Client audit
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2 Pages
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client auditFriends of the Earth/Greenpeacefriends of the eArth● The first Friends of the Earth (FoE) group was Redefining established in the US in 1969 ● The group campaigns on a number of different issues, including climate change and green print recycling ● FoE has one of the most extensive In his role as print buyer for two eco charities, David Shorto picks through the environmental environmental smokescreens and attempts to find print that is genuinely green networks in the words Simon Creasey photographs Julian Dodd world, with close to one million supporters across five continents●ver the years, the green lobby has had material will be produced in support of that event. In 1971, a small some unlikely champions, ranging from This happens at FoE too, but the product range tends team of activists set the tunnelling antics of ‘90s eco-warrior to be narrower – although it is broadening.” sail from Vancouver, Swampy through to the rather more Shorto’s remit is to deliver quality work at a value- Canada, in an old erudite born-again environmentalist Al for-money price, in the most environmentally friendly fishing boat to take OGore. Where David Shorto fits into the manner possible. While some might suspect that such non-violent direct pantheon of green luminaries is open to debate. an organisation would have a complex set of action against US He may not be as high profile as some of his fellow environmental guidelines that suppliers must ...

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client audit
Friends of the Earth/Greenpeace
friends of the
eArth
● The first Friends of
the Earth (FoE)
group was Redefining
established in the
US in 1969
● The group
campaigns on a
number of different
issues, including
climate change and green print recycling
● FoE has one of the
most extensive In his role as print buyer for two eco charities, David Shorto picks through the
environmental environmental smokescreens and attempts to find print that is genuinely green networks in the
words Simon Creasey photographs Julian Dodd world, with close to
one million
supporters across
five continents
●ver the years, the green lobby has had material will be produced in support of that event. In 1971, a small
some unlikely champions, ranging from This happens at FoE too, but the product range tends team of activists set
the tunnelling antics of ‘90s eco-warrior to be narrower – although it is broadening.” sail from Vancouver,
Swampy through to the rather more Shorto’s remit is to deliver quality work at a value- Canada, in an old
erudite born-again environmentalist Al for-money price, in the most environmentally friendly fishing boat to take OGore. Where David Shorto fits into the manner possible. While some might suspect that such non-violent direct
pantheon of green luminaries is open to debate. an organisation would have a complex set of action against US
He may not be as high profile as some of his fellow environmental guidelines that suppliers must adhere nuclear weapons
environmentalists (although he did make a debut to, Shorto’s basic demand is that the 20-odd testing in Alaska.
appearance in PrintW eek’s annual power list this year), companies currently on his print roster must hold Greenpeace was
but Shorto’s work is just as important and far-reaching. UKAS-accredited ISO 14001 status, despite the fact he born
In his role as print buyer for environmental pressure thinks the standard has its shortcomings. ● Greenpeace shares
groups Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth (FoE), he many of the same
not only has the responsibility of sourcing A better measurement? aims as FoE and in
environmentally friendly print, but also on educating He says: “While recognising that ISO 14001 is far from the past has been
other buyers so that they can follow suit. perfect, it’s the most useful mechanism that exists successful in raising
Shorto’s CV makes him the ideal custodian of this right now. In an ideal world, there would be awareness of issues
position. He started out working in estimating and something else out there that allowed buyers to such as illegal
production roles in commercial print before growing environmentally evaluate printing companies in terms whaling and logging
“sick of the printing industry” and undertaking a four- of their day-to-day environmental performance.” ● One of the most
year environmental science degree in the early ‘90s. Shorto says he had high hopes for the BPIF’s own famous incidents
Towards the end of the course, he began working part- carbon footprint standard, which he sat on the associated with
time as a buyer for FoE and then, in spring 2000, he working group of, but it has taken a lot longer than Greenpeace was the
also took on the role of buyer for Greenpeace. many people hoped it would to develop and bring to sinking of its ship
Both organisations have periods where demands on market (according to the BPIF, it is currently due to the Rainbow Warrior
Shorto’s time are more pressing, especially around the launch in late summer/early autumn 2008). by the French Secret
time when the organisation’s respective supporter One of the things he detests most is the “gimmick” Service, in Auckland
magazines are published (Greenpeace’s magazine is of carbon neutrality, which he doesn’t feel has any use Harbour in 1985
quarterly whereas FoE’s goes out three times a year). from a buyer’s point of view.
However, Shorto says there are only subtle “All of the calculators that I have seen so far are
differences in his role at the two organsiations. “At badly inaccurate and there are far too many variables,”
Greenpeace, we have a much more diverse product explains Shorto. He advocates an approach similar to
range,” he explains. “We have leaflets, posters, reports, the one used by environmentally progressive printing
supporter magazines and supporter mailings. If company Beacon Press.
Greenpeace has an event or some kind of activity “They would annually publish key performance
involving its supporter network, then a whole raft of indicators that would look at things like power usage,
64 printbuyer september 2008 www .printweek. comclient audit
Friends of the Earth/Greenpeace
[www.ppe.uk.net], which aims to dispel the
myths about print and the environment.Case study
But while the site has made major inroads in Palm oil campaign
terms of addressing some common myths
One of Greenpeace’s about issues such as recycling, Shorto believes
more successful that he can still do more to cut through the
campaigns in recent confusion that is still out there.
years has been to “PPE has been a worthwhile resource. It has
raise awareness of helped to push the environmental agenda and
the destruction of has advised and informed a lot of people, but
Indonesian I’m disappointed that it hasn’t been more
rainforest to grow successful in terms of getting the
palm oil. This has been achieved (letter, educational poster, environmental message through,” says Shorto.
through the use of numerous envelopes) were printed by He recalls a recent encounter with an ISO auditor
different types of media, but one of different companies, with Bespoke and says he was horrified when the auditor stated that
the more important forms has been Envelopes Direct, Pureprint and he had a number of concerns about recycled paper
mailshots. Park Communications all involved. because of the bleaching process. “It staggered me that
In June this year, David Shorto The pack’s components were someone who moves in environmental circles could
was tasked with producing a palm printed on different stock, but all still hold that opinion, which belongs in the 80s.”
oil pack that would educate the were made from 100% post- The reason for his dismay is because Shorto says a
public about the extent of the palm consumer waste materials. number of people have overlooked the fact that the
oil problem, outline Greenpeace’s As to whether or not the pack key reasons for using recycled paper in the first place
campaign to stop the practice and achieved its aims, Shorto says that are landfill and forestry issues, not because recycling
try to garner £50,000 in donations, it was a success on all levels. has less of an environmental impact than creating
with a further £25,000 of income “Because of the campaign, paper from virgin fibre (though he claims it does).
in the 12 months following the Unilever, the biggest buyer of Another pet hate relates to misleading marketing
mailing. The pack also had to thank Indonesian palm oil, got on side messages that are bandied about by printers. He
donors for previous support, and agreed to support our call for a recently lodged a complaint to the Advertising
motivate and inspire the target moratorium on all rainforest Standards Agency (ASA) in response to Borcombe
audience to show them why destruction for palm oil in SP’s claim that it was the “Britain’s leading eco-
Greenpeace needs their help and to Indonesia,” he explains. friendly printer”. The complaint was upheld.
show them that Greenpeace’s work “Unilever also agreed to write to “The reason I did what I did was because it was just
really can make a difference. other companies buying Indonesian so unhelpful,” Shorto explains. “So many people want
Shorto says it took just under two palm oil and ask them to support to do the right thing from an environmental point of
weeks to design and deliver the the moratorium too. In terms of view, but it’s really difficult for them when printing
60,000 packs to the organisation’s direct marketing, we met our companies are making these claims, especially when
mailing house with the main income targets and also prompted they are not true.”
difference to previous campaigns many of our supporters to take
being the use of a reverse window. online actions and to begin to Correcting misinformation
Each of the different elements support us in a different way.” To counter some of this misinformation, he is pulling
together a pile of printed items bearing environmental
statements that Shorto says may seem impressive
water usage, recycling rates and the number of sheets but in reality are completely meaningless. These will
printed per year, which would give you a good idea of be added to the PPE website over the coming months
their environmental performance. It was something with an explanation as to why the comments are
that I tried to introduce to other printing companies, ultimately meaningless.
as I thought that it would be a great way for buyers to The upkeep of the website will undoubtedly keep
look at printing companies’ performance on not just him busy, as will managing his day-to-day print buying
energy, but on water usage and recycling rates as well, chores, because although print volumes have fallen
which carbon footprints don’t look at. Unfortunately, during the period he has worked for Greenpeace and
the printers I spoke to just didn’t want to be involved FoE, both look committed to a printed future.
and nothing got off the ground, which is a real shame.” “Electronic mechanisms for reaching our
supporters have certainly made inroads into our print
Crucial dialogue volumes, but people still want to hold print,” says
It’s not the first time Shorto has tried to establish a Shorto. “If you’ve got a direct marketing piece that
dialogue with printers and it certainly won’t be the arrives through your letterbox, then that’s a lot more
last. Where he has arguably been more successful in noticeable and attention-grabbing than yet another
setting up the Paper Print Environment (PPE) website email that may disappear into your spam.” ■
www .printweek. com september 2008 printbuyer 67