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Going Green: Environmental Challenges in the Yellow Pages Industry 2011

Going Green: Environmental Challenges in the Yellow Pages Industry 2011 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, and the court fight over Seattle’s ground-breaking ordinance.

The overview also looks at the history of the environmental movement, the leaders on both sides of the issue, when and where it started, what is its status now and, more importantly, where is the industry likely to go? 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: Environmental Challenges in the Yellow Pages Industry 2011 is designed to help publishers, suppliers, investors and environmental groups 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;
  • Interviews with key executives on both sides of the issue.


Stamford, CT - June 30, 2011 -Ongoing court battles over Seattle and San Francisco's environmental ordinances are shaking up the $13.5 billion yellow pages industry, which fears that losing will lead to the implementation of an unfavorable model in the top twenty U.S. markets. Media and publishing forecast firm Simba Information's latest report Going Green: Environmental Challenges in the Yellow Pages Industry 2011, estimates the revenue loss to publishers if either model is implemented will surpass $500 million, damaging the industry.

The environmental ordinance of San Francisco pushes a punitive opt-in model via solicitation from the publisher and carries a $500 infraction fine, while Seattle's opt-out model attaches a $0.14 per book pre-distribution fee and licensing requirement. If adopted as a standard model for metropolitan centers, yellow pages publishers will forfeit over $500 million in revenues in the top twenty markets, an overall 30.5% decline.

"Either model will be devastating to the yellow pages publishers in the metropolitan areas," said David Goddard, senior analyst for Simba Information and author of the report. "With over 56 million books in circulation in the top 20 markets, San Francisco's model will lead to revenue decline, as publishers will recover roughly 10% of their current distribution, and Seattle's will lead to a significant upfront cost."

Publishers Dex One and SuperMedia, along with the industry association LSA, have filed a lawsuit against Seattle as a restriction on First Amendment rights. According to the report, the suit charges the ordinance for singling out phone directories, which account for less than 2% of the total waste recycled in the city.

"Seattle and San Francisco are acting out of public interest in reducing waste," added Goddard. "But it's difficult to justify condemning the yellow pages industry when low grade paper accounts for 29% of waste and newspapers account for 18%."

Going Green: Environmental Challenges in the Yellow Pages Industry 2011 presents a comprehensive overview and analysis on Seattle and San Francisco's ordinances, the estimated cost and revenue decline for each of the top 20 metropolitan markets, as well as competitor profiles for AT&T, Dex One, SuperMedia, Valley Yellow Pages and the Yell Group.

  • Methodology
  • Executive Summary
  • Going Green: Environmental Challenges in the Yellow Pages Industry 2011
    • Introduction
      • Table Estimated Metro Market Decline if Environmental Restrictions Adopted (Circulation in Millions, Revenue in Thousands)
      • Table Proposed State Restrictions on YP Industry
    • A Brief History of the Movement
      • Table LSA/ADP Joint Environmental Guidelines
    • The Seattle and San Francisco Ordinances
      • YP Industry versus Seattle
        • Table Seattle’s Environmental Ordinance
        • Table Largest Directories in Seattle
        • Table San Francisco’s Environmental Ordinance
      • YP Industry versus San Francisco
        • Table Largest Directories in San Francisco
        • Table Nondurable Goods Generated in Municipal Waste Stream, 1990-2009 (Thousands of tons and percent of total generation)
        • Table Nondurable Goods Discarded in Municipal Waste Stream, 1990-2009 (Thousands of tons and percent of total generation)
    • Directory Recycling and the Waste Stream
      • Table Statistical Summary of the Yellow Pages Industry, 2005-2010
    • Industry Size and Growth
      • Table Largest U.S. Yellow Pages Directory Publishers, 2010 (Revenue and circulation numbers in millions)
      • Table RBOC Yellow Pages Revenue, 2008-2011P ($ in millions)
    • Industry Trends and Analysis
      • Table Yellow Pages Revenue Growth by Publisher Category, 1996-2013P ($ in millions)
      • Table AT&T's Discontinued Directories
    • Increased Competition Leads to Discontinued Directories
      • Table Dex One's Discontinued Directories, 2010
      • SuperMedia
      • AT&T
        • Table SuperMedia's Discontinued Directories
      • Dex One
        • Table LocalEdge's Discontinued Directories, 2008-2011
        • Table Yellow Pages References, 2008-2015P (References in billions)
      • LocalEdge
        • Table YP References, Top 10 Headings, Print & Internet, '09-'10
      • Usage Numbers-One Third Attributed to IYP
    • Paper Consumption by Directory Publishers
    • The Pre-Media Market
      • Amdocs
        • Table Capacity and Consumption, Uncoated Groundwood Paper, 2009-2010 (in thousands of metric tons)
        • Table U.S. Demand for Directory Paper, 2009-2010 (in thousands of metric tons)
        • Table Outlays for Printing, Paper, Other Production and Distribution; Directory Publishing Industry, 2006-2010 ($ in millions)
    • Individual Publishers Take the Initiative
      • AT&T Advertising Solutions
      • Dex One
      • SuperMedia
      • Valley Yellow Pages
      • Yellowbook
  • Profiles of Leading Print & Internet Yellow Pages Providers
    • AT&T Communications
      • Table At a Glance: AT&T Communications
      • Table AT&T's Discontinued Directories
    • Dex One (Formerly R.H. Donnelley)
      • Table At a Glance: Dex One
      • Table Dex One's Discontinued Directories, 2010
    • SuperMedia (Formerly Idearc Media)
      • Table At a Glance: SuperMedia
      • Table SuperMedia's Discontinued Directories
    • Valley Yellow Pages
      • Table At a Glance: Valley Yellow Pages
    • Yell Group
      • Table At a Glance: Yellowbook
      • Table Financial Size of Selected Yellowbook Acquisitions, 1999-2009 ($ in millions)

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