BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J., April 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Local Search Association today released its third annual sustainability report – "Thrive in Perpetuity" – which evaluates the local search industry's performance against social, economic, environment and cultural impacts. The 2012 report focuses on the industry's efforts to reduce paper usage, progress on the industry's consumer choice program, and the lifecycle of print and online local search options.
"As communities work to diminish their environmental footprint, directory publishers have stepped forward to contribute new solutions that achieve these goals," said Neg Norton, president of the Local Search Association. "Over the past year, we've achieved important sustainability milestones that demonstrate we're on the right track. One reflection of these efforts can be found in source reductions for print directories, including a projected 50 percent reduction in paper use by end of 2012 compared to 2007."
This reduction in paper usage is driven by changes in directory sizing, more efficient manufacturing, an industry effort to reduce printed residential white pages, and a national consumer choice website at www.YellowPagesOptOut.com.
The report also highlights a lifecycle study which found that directories use fewer raw materials than electronic search devices and consume less energy overall. Manufacturers report that nearly 60 percent of the power used to make paper comes from renewable sources, while electronic device makers and the data centers and servers that power electronic search often rely on non-renewable fossil fuels. And according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the recycling rate of electronic devices is 25 percent, while the paper category that includes phone directories is at 71 percent.
The report outlines the industry's effort to demonstrate sustainability through social, economic, environmental and cultural impacts. Other highlights include:
Directories can now be recycled in more than 9,000 curbside recycling programs around the country. According to the Paper Industry Association, 87 percent of all Americans have access to a local recycling program.
Previous EPA data found that directories represented 0.3 percent of the solid waste stream (compared to 3.2 percent for newspapers and 2.2 percent for office paper). In 2011, the EPA stopped measuring directories separately and included them with newsprint and other mechanical paper, signaling that directories continue to make up a tiny portion of paper in the waste stream.
The industry has developed and is maintaining a consumer choice program that allows consumers to limit the number of directories they receive, or stop delivery entirely. Consumers nationwide can visit www.YellowPagesOptOut.com to easily manage directory delivery to their homes. The Association also created an opt-out widget for state, local and environmental agencies to feature on their websites to help increase awareness of this program. Today, agencies in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois and Texas promote the site through their own channels.
"Print, online and mobile search all have environmental impacts," Norton said. "Each of these media offer value to consumers who like to shop at local businesses. We're committed to offering local search options through all of these media channels so that consumers can find a nearby business however they choose, as long as they choose to buy local."
To view the full report, visit the Local Search Association website at www.localsearchassociation.org, or download the "LSA Report" Apple or Android app. The Android and Apple Apps were developed by Yellow Magic Incorporated and enables users to view a digital version of printed materials, such as print directories.
About the Local Search Association
The Local Search Association (www.localsearchassociation.org) is the largest trade organization of print, digital, mobile and social media that help local businesses get found and selected by ready-to-buy consumers. Association members include U.S. and international directory publishers, search engine marketers, online listings and review sites, digital advertising agencies and mobile search providers. The Association has members in 29 countries.