P&G Thinks Globally, Acts Locally


Those of a certain age will remember S&H Green Stamps, a rewards program at the height of popularity in the 1960s where stamps were redeemable for goods and the S&H rewards catalog was the largest publication in the United States.

Now they’re back, as Procter & Gamble revs up the green bandwagon by rewarding consumers for learning and blogging about environmental sustainability in addition to helping fund eco-efforts in the company’s Cincinnati backyard.

Leveraging P&G’s Future Friendly initiative, when people sign up with RecycleBank, they receive electronic “Green Stamps” redeemable for local merchants or merchandise if they recycle through curbside collection programs.[more]

Other brand marketers, including Verizon and Safeway, are sponsoring RecycleBank rewards, but P&G has added educational and social media features. Points are garnered for watching videos and reading and writing content about going greener.

“The idea is to drive awareness of Future Friendly and P&G’s sustainably innovative products and ultimately we hope to drive purchase intent as well,” said P&G spokesman Glenn Williams to Ad Age.

The sweet spot, or green spot, of Future Friendly is the 70% of consumers in between the 15% who currently recycle and the 15% who don’t. The program’s incentives include the fact that an average family can earn rewards of $200 yearly by participating.

“We’re trying to advance this world-without-waste agenda but with mainstream consumers. They’re a group that has tremendous opportunity to drive positive impact, but many are fairly alienated by the traditional sustainability movement,” commented Samantha Skey, chief revenue officer of RecycleBank.

Future Friendly is banking on social-media including Facebook to tap into vocal and powerful “deal-seeking moms” increasingly focusing on greener initiatives. 

RecycleBank has figured out a less labor-intensive deal program, potentially more attractive to the average participant, including radio frequency ID chips on scales in collection trucks that weigh consumer’s recyclables curb-side and credit their RecycleBank accounts. 

All things old are new again, or at least renewable. Green stamps, once redeemable for good and services, are now promoting recycling the waste generated by those goods and services. 

And P&G using its considerable branding muscle to promote going green certainly adds considerable heft to the movement.


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