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Industry Insight

Sprinting Into Sustainability?

By Richard Romano
Published: June 18, 2012

Here we go again. Sprint apparently is disappointed by the underwhelming response to paperless billing so they have decided to take a slightly different tack, and develop a reusable envelope to help cut down on paper waste. Okay, I can get on board with that; it’s not a Toshiba-like demonization of an entire industry, but a somewhat rational approach to cutting down the number of envelopes floating around. Fine. We’ve been through this a zillion times, but let’s be clear. Companies like Sprint or the credit card companies, etc., are not pushing paperless billing out of concern for the environment. Maybe on some level they have convinced themselves that they are, but they’re not. They’re trying to save money on paper and printing. Fine, I get that, and if companies want to cut costs, they’ll get no argument from me (heck, I write for an online publication!). But a little more transparency in their motives would be nice, and not so much with the greenwashing.
The envelope redesign—conceived and launched in nine months, a speed that company reps call record time—is part of Sprint's paper reduction strategy, which aims to cut down the company's paper purchase and usage.
I guess we shouldn’t take the name “Sprint” too literally. But...it took nine months to design an envelope? That’s about as strange as learning that it took two people to write the song “Happy Birthday.” I do love the reader comment about how the glue on the reusable envelope doesn’t work so you have to tape the envelope shut. Oops.

Please offer your feedback to Richard. He can be reached at richard@whattheythink.com.



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