How Do Magazine Executives Rate in Environmental Consciousness?

By Love, Barbara | Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management, Annual 1994 | Go to article overview

How Do Magazine Executives Rate in Environmental Consciousness?


Love, Barbara, Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management


A FOLIO: Reader Panel Report indicates executives have a generalized concern for the environment that does not always translate into concrete action.

A recent survey of magazine executives reveals concern about the environment but also strong differences of opinion on issues such as what price the industry is willing to pay to produce more environmentally-friendly products and whether government legislation is a good idea.

LEVEL OF CONSCIOUSNESS

* While FOLIO: Reader Panel members describe themselves as very or somewhat environmentally conscious (96 percent), the commitment to the environment drops when it comes to specific acts and attitudes. Still, many would say the commitment to the environment expressed by publishing executives is impressive.

ON PERSONAL BEHAVIOR

* Almost two-thirds of respondents say they would personally spend more to buy a magazine on recycled paper. (50 percent would spend up to 9 percent more). But 35.5 percent said they would not spend any more. Editors are most likely to pay more for a magazine on recycled paper.

* When faced with a choice of two magazines on the same subject and basically equal price and editorial quality, with the only difference being one is on recycled paper, over a third of respondents (38 percent) said that they would choose the one on recycled paper. Younger respondents are more likely to be influenced by the use of recycled paper.

* About 77 percent of respondents say they recycle waste at home always/most of the time.

ON THE JOB

* Working for an environmentally-conscious company is very important/important to 89 percent of respondents; and working with environmentally-conscious suppliers very important/important to 85 percent.

* Two-thirds of respondents who influence purchasing decisions will support paying more for recycled paper. Some 44 percent said they would support a premium of up to 5 percent more. Another 13 percent would support paying 6-9 percent more, and 9 percent up to 10-15 percent more. Yet 34 percent would not.

* In general, those who spend more of their own money to buy magazines on recycled paper are more willing to spend the company's money. When it comes to paying a 6 percent premium or more, they are much more willing to pay a higher price themselves for magazines printed on recycled paper than to support paying a higher price for recycled paper in the magazines they produce.

* A full 65 percent said they would recommend the company pay more--when necessary--to purchase other publishing-related materials, equipment and processes that are more friendly to the environment.

* Three-quarters of respondents who influence purchasing decisions say they would be willing to print on paper that has only 10-15 percent post-consumer waste to address the issue of landfill waste, even though this paper does not meet EPA guidelines of 50 percent post-consumer waste. Consumer magazines are more willing to accept this proposal.

* If these respondents were to switch from virgin paper to recycled paper, a higher percentage of respondents would sacrifice price (44 percent) than print quality (28 percent) and runnability (26 percent).

FUTURE PREDICTIONS

* Survey participants see recycled paper in their future. While 16 percent of all respondents say they print on recycled paper today, 52 percent expect to be printing on recycled paper in five years. 10 percent say they print the entire magazine on recycled paper now; 41 percent expect to print the entire magazine on recycled paper in five years.

* Those influencing purchasing decisions are more optimistic about greater use of environmentally-friendly products (recycled paper and soybean or vegetable ink) in the future than are those who don't influence decision-making. …

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