Campaign Ads & The Environment
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Press release from the issuing companyMercer Island, WA (July 16, 2008) – Political advertising produces far more than hot air… specifically tons of green house gas emissions. Both of the Presidential campaigns are touting their efforts to "green" their conventions in 2008, but so far neither campaign has addressed the carbon footprint of political advertising. While spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a day, each campaign has the opportunity to determine the carbon footprint of their advertising and set an example on the issue of climate change.
Given the importance of climate change and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions stated by both presidential candidates, quantifying and reducing the carbon footprints of their advertising would be one of the material ways they could "walk the talk" prior to the election, setting an example for the RNC, the DNC, political action committees and the hundreds of state and local offices marketing their candidates for the 2008 election.
Don Carli Quote
According to Don Carli, Senior Research Fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Communication, and Conference Chair of The Green Media Show, "Neither print nor digital media supply chains are sustainable as currently configured, but they can be if advertisers make identifying and reducing the carbon footprint of advertising a priority."
"The supply chains that print and digital media depend on consume over 100 Billion Kilowatts of electricity per year. According to the US Energy Information Administration, US data centers and servers consumed 61 Billion Kilowatt hours of electricity in 2006 and papermaking in the U.S. consumed 75 Billion Kilowatt hours of electricity." Carli continued. "Leading brands such as Time Inc., Timberland and Patagonia are examining the carbon footprint of advertising media… why not political advertisers? The Institute for Sustainable Communication invites key advertising managers and media planners for the McCain and Obama campaigns to attend SustainCommWorld – The Green Media Show in Boston on October 1-2, 2008 to learn how they can measure, credibly offset, and ultimately reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with political advertising and political events."
The Environmental Cost of Advertising and Marketing Communications
A recently released study from PQ Media reports that political ad spending is expected to climb 43% to an all-time high of $4.5 billion during the 2008 election cycle with marketing services such as direct mail, public relations, promotion and event marketing expected to be $1.48 billion – almost a third of the total. To get a sense of what that would mean in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and costs for offsetting them, a recent Pitney Bowes study determined that the delivery of a letter by the USPS results in the emission of about 20 grams of CO2 equivalent emissions per letter delivered. According to officials at the Direct Marketing Association, the cost of a typical piece of mail is approximately 50 cents. $50 million dollars could buy 100 million pieces of direct mail and the carbon footprint associated with just the distribution of the mail would be 2000 tons of greenhouse gasses. With carbon credits priced at $15 dollars a ton, the cost of offsetting the footprint of a $50 million dollar campaign would be $30,000 – less than 1% of the cost of the campaign.
Lisa Wellman Quote
"Identifying and reducing the carbon footprint of advertising supply chains would create jobs, make a significant contribution to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help to ensure the security and sustainability of the media supply chains that they depend on," said Lisa Wellman, CEO of SustainCommWorld, the show's producers. "This is a time when the country is looking for leadership on issues surrounding sustainability and the environment."
The Green Media Show and Conference Background Information
SustainCommWorld – The Green Media Show and Conference will focus on bottom-line solutions to address enterprise communication and sustainability including: increased brand equity; growing shareholder value; business risk reduction; supply chain activity; sustainability reporting; carbon foot-printing and more. The conference will offer top executives uniquely valuable perspectives probing every aspect of sustainable communications from initiating a sustainability program, best practices and implementation strategies, to sustainability reports. The Conference brings together thought leaders in sustainability with a focus on the graphic communication industry and marketing communications, their supply chains and relevant enterprise stakeholders.
Don Carli Quote on Conference
"This conference brings together thought leaders in sustainability with a focus on the graphic communication industry and marketing communications, their supply chains and relevant enterprise stakeholders to discuss, challenge, learn and drive implementation of best practices in the greening of media," states Carli.
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