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Going Green: Environmental Challenges in the Yellow Pages Industry 2009


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

The yellow pages industry has been expanding dramatically over the past few decades: from $10.3 billion in 1996 to a projected $16.77 billion by 2010. But with this growth and expansion of publishers has come a serious challenge: the impact of green on the yellow world.

Going Green: Environmental Challenges in the Yellow Pages Industry 2009 is an in-depth look at the size of the yellow pages industry, the amount of paper used to produce books, the amount of waste and recycling efforts.

The overview looks at the history of the environmental movement, when and where it started and, more importantly, what is its status now? It also studies the resources available to publishers including the Association of Directory Publishers, the Yellow Pages Association and Product Stewardship Institute, the organization that has been working with the associations and environmental groups and mediating stakeholder dialogues.

Going Green is designed to help publishers, suppliers and environmental groups to understand the challenges facing the industry.

Highlights include:

  • Measures taken by industry trade groups and individual publishers to reduce their environmental impact;
  • Opt out and opt in measures and their benefits and weaknesses;
  • Recycling programs;
  • The potential impact on sales;
  • A segment by segment look at the industry;
  • Profiles of key publishers including incumbent and independent;
  • The progress of printers and paper supplies to meet environmental guidelines.


Stamford, CT - April 1, 2009 - The yellow pages industry, which generated 700,000 tons of waste in 2007, is responding to strong criticism from the environmental world with a major effort to self regulate itself into a green industry. And it appears as if the entire issue is about to come to closure with a communiqué ironed out by industry trade associations, environmentalists and local, state and federal legislators, according to Going Green: Environmental Challenges in the Yellow Pages Industry 2009, a new report from media industry forecast and analysis firm Simba Information.

“This all began with a bill introduced in the North Carolina Senate in 2007 calling for yellow pages publishers to print opt-out requirements on their phone books. While that bill was just the first of many that failed across the U.S., the industry has responded with an extensive opt-out Web site,” said David Goddard, senior analyst of Simba’s Yellow Pages Group and lead author of the study. “But the catalyst for launching the Web site was not at the state level but at the community level in Albany, NY, where an ordinance was passed in late January 2009 requiring opt-out procedures to be prominently displayed on every directory and door-step delivery; no more dropping the book at the mailbox.”

The overview looks at the history of the yellow pages environmental movement, the reaction by all sides, measures taken by industry trade groups, industry forecast figures and comprehensive profiles of leading yellow pages publishers with the spotlight on their environmental efforts.

Additional information can be found at www.simbainformation.com or by calling 888-29-SIMBA.

  • Methodology
  • Executive Summary
  • Going Green: Environmental Challenges in the Yellow Pages Industry 2009
    • Introduction
    • Size of the Industry
      • Table Statistical Summary of the Yellow Pages Industry, 2003-2008
      • Table Largest U.S. Yellow Pages Directory Publishers, 2008 (Revenue and circulation numbers in millions)
    • Industry Trends and Analysis
      • Table RBOC Revenue Change, 1998-2009P
      • Table RBOC Yellow Pages Publishers, 2007 Revenue ($ in millions)
      • Table Estimated Revenue of Select Non-Telco Publishers, 2007-2008 ($ in millions)
      • Table Yellow Pages Revenue Growth by Publisher Category, 1996-2010P ($ in millions)
      • Table Yellow Pages Market Share by Type of Publisher, 1996-2010P
    • Paper Consumption by Directory Publishers
      • Table Capacity and Consumption, Uncoated Groundwood Paper, 2007-2008 (in thousands of metric tons)
      • Table Outlays for Printing, Paper, Other Production and Distribution; Directory Publishing Industry, 2004-2008 ($ in millions)
    • Directory Recycling and the Waste Stream
      • Table Nondurable Goods Generated in Municipal Waste Stream, 1990-2007 (Thousands of tons and percent of total generation)
      • Table Select Nondurable Goods Discarded in Municipal Waste Stream, 1990-2007 (Thousands of tons and percent of total generation)
    • Individual Publishers Take the Initiative
      • AT&T Advertising Solutions
      • Idearc Media
      • R.H. Donnelley
      • Valley Yellow Pages
        • Table ADP/YPA Joint Environmental Guidelines
      • Yellowbook
    • Some States, Local Governments Offer Assistance
      • Table Proposed State Restrictions on YP Industry
    • The History of the Environmental Issue
  • Profiles of Leading Yellow Pages Publishers
    • AT&T Communications
      • Table At a Glance: AT&T Communications
    • Idearc Media
      • Table At a Glance: Idearc Media
      • Table Idearc's Discontinued Competitive Directories, 2008
    • R.H. Donnelley
      • Table At a Glance: R.H. Donnelley
    • Valley Yellow Pages
      • Table At a Glance: Valley Yellow Pages
    • Yellowbook
      • Table At a Glance: Yellowbook

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