In some cases, I am asked to conduct a Multichannel Forensics analysis (book, study) to understand if there is an opportunity for a catalog brand to "go green".
There is significant danger in "going green" for catalogers. Catalogers with customers age 30 to 49 have an opportunity, because the younger customers in this age group are generally responsive to social media, the older customers are part of the Google generation. The cataloger can reduce catalog marketing expense, transferring marketing dollars online.
Catalogers with customers age 50 to 70 really struggle with the concept of "going green". The 57 year old still shops via catalog. She receives a catalog, identifies the items she wants to purchase, then usually goes online or picks up the phone to buy merchandise. Without the catalog, the sale doesn't happen. Going green means losing sales for catalogers in this demographic.
The environmental community would be well-served by using Multichannel Forensics to identify opportunities for catalog brands to go green. If the methodology indicates an opportunity, go green! If the methodology indicates that sales will go south, environmentally friendly printing might make the most sense.
The communications I have with business leaders lean more and more toward using Multichannel Forensics to identify areas where the carbon footprint can be reduced. The key is to know how many customers will continue to shop online without the benefit of advertising.