Today, we released the Local Search Association’s fourth sustainability report – “Adopt. Adapt. Advance.” – that highlights our industry’s social, economic, environmental and cultural contributions to local communities.
The report, available here, overviews the value that local search companies bring in helping consumers find local businesses in their communities, which in turn builds stronger and more sustainable local economies. It also shines light on the various ways that local search companies are adopting, adapting and advancing efforts to make communities stronger and better places to live.
The report recognizes our industry’s recent contributions to various aspects of local communities. Highlights include:
- Social: Local search companies made strides in contributing to the health and wellbeing of communities. For example, The Berry Company held its annual Extreme Community Makeover Day, during which company employees contributed nearly 840 hours of service to community agencies in the Dayton, Ohio area. Separately, YP continued to grow its YP Cares program, which is focused on charitable engagement and environmental sustainability. Last year, YP Cares collaborated with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department to contribute to the development of a new Golden Gate Park CommUNITY Garden.
- Economic: Local search companies contributed to the economic welfare of communities. For example, directory publishers generated $161 billion in annual economic output and stimulated $118 billion in annual local economic activity, based on the results of a January 2014 study conducted by the Advertising Coalition. The study also found that directory publishers supported 600,000 jobs across the country. Separately, local search companies promoted “buying local” campaigns to support local businesses. For example, Valley Yellow Pages raised visibility for its ongoing “Buy Local” campaign, while Yellow Pages Group launched a multimedia advertising and social media campaign to encourage local shopping and support small businesses in Toronto.
- Environmental: Local search companies worked to protect the community environments by developing more sustainable products and programs. The industry continued to encourage recycling, resulting in approximately 70% of newspaper and mechanical papers, which included print directories, being recycled in 2012, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Municipal Solid Waste Report. Beyond recycling, companies pursued a variety of other efforts. For example, Dex Media reduced its use of paper for directories by more than 55% between 2011-2013. hibu actively promoted awareness about how to opt-out of print directory delivery to local officials and communities across the country. Separately, Catalyst Paper achieved a milestone by securing more than 90% of its energy usage from renewable content in 2013.
- Cultural: Local search companies pursued efforts to nurture and protect cultural diversity and improve working conditions within communities. For example, RR Donnelley supported its 34 globally established “Inclusion Work Councils,” which promote an inclusive culture by encouraging employees to share experiences; participate in activities that focus on diversity, learning, professional developing; and highlight different cultural traditions. RR Donnelley initiated a Women’s own Network (WoN) in Chennai, India to inspire women to identify opportunities and help them in professional development, mentoring and special projects.
The report includes additional information and case studies from a variety of local search companies. Our thanks goes to The Berry Company, Catalyst Paper, Dex Media, hibu, RR Donnelley, Valley Yellow Pages, YP and Yellow Pages Group, for their contributions.