Yellow Pages Going Green
Here is a translation of my response to an editorial published in La Presse, on August 27, 2011:
“Many Montrealers have already received their Yellow PagesTM print directory on their doorstep or in their building’s lobby. The article published in La Presse’s Forum section on August 27 has no doubt led many residents to wonder about the telephone directory’s usefulness and its impact on the environment.
The environmental impact of our print directories is nothing like the one described by Martin Roy. While Mr. Roy takes concrete steps to be an environmentally responsible citizen, the same holds true for Yellow Pages Group (YPG). YPG always factors environmental considerations into its business decisions and works proactively to continuously reduce the impact of its print operations. Here are few facts that reflect YPG’s environmental initiatives in keeping with Canadians’ changing consumer habits:
- Every month, one in two Canadians consults the print directory to find nearby goods and services, and over 340,000 Canadian companies continue to use this medium to reach potential clients.
- YPG gives Canadians a choice by inviting those who prefer digital alternatives like the Yellow PagesTM site or mobile app to take their names off the Yellow Pages print directory distribution list. We have no interest in distributing directories to people who do not want them, and we publicize that choice on our directory covers, on social media and through various other communication initiatives.
- Yellow Pages directories are produced using wood waste chips that the forest industry creates when transforming logs into square timber. The lifecycle carbon footprint of a directory is less than that of many household activities or products, including three loads of laundry.
- In Quebec, YPG will pay 80% of used directory recycling costs for 2011. This initiative was launched on a voluntary basis and now continues as part of official recycling programs. The outdated Yellow Pages directory recycling rate is 84% in Quebec, much higher than the recycling rates for similar products like newspapers (70%) and general-use paper (40%).
- Finally, through various waste-reduction initiatives, we have cut our paper consumption by 25% in two years. That accomplishment is part of a more comprehensive plan of action that started in 2009 with our participation in the Changing the World, One Step at a Time program developed by Equiterre. In two years, we have accomplished 25 of the 31 environmental initiatives identified in cooperation with that organization.
Although these few examples aptly sum up our commitment to the environment, we encourage you to learn more by consulting our website’s Environment section at responsibility/environment or by viewing the following video on our blog: Five Minutes or less. And for anyone who does not wish to receive a print directory, we invite you to opt out of the distribution list, just like the 10,000 other Montreal households who have already done so! Just visit distribution or call 1-800-268-5637.