Marketers Come to Class for Green Initiative

CBS, Microsoft, Safeway’s O Organics and TCP are among the brands on board with a national “Green Schools Initiative” program that launched last week in Miami.

CBS is a premier partner with environmental media company EcoMedia, New York, for the contest that offers a winning school in each city $250,000 in products and services for a green makeover. Students, teachers and administrators can enter the contest by submitting their take on what being green means to them to

Cities participating in the initial program are Miami, San Francisco and Chicago. More cities could be added at a later date. The first prizes will be awarded in January.

CBS is providing media space that advertisers can buy and a portion of the revenue is diverted to the “CBS and EcoZone Green School Initiative.” A portion of the ad buys from Microsoft, O Organics (Safeway’s in-store organic food brand) and lighting supplier TCP will fund the green prize. Proceeds also will be generated by EcoMedia’s network of billboards, its bi-monthly Kiwi magazine and an EcoZone Project TV show that airs in 170 markets on TBS and Fox networks. The six-year old company also has a partnership with Kimco Reality to sell and split ad revenue from shopping mall kiosks to pay for green projects.

“Together with our partner CBS, we’ve created a new model for advertising,” Paul Polizzotto, founder and CEO of EcoMedia, said in a statement. “By providing funding for environmental projects and technologies through the sale of advertising, our media can be procured and sourced like any other sustainable product. Now, in addition to energy saving light bulbs and recycled paper, the simple everyday purchase of advertising can be part of a corporation’s ongoing sustainability initiatives.”

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