The Green Quote (De Groene Offerte) is an initiative by Arjan Hilgersom and Autobahn, in collaboration with the Association of Dutch Designers (BNO). The project aims to increase sustainability in the daily work processes of Dutch (graphic) designers.
What is the Green Quote?
The Green Quote is a website about sustainability for designers and their clients. It consists of a checklist of sustainable choices during the design process, an interactive forum, a list of remarkable sustainability cases and a database of sustainable materials, production techniques, tools, guidelines, et cetera.
The basic concept of the Green Quote came from graphic designer Arjan Hilgersom (Team Hilgersom) and graphic design agency Autobahn. They found each other in 2008, sharing the wish to put sustainability on the agenda of the Dutch graphic design sector. After they developed the idea of the Green Quote, they presented the plan to the Association of Dutch Designers (BNO). The BNO enthusiastically embraced the plan, which was perfectly geared to current developments regarding sustainability within the BNO.
Sustainability and stumbling blocks
Autobahn and Team Hilgersom regard sustainability as an important theme in which designers play a key role, as they have influence on significant decisions on sustainability during the design of a product. This influence determines the environmental and social impact. The current focus of society on sustainability and the new governmental guidelines are an extra stimulus for designers to develop themselves as sustainability advisors for their clients.
It is clear that designers are interested in sustainability. However, both communication and product designers indicate two major stumbling blocks: the lack of knowledge and opportunities for gaining knowledge in order to grow, and the lack of skills to convince clients to make sustainable choices. They do not have the capacity to create insight into those choices and to come up with a convincing proposal for their clients. These stumbling blocks and the unanimous, strong desire to participate in this initiative is proof of the Green Quote’s necessity.
The primary goal of the Green Quote is to help designers with their sustainable designs and to “sell” sustainable choices to clients, by providing knowledge, tips and contact information. The Green Quote also functions as a source of inspiration for sustainable design by presenting interesting cases . Its ultimate goal is to increase awareness of the long-term and effective implementation of sustainability within the design sector.
The website includes the following components:
• Green offer: a checklist in the form of a sample quote.
• Database: relevant information about materials, production, labeling and certification, standards and guidelines, and the purchase policies of the government. Per category the visitor can navigate to more detailed information and find links to relevant websites.
• Forum: interactive community where visitors share their experiences, tips and questions, and start discussions.
• Profiles: contact information of designers, manufacturers, printers, et cetera.
• Cases: inspiring and informative examples of projects, illustrated with pictures and a description of the considerations made during the design process.
To promote the website we developed various campaign items, all produced as environmentally friendly as possible:
• Advertisements: together with photographers Jaap Scheeren and Krijn van Noordwijk and illustrators Robert Fulkers and Enkeling we created images depicting the sometimes hard decisions that designers need to make during the design process.
• The GO Quiz: An easy-going quiz about sustainability. Everyone receives a sign with an A and a B to answer multiple choice questions. The last one standing is the winner and earns a place in the GO Quiz hall of fame!
• Go Live: meet the people you exchange information with on the website in person. At these Go Live events, participants form coalitions and create ideas. The enthusiasm of the Green Quote’s participants is truly tangible.
• GO TV: interviews with participants at GO events like the Dutch Design Week and GO Live.
• Chance Cards: A6 flyers printed on FSC paper with bio inks, informing visitors at the Dutch Design Week about the website and giving them “a chance” to make a contribution to this project.