A followup on our previous post about JCPenney getting rid of its Big Book: it now looks like the movement to get rid of the white pages, another bumper, big-distribution paper directory, is gaining steam. In a number of states, politicians have introduced, or promised to introduce, legislation limiting the delivery of white pages to customers who request them.
There’s some debate in the Times piece about how environmentally harmful the directories actually are – the company which makes them says that no trees are cut down in the process; a rival company trying to get rid of the white book claims that production involves cutting down 5 million trees each year.
Either way, getting rid of them would be a positive move. This is precisely what companies wanting to improve both their sustainability and their competitiveness should be conscious of: continuing wasteful and poorly-targeted strategies, while the cheaper, less resource-consuming alternatives that have grown up in recent years – in this case, the web – go neglected.