The Clean and Green Club, September, 2015

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Shel Horowitz’s Clean and Green Marketing Tip, September 2015
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Can a Book Launch Change the World?
Only if…
1. The book contains powerful new ways of looking at the world, powerful solutions to make and spread change
2. Enough people read the book and start discussing those ideas

Books have often changed the world. Think about The Tipping Point, In Search of Excellence, or even way back to Silent Spring, Tom Paine’s Common Sense and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I could list hundreds more examples.

My forthcoming 10th book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World, can change the business world—with your help. It scores well on #1, showing how businesses can not just go green, but actually make a difference AND a profit turning hunger and poverty into sufficiency, war into peace, and catastrophic climate change into planetary balance.

I’d love your help with #2! And there are several incentives to participate. Please visit for all the details.

A bit more about the book: Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World, my second collaboration with the legendary Jay Conrad Levinson (Father of Guerrilla Marketing), comes out in March, with endorsements by Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup, Seth Godin, the founders of BNI and, the author of The New Rules of Green Marketing (among others), and essays from the authors of Unstoppable/Unstoppable Women and Diet for a Small Planet as well as marketing superstars Yanik Silver and Ken McArthur.

This Month’s Tip: Types of Partnerships
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Every entrepreneur wants new sources of revenue with almost no risk, yet only a small portion understand how the magic of a good partnership can bring this about. As an example, many partnerships are built around payment for results; rather than paying thousands of dollars to advertise in the media with no guarantee of results, you only pay your partners commissions for the sales they actually achieve for you.

Open your mind to infinite possibilities! Last month we talked about who makes a good partner. Now, let’s look at the myriad ways to structure a partnership.

Partnerships can be extremely simple, or very complex. Either way, they typically fall into three main categories, with thousands of subgroupings. So obviously, this is not a comprehensive list ;-):

Marketing, Branding, and Fundraising

  • Referral, with no commission (see the example from my own early days in last month’s newsletter)
  • Referral, with commission
  • Affiliate (where software tracks commissions for you)
  • Package stuffers: you include an offer from another business when you mail out your orders or bag them at a retail counter (with or without a tracking code)
  • Co-marketing multiple products and services from multiple vendors, as individual offerings
  • Co-marketing multiple products and services from multiple vendors, as a single value-added and/or discounted package (as the separate companies with a word processor, spreadsheet, and database did years ago when they created a suite to compete with Microsoft Office)
  • Partnering with a charity/NGO to donate a percentage of sales, time-limited (“dine with us Tuesday and we’ll donate 10% to the food pantry”) or otherwise conditional (“every 50th caller raises another $100 for United Way”)
  • Partnering with a charity/NGO to donate a percentage of sales, ongoing (“portion of the proceeds will be donated to Rainforest Action”)
  • Producing the same product under multiple brand labels (supermarket private-label brands, car companies)
  • Organizing events with a charity partner and bringing in media partners (radio and TV stations, newspapers, popular Internet sites) to publicize the event at no charge
  • Joining forces to create and promote theme-based events, geographical groupings, or other promotions that benefit all participants (maps showing groups of artisanal food businesses or antique shops, themed festivals for craft beer or renewable energy, Taste of the City/Neighborhood restaurant fairs
  • Similar efforts for geography-based communities, neighborhoods, or even individual streets without an overriding theme, such as this example of a street in St. Augustine, Florida:

Operations and R&D

  • Joining forces to address different parts of a complex project (the massive energy efficiency retrofit of the Empire State Building involved companies with expertise in window remanufacturing, temperature controls, insulation, and overall green building design)
  • Co-creating new products and technologies (the PowerPC computer chip that ran many computers in the 1990s was a joint project of Apple, IBM, and Motorola)
  • Engaging corporate and NGO leaders in a joint visioning/revisioning process to develop much greener, more socially conscious approaches in business (this month’s recommended book has dozens of examples; I also consult on this)
  • Presenting a unified front to address big problems (as European car manufacturers did when they agreed on strategies and processes to take back used up vehicles at the end of their useful life and reuse the parts, pointing out to the government that having their cooperation would work better than an adversarial relationship)
  • Mergers and acquisitions


  • Cooperative ownership
  • Pay-upfront memberships such as CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farms
  • Stock options/employee ownership plans
  • Traditional financial partnerships, such as silent partners, angels/VCs, and IPOs—and the more consumer-oriented models such as mutual funds that create partnerships with thousands of members
  • Issuing scrip; your customers and neighbors can buy “currency” usable only at your business, typically for 10 to 20 percent less than the face value
  • Local currency networks, such as Ithaca Hours (Ithaca, NY and vicinity) and BerkShares (Berkshire County, MA)
  • Computerized barter networks
  • Time trade networks, where an hour of a doctor’s labor is worth the same as an hour of a babysitter’s

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About Shel & This Newsletter

As a green and social change business profitability/marketing consultant and copywriteraward-winning author of ten booksinternational speaker and trainer, blogger, syndicated columnist – Shel Horowitz shows how green, ethical, and socially conscious businesses can actually be *more* profitable than your less-green, less-socially-aware competitors. His award-winning 8th book Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet was a category bestseller for at least 34 months (and is now available exclusively through Shel). Shel also helps authors/ publishers, small businesses, and organizations to market effectively, and turns unpublished writers into well-published authors.

Shel Horowitz’s consulting firm, Green And Profitable, is the first business ever to earn Green America’s rigorous Gold Certification as a leading green company. He was inducted into the National Environmental Hall of Fame in 2011.

He began publishing his monthly newsletter all the way back in 1997, making it one of the oldest marketing e-zines (it’s changed names a few times along the way).

“As always, some of the links in this newsletter earn commissions—because I believe in the products and services enough to promote them (I get asked to endorse lots of other programs I don’t share with you, because I don’t find them worthy).”

Friends Who Want to Help

30-minute no-charge session with a master business and life coach
Posting this on behalf of my friend, colleague, and masterful coach Oshana Himot. I have benefitted enormously working with her. She’s really helped me crystalize the idea that I can shift my focus to turn hunger and poverty into sufficiency, war into peace, and catastrophic climate change into planetary balance—through the profit motive. Without her, I wouldn’t have done my TEDx talk, “Impossible is a Dare” (hear the talk and see the slides at )
nor would I have written the new book.

She writes: “If you work to change society in positive waysI’m a skilled coach who can help you work through the stuck places and go forward… With a mix of both business and life coaching skills, and MBA, and a diversified set of tools, I work with you as the unique and wonderful person you are–and the amazing, powerful person you’d like to become. What you would like to achieve.

“How can this work can benefit you? Schedule a complimentary 30-minute session and find out. You can reach me at 602-463-6797 or through email at:

Debbie Allen’s new book on Positioning—Yours at NO Cost
I’ve got an exciting gift for you! Download my friend Debbie Allen’s brand new book, EXPERT POSITIONING: How to Dominate Your Competition and Gain High Paying Clients at no cost. Expert Positioning is a great way to stand out and market your business; I’ve personally built my business with it. Debbie’s been in the expert space for decades. Her new book walks you through the process to setting up your expert business so you can easily gain higher paying clients and make more sales. Get your free copy now at 

Hear and Meet Shel
I’ve been so busy getting the book done that I haven’t been booking talks lately. But that’s about to change! As the book launch draws closer, I expect to have several engagements. And remember—if you connect me with a paid speaking gig (OR a sponsor who will fund no-pay engagements), you can earn a very nice commission. Please write to me if you would like to help.

Just announced: a stellar looking Guerrilla Marketing Reunion with a lineup that includes Seth Godin, Jay Conrad Levinson’s widow Jeannie Levinson, Joel Comm, Loral Langemeier, and several other luminaries, November 2-4 in Orlando. Price is very reasonable. I’m going; how about you? (Oh, and let me know if you’re a nonsmoker who’s interested in sharing a hotel room.)
Another Recommended Book: The Necessary Revolution
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The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations Are Working Together to Create A Sustainable World, by Peter Senge, Nina Kruschwitz, Joe Laur, and Sara Schley

Most of the books I’ve been reviewing the last several years have been published relatively recently, often within three years. With a 2008 copyright, this book is outside of that pattern. And while there are pieces of it that are a bit dated—for instance, evaluating and praising BP’s actions on behalf of the environment pre-Deepwater, and of course the dramatic shifts in the fossil fuel climate due to new (and very invasive/destructive) technology and the concurrent shifts in the economy following the recession.

Yet about 90 percent of this book is still intensely relevant, and the orientation toward holistic approaches and working together from different sectors on common goals (e.g., corporate and NGOs or corporate and major government regulators) yields terrific examples and remarkable insights. I like the way it pays attention to both results and process, and demonstrates repeatedly that inclusivity —when combined with holistic thinking and powerful visioning—creates better, longer-lasting, more future-focused results. In other words, it’s not about being less bad, but about rethinking an entire way of doing things to create a greater good in the first place; they see the solution as based in innovation, not coercion—something Buckminster Fuller, who suggested that we humans learn to live on our energy income (i.e., renewables) rather than energy capital (fossil fuels), would agree with (p. 8). By working backward from the world we want to achieve, rather than patching the failures of today’s world, we can leapfrog the incremental small gains and totally rethink and reshape the business world, and heal the planet. So give it a whirl, even if you think 2007 data is too old.

Some of what you’ll learn will be about the changes brought about by the 20th century industrial model—like the shocking statistics that the number of cars in the world leapt from 50 million in 1950 to 800 million less than 60 years later (six times the growth in population), or that (as of 2007) 90 percent of all raw materials ended up as waste (p. 16).

But that second statistic is cause for hope, because it opens up the possibility to use resources far more effectively. If we can bring that 90 percent down to, say, 10 percent, that means we need far less mining, fewer landfills, less energy and water in manufacturing, use, and disposal, and many other benefits.

You’ll also learn powerful stories about individuals who led their organizations not just to a new understanding of how business can profit while serving a higher social and environmental good, but to new products and services—as well as new corporate structures and partnerships (with competitors, trade associations, NGOs/nonprofits, and government agencies), new tools for inclusive decision making and product creation, and new ways of doing business—based in that understanding. If you’ve followed what I’ve written about practical visionaries like Amory Lovins and Dean Cycon (both cited) over the years, or what I’ve written about partnership success strategies, it will not come as news.

Let’s make that hope much more concrete, by sharing just a few of the numerous case studies in the book:

  • After a bunch of folks from Xerox went on a guided wilderness retreat, they saw a Xerox copier rusting in a landfill. This caused an epiphany: they could design copiers that sent nothing to the landfill. Putting this into action meant addressing such issues as product lifecycle and energized the group to reinvent copier technology. While the defunct copier they saw had more than 2000 parts and was not easily disassembled, the Lakes Project model this team developed had just 200 parts and came apart easily for reuse and recycling, and kept 122,000,000 pounds of material out of landfills in a single year (pp. 288-289).
  • BMW, which had been developing plans to collect and recycle worn-out cars, expanded to create a consortium of all car manufacturers in the European Union, developed practical methods to design cars for eventual disassembly and reuse, and then went to the EU government as a united front, with workable plans for the makers to take end-of-life responsibility for their products. The EU adopted their recommendations, which avoided certain regulations the manufacturers felt were unrealistic or too restrictive while accomplishing the agreement to collect and recycle with essentially no pushback from industry—because industry designed the program (pp. 230-232, 248). 
  • Alcoa piloted a massive water reuse project in one plant, and saw an 85 percent reduction in water consumption (p. 182).
  • Meanwhile, Coca-Cola partnered with the global environmental group WWF to examine its total water footprint—including, for instance, the huge amount of water needed to grow its sugarcane. (It turns out that other beverages, including coffee and milk, also have enormous water footprints, once we factor in inputs like the amount a cow drinks.) This initiative got urban corporate executives, environmentalists, residents of environmentally sensitive areas, bottlers, and farmers talking to each other in new ways. (pp. 77-95; the case study doesn’t really address the results of the initiative, which was pretty new at the time).

Senge et al tell us it’s crucial to dream big, and to work from a primarily positive vision—that falling a few points short of a massive, world-changing goal is a much greater success than meeting a goal that’s too easy and doesn’t build change (pp. 293, 325-326).

A key point is that innovations, and movements, typically don’t originate at the centers of organizational power—there are exceptions, of course—but at the periphery, with production workers, managers of small units, etc. (p. 364), developing “creative tension” (pp. 294-296). Often, meaningful change happens when one employee champions the cause and makes it happen. Thus, the book features multiple Toolkit sections, which provide an illustrated overview of specific tools that help organizations grapple with these issues—including companies unaccustomed to giving line workers or unit managers a meaningful say in policy. One example is the five pages about understanding when participants are taking on any of four different roles in a meeting (pp. 276-280).

The authors include a zinger at the very end that could be its own book: a brief section (pp. 374-377) on the need to take these group process skills out beyond the human experience, and to not just take the needs of other species into account, but to design processes that include non-human partners. Reading about Amory Lovins’ active collaboration with apes who had learned to communicate with humans, co-designing an ape-friendly living environment, made me jump out of my chair and yell “Wow!”

There’s much more in this book. Go out and get it, read it carefully, and take lots of notes (I took five pages, and I have tiny handwriting).

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