This is something you're not likely to find anywhere but EcoGeek: an award given to the automaker with the most compact, ecofriendly press kit. While at the media days, I was given more press materials than I could count, from shirts to hats to USB drives loaded with pictures and press releases. However, there were definitely some companies paying attention to reducing materials more than others.
The Worst: Nissan, though it is known as the most fuel efficient car company in Japan and announced its plans to bring EVs to both Oregon and San Francisco, gave out plastic wrapped cases loaded with paper materials and DVDs, along with Nissan Cube t-shirts. Not only was the packaging on the DVDs a little much, but the hundreds of shirts made out of who knows what kind of cotton certainly isn't doing the environment much of a favor.
The Standard Fare: Most automakers did the job in a relatively frugal way by packaging a DVD in a recyclable paper case with some basic print information, but most of the important stuff on the DVD. Others, like VW gave out business cards with links to find all the images online, but still had large print booklets. Toyota went as far as to packaged their CNG Hybrid information on a 1gb thumb drive in addition to the normal print booklet. There were lots of different presentations, but most of them were focused on presentation and not the environmental impact of hundreds of kits that are sure to be thrown out mere days after the important information is published.
The Best: While a few companies paid attention to reducing waste, I would have to give the overall award to Honda/Acura. Honda's press information all came on one CD in a plastic clamshell. There were no goodies, junky bags, or paper materials at all. Sure, the CD will be thrown out, but it's definitely the most compact kit I got. Like the Honda kit, Acura packaged a singled DVD in a custom paper casing with no additional materials, ensuring that there would be no extra waste.
So, congratulations to Honda. If every automaker had taken their tack, or at least moved all their materials to a special, invitation-only website, I probably wouldn't have had to check a bag on the flight home just to hold all the press materials!
written by alan, November 29, 2008
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