The mission of Change the Margins is pretty simple: encourage adoption of narrower printing margins on a grand scale. To accomplish this, the campaign currently has three goals:
1. Microsoft software default margins
Convince Microsoft to change the default margin settings in Microsoft Word to .75 on all sides.
The more convenient it is for people to change their habits, the better chance there is that they will actually do so.
Challenge five universities to adopt narrower margin settings as the standard for their students and faculty, and include this information in their course guidelines.
Persuade five corporations to officially sanction narrower margins for all company documents.
One of the biggest obstacles to change is getting people to accept something that looks different than that which they are used to. While corporations are often the biggest environmental offenders, I think we should try to harness their large reach to do good.
The following four companies have already demonstrated an understanding of and commitment to big business’s relationship with the environment by adopting Green policies in a variety of areas (I'm still working on identifying Corp. #5). This makes them good targets for the Change the Margins campaign, as they are already sympathetic to the cause.
And let’s get real – changing the margins is an easy one. I’m not asking anyone to rebuild their factories or re-invent how they manufacture their products (yet)…I’m just asking them to tell their workers how to print out documents.
Below are some tidbits about what these companies have already done.
The next step is finding the right person at each company to chat with
about the Margins campaign, and figuring out the most effective
approach to take. If you happen to know someone who knows someone who
knows someone at any of these companies who might be right to approach,
please e-mail me. And keep an eye on the blog for sample letters and
e-mails to send to these companies asking them to join up with
In June 2007, the Coca-Cola Co. announced it was funding a $20 million project to conserve seven major rivers worldwide. It also committed to revamping its bottling practices to reduce pollution and water use.
Continental has made a number of strides in the area of green operations. Besides spending more than $16 billion over the past ten years to replace its fleet with more efficient aircraft, it installed fuel-saving winglets that reduce emissions by up to 5% on most of its Boeing 737s and 757s, and reduced the nitrogen oxide output from ground equipment at its Houston hub by over 75% since 2000. Its 13 full-time staff environmentalists work with engine manufacturers, design green terminals, and track carbon emissions and chemical recycling daily. Even all the trash from company headquarters is later sorted for recyclables.
At this family-owned company that makes Windex, Pledge, Ziploc bags and Raid, they have instituted the “Greenlist” process, a classification system that evaluates the impact of thousands of raw materials on human and environmental health. By using Greenlist, S.C. Johnson eliminated 1.8 million pounds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from Windex and four million pounds of polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) from Saran Wrap, which is now PVDC-free. (VOCs and PVDC are both pollutants.) The company licenses Greenlist royalty-free to other firms that want to use it. It is also cutting back its reliance on coal-fired power, recently building its own power plant that runs on natural gas and methane piped in from a nearby landfill. Glenn Pricket of Conservation International says that when it comes to the environment, "Fisk Johnson is probably the most personally committed CEO I've met."