Jan 29

I received a plea from my stock portfolio manager today urging me to accept electronic delivery of my account statements. I rolled my eyes, and then typed this reply. I imagine I’m not the only one who feels this way:

RE: Go Green with Electronic Statement Delivery

Let me tell you something. Most people don’t give a darn about “going green”, which is not the same thing as saying they don’t give a darn about the environment (doesn’t everybody care about the environment?). However, “going green” is perceived by many as just eco-vanity mumbo-jumbo to make people feel good about themselves, rather than doing something that would actually improve the environment.

Yes, I’ll sign up for your electronic delivery of my account statement. Why? It will make my life simpler – and that’s how you should sell it. Everybody wants to make their life simpler, but a much smaller portion of the population will respond to the annoying, look-at-me, do-gooder sentiment of “go green”.

Like most people, I receive these types of notices often.

Companies who urge customers to accept electronic delivery of account statements real motive has nothing at all to do with improving the environment and everything to do with improving the image (and hopefully the profits) of the company itself.

There’s two parts to the bargain the company and the customer make with each other:

  1. The company gets to express to the customer how much the company supposedly cares about the environment by offering the “go green” electronic statement delivery service with the hopes that the green sentiment will engender customer loyalty, and higher profits.
  2. The customer gets a cheap green thrill (either wittlingly or unwittingly, it doesn’t matter).

It’s win-win for the company and its customer, but the environment is just a tool for both that gets left out in the cold.

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2 Responses to “CC of my e-mail repy to my stock portfolio manager’s plea for me to "Go Green with Electronic Statement Delivery"”

  1. Daily Bayonet says:

    I also get a lot of these ‘offers’ to go with electronic statements, bills etc.

    My usual response is by agreeing to the new system only if they agree in turn to a small discount on the invoice total to reflect the cost reduction to the company of printing, paper, postage and processing.

    So far, I’ve had no positive response. I think the green guilt is supposed to make me comply.


  2. Klockarman says:


    That’s a good point. The appeal to the customer’s assumed eco-vanity is just a set-up for the company to save themselves money.

    I’m not blaming the companies here, I’m just trying to shine the light of truth on them. The free market punishes waste of resources (and I’ll remind my liberal readers here that resources include: time, money, and labor in addtion to the “natural” resources).

    Anyway, as I was saying, the free market punishes inefficient allocation of any resource, and this is just a way for a company to conduct their business more efficiently – more power to them. But, cloaking it in the “go green” message is just plain annoying to many folks.


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