This summer, a new green growth quietly sprouted at London Drugs. ‘What’s the Green Deal?’ is a program that puts environmental and sustainability information on display, with in-store signage, flyer features and even a new web site – www.greendeal.ca. (Full disclosure – Unicycle Creative was the consultant employed to help develop the program, so you’ll have to excuse me if this post doesn’t live up to my usual standards of journalistic impartiality and acerbic criticism!)
For customers, ‘What’s the Green Deal?’ highlights eco-friendly features and benefits of products right at the shelf, from organic certification to recycled content to energy savings. It also lets people know about the ‘green’ services London Drugs offers, from in-store recycling drop-off for plastic bags, batteries, electronics and appliances, to the packaging take-back on all purchases. (London Drugs is one of the only places around where you can actually recycle those infuriating Styrofoam cubes that cushion everything we buy) For interested customers, organizations and the media, www.greendeal.ca also compiles London Drugs corporate environmental and sustainability information in one easily accessible resource.
The program idea originated In 2007. With growing public awareness and interest in all things ‘green’, the London Drugs executive and marketing team decided the time was right to tell their story and take the next steps down the endless road to sustainability. Unicycle Creative was engaged to consult on communications and the development of a Green Marketing Strategy.
This was done through a three-step process; 1) Analyzing the market; 2) Reviewing London Drugs programs & products; 3) Developing a sustainability platform and in-store program. (For more information on the case study, please drop me a line)
Unlike some green product programs, ‘What’s the Green Deal?’ is not designed to judge which products are ‘green’ and which are not. It simply identifies product benefits that help customers make their own greener shopping decisions. Some of my greener readers may see this as a cop-out. “What’s so green about a computer router, even if it does have an Energy Star rating?” I hear you say. Fair enough. But if someone does need a router, they should be able to quickly identify the one with the best environmental attributes. And if the hundreds of thousands of people that shop London Drugs’ 68 stores are learning about environmental benefits on the shelf, I believe that drives the movement to green awareness forward, in a very mainstream way.
That’s the real strength of ‘What’s the Green Deal’. It’s a program based on the customer service values and ‘friendly expert’ positioning that is at the heart of London Drugs. It has the support of the executive. And it’s backed by some very solid corporate behavior that had its start long before sustainability was a water cooler buzzword.
Will ‘What’s the Green Deal?’ be criticized? Probably. Will the program change and evolve? Absolutely. Will London Drugs customers shop greener as a result? Stay tuned….
*Founded in 1945, B.C.-based London Drugs currently has 68 stores in more than 35 major markets throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Renowned for its creative approach to retailing, the company employs more than 7,500 people and carries a diverse range of health and consumer electronic products.
Previous: « Sustainable Minds and the Green Mafia
Next: Can we save recycling with marketing? »