Yahoo drives green campaign

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Last week in New York's Times Square, Yahoo Inc. issued a challenge to its online community: Which is the greenest U.S. city?

Co-founder David Filo, joined by actor Matt Dillon and Global Green USA CEO Matt Petersen, introduced "Be a Better Planet," a program that encourages Americans to take action against climate change. Consumers participate by using Yahoo tools, resources and communities to become tbetter at protecting the envioronment.

"Because being environmentally conscious is a hot topic in the news, companies that highlight protecting the environment in their campaigns have a better chance to catch the consumer's attention," said Fran Kelly, president/CEO of the U.S. operations of Arnold Worldwide.

This is a great way for Yahoo to tie its brand name with the socially conscious beliefs of the corporation and bring that message to the consumer level.

The winning city, to be announced at the program's end on June 8, will be rewarded with a fleet of hybrid taxicabs or the equivalent cash donation to be dedicated toward city greening projects.

"Yahoo users will have a chance to gain green credits for their city through three green activities like answering questions and being selected as a best answer on Yahoo Answers, performing green searches on Yahoo oneSearch on your mobile phone and taking the Green pledge," said Nicki Dugan, a Yahoo spokeswoman.

Yahoo will also donate a fleet of hybrid taxis to New York, recently determined to produce 1 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gases.

The displacement of traditionally fueled cabs with hybrid taxis will help New York reach its environmental goals.

"Marketing is not just about awareness and sales these days," Mr. Kelly said. "It is about understanding and then becoming an important part of consumers' lives. More and more consumers are thinking green, so smart marketers are too."

The program comes on the heels of the introduction of Yahoo Green (http://green.yahoo.com), a new site launching as a one-stop resource for environmentally concerned consumers.

"Yahoo has been using its most important assets - its community of users, employees and technology - to make a positive impact for the world," Ms. Dugan said.

The "Be a Better Planet" promotion is part of Yahoo's new integrated branding campaign, "Be a Better ___," which launched on April 30 with online, television, radio and cinema advertising.

Yahoo aims to inspire consumers to be better at whatever interests them by tapping Yahoo's suite of products and services.

"Yahoo's recent environment poll told us that 60 percent of adults believe individuals are most responsible for helping the environment," Ms. Dugan said.

Yahoo has a history of supporting environmental sustainability both in its operations and on its global network.

The company uses renewable power, hydroelectric energy and passive cooling at its facilities and data centers. It announced that it will become carbon neutral this year. n

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