so visited Innocent's website to make use of its 'buy one get one tree' promotion. Planted a tree and felt better. Then attacked the laundry and did two full loads at 30û. It was raining so had to use tumble dryer, but did so on the lowest setting. Turned off all electrical appliances at the mains before bed, except the PVR as am worried it will lose all the settings.

DAY 2

Walked to work New York-style in my trainers. My family and I moved to Weybridge to cut the time taken by commuting and improve our work/life balance.

Procter & Gamble tries to embed sustainability in every stage of the business and I try to do this at work. I had several conference calls to our Geneva office and called my opposite number in Germany, so no carbon emissions from travelling. However, I was sitting so still that the lights went off, as we have motion detectors in the office to save energy.

Recycled all my paper at end of day. Walked to the gym, before walking home.

DAY 3

Made packed lunches for children who were attending Stagecoach. There was a huge amount of packaging. Tried to recycle using bread packet and wrappers rather than cling film and to recycle other wrapping for tomorrow's packed lunch.

Went to see Globe production of Romeo and Juliet at the local National Trust gardens. Actors face challenges from planes overhead and traffic on the nearby A3. Signs tell us to take our rubbish home with us.

DAY 4

Flew to Dublin to meet marketing team, got taxi to airport and from airport to office - a bad day for carbon emissions. Lots of recycling at the Dublin office. Visited stores to touch base with our brands and was glad to see that there is an Irish tax on plastic bags of 15c. Flew home and visited www.growaforest.com, which lets you plant a tree to offset the day's emissions.

DAY 5

Elmbridge Council collected our recycling (glass, plastic and newspapers) at home. I also collected all our food refuse and gave it to the tiger worms in our Wiggly Wrigglers composting bin. However, kids seem to waste food faster than worms can consume it. The worms are also fussy and do not eat meat and fish.

Brought shoes to work for Blue Peter recycling appeal. Having three girls we hand down clothes, though second-hand shoes are not popular.

Today's office mail brought several unsolicited pitches from agencies. I get more than 20 a week. Today I got a poster telling me that marketing directors are replaced every 14 months; as I am in my seventh year, I binned the warning.

DAY 6

Rained today so walked halfway to work, then got on bus that P&G shares with Sony. Today's office mail brought the week's trade and consumer magazines. Each came in a plastic bag with a sheaf of inserts. One came with a covermount - a wallet in two plastic bags. Also received an Amazon delivery from the US in a box 10 times the size of the item inside.

DAY 7

I had my groceries home delivered to save using car. Despite my request for the 'naked' option with minimum use of plastic bags, today's delivery comprised 22. One contained only two packets of brownies already sealed in a plastic bag and a box, though the driver happily took the bags back for recycling. I was also concerned to find my green beans and broccoli were labelled 'by air' and had come from Kenya, while my apples were from New Zealand and South Africa.

Took the girls to the local 'pick your own' farm, where there were green beans and broccoli in the packaging nature intended. However, it crossed my mind that the Kenyans are more dependent on these vegetables' export than the people of Walton-on-Thames.

MICHAEL'S DIARY

Michael Sugden is managing partner at VCCP, whose clients include Coca-Cola and Dyson

DAY 1

Decided to monitor how much rubbish I throw away in a typical day at work - 302 pages of A4 paper. According to the Any Question Answered (AQA) site, an average tree produces 8333 sheets of A4 paper, so I'm throwing away one tree every 27 days. I should be shot. Must stop printing out presentations and emails. Must start printing double-sided. Feel bad.

DAY 2

Monitored my transport habits. Cycled in to work, a good start, but then took eight cabs throughout the day. Checked the emissions calculator at greentomatocars.com. Reckon my cab journeys burned 23kg of carbon. If I did that every working day of the year, it would total more than six tonnes of carbon. Must try harder.

DAY 3

Only two cabs today. Even took a bendy bus. Bought lunch from Pr?t A Manger as usual; one carrier bag, three napkins, a sandwich box and crisp packet. Met friends for dinner. Ordered an Antipodean ros? then changed my mind and ordered English wine instead. Big mistake, but still pleased with myself for buy-ing local. Any good was undone by the three of us heading for home in separate cabs.

DAY 4

I thought I was green but am fast realising my efforts are complete tokenism. Need to buy a new car; this is my chance to really make a difference. Everybody's talking about Lexus and Prius hybrid cars. Investigated and discovered more energy is used producing a car than is used in its life-time. Wondered whether best option would be to run my old car into the ground. Asked AQA. It agreed. Decided to delay new car by a year. Very unhappy wife, which hurts, but for the first time this week I feel good.

DAY 5

Went to treehugger.com for more inspiration. It suggested blackle.com, essentially Google with a black screen. In theory, it uses less energy. Made it my default search engine.

DAY 6

Ditched blackle. It made my eyes go funny. Came back from work and found 13 items of junk mail on the doorstep. Put 'no junk mail' sticker on letterbox.

DAY 7

Only three items of junk mail today, but four sacks of domestic rubbish for the week, and only one recyclable.

 

 

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