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Earth Colors David Podmayersky on Being a Repeat Green Award Winner

Published on July 9, 2012

David Podmayersky, Sustainability Director at Earth Color speaks with Richard Romano in Atlanta during the Environmental Innovation Awards. David and Earth Color won in the category of Environmental Innovation and Your Community.

Richard Romano:  Hi.  This is Richard Romano from WhatTheyThink.com and we are here in Atlanta, Georgia, for the fourth annual WhatTheyThink Environmental Innovation Awards.  And we are talking with this year’s winner in the category of Environmental Sustainability in Your Community, a familiar face to the environmental innovation awards, Mr. Dave Podmayersky, Director of Sustainability for Earth Color.  So congratulations again.

Dave Podmayersky:  Thank you.

Richard Romano:  Now tell us a little bit about Earth Color, your background, where you’re located, what kind of work you do.

Dave Podmayersky:  Well, we’re headquartered in New Jersey.  We have facilities across the country, mainly east of the Mississippi, Houston, Florida, New York, New Jersey.  We are a large commercial print enterprise.  And recently, we’ve undertaken looking at cross-media platform as related to growth mechanism for our business, and integrating print to digital, and looking at communications, and being agnostic to the delivery and focusing more on the message.

Richard Romano:  So have you found that the non-print components have their own environmental concerns?

Dave Podmayersky:  Oh absolutely.  You know, all communications have a financial and a social impact.  So we look at, you know, equally weighing and balancing the environmental concerns, the social concerns, the financial impacts, the business objectives of our clients; and balancing all those and looking at what a communications in the media campaign might look like.

Richard Romano:  So what do you find some of the specific challenges in sort of being sustainable across all those media?

Dave Podmayersky:  Well, the challenges are really finding the right balance.  And that really comes to having, you know, an intimate conversation with the client and where they are in the stream of the conversation.  The particular branding, the product; and finding a balance between social concerns, environmental impacts and analyzing those impacts, and looking at the return on investment; and really balancing those out uniquely to the blend of a client and a particular brand or media campaign.

Richard Romano:  Now this year you won in the category of Sustainability in Your Community.  What are some of the local and sort of larger community outreach programs you guys are involved with?

Dave Podmayersky:  Yeah.  So we really worked hard this year in building out the social arm of our, you know, equally weighted infrastructure.  And we found some great campaigns where we worked with an organization called Maced, and they’re working out of basically, you know, a carbon partnership out of Appalachia.  And we chose this particular partnership because it was an area of the country where, you know, there’s financial issues and concerns, and generating revenue for some of these folks is often problematic and difficult.  So in working with Maced we were able to work with some of our larger corporations and supporting their carbon offset program, and we could target individual families.  

This year we supported three uniquely individual families so that they could go in and not sell out their land to the mining concerns or the logging concerns, many of them very concerned and sustainable forestry and organic farming.  And we were able to, you know, help them to offset or completely eliminate their loans and then support their agricultural or forestry initiatives.

Richard Romano:  So mountaintop removal is sort of a big issue down there?

Dave Podmayersky:  Absolutely.  And this is one way—there’s no way for these folks to really fight this battle by themselves, and that’s why we kind of got involved.  Because, you know, bringing our efforts and the efforts of our clients to the table and supporting them gives us an opportunity, and them the opportunity, to look at it in a much broader perspective and bring much needed financial dollars into the local community.  And it’s been a huge success.

Richard Romano:  Great.  So you’ve always been sort of at the forefront of sort of cutting edge and creative initiatives.  What are some of the things you’re seeing on the horizon?

Dave Podmayersky:  Well, for us, you know, we’re steering away from the mechanics of the conversation and focusing more on the message of the conversation.  So we’re separating the mechanics of delivery, you know, be it sustainable forestry, toxicology signatures, and chemistry.  So we’re looking at the mechanics as one part of it and, you know, producing responsible products, but more focusing on the message and the story.  Who are we as a people?  Who are we as a company?  Who are our clients as corporations?  And then telling this story in a very fulfilling way.  So using media and education as a tool to really get the message across that we’re changing as a society.

Richard Romano:  Great.  That’s fantastic.  Well, thank you very much and congratulations again.

Dave Podmayersky:  Thank you.  Appreciate it.

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