It's Not Easy Going Green

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | May 29, 2007

With apologies to Kermit the Frog, introducing a green product or process isn’t easy or always the slamdunk you’d expect. This month, we report on the fast-growing market for natural personal care products, but the environmentally-friendly concept is affecting every market these days...especially printing. Happi’s parent company, Rodman Publishing Corp., is researching the idea of printing our magazines on paper made from post-consumer waste (PCW) feedstocks, but as we move forward on this project, there are a lot of questions to be answered. Many of the questions are similar to the ones our readers must answer.

First, of course, is the quality. Will our readers and advertisers balk at seeing Happi printed on paper made from 30% PCW? Then, there’s the issue of price. You’d think that paper made from post-anything would be cheaper than virgin pulp, but again, that’s not always the case. In fact, moving to 30% PCW would actually raise our paper costs by 6%! Finally, just how environmentally-friendly is PCW? When you factor in the energy it takes to collect, assemble and ship the fiber, the benefits of PCW are not so clear-cut. In fact, our paper broker isn’t so sure that PCW is all that environmentally-friendly for magazine publishers. He noted that the two suppliers we use are environmentally-responsible and great stewards of the forest with strong sustainability programs in place.

As Happi moves closer to making a decision on PCW and other initiatives, we’ll keep you posted on our progress. In the meantime, be sure to read Cosmetics Go Green on this month's site. It explores many of the issues surrounding this controversial segment and includes answers from a variety of personal care manufacturers.  Cosmetics Go Green is written by Melissa Meisel, our new associate editor. Melissa may be new to Happi, but she’s certainly not green to the publishing industry. She’s been a writer for nearly a decade with bylines from The New York Times, Time Out New York, Cooking Smart and many other publications to her credit.

To learn more about going green, be sure to log on to our webinar on the subject, which will be held on June 21.

Related End-User Markets: