Posts Tagged ‘environment’

Corporate Conservation: A 2020 Update

If you are familiar with Service Objects as a company, you probably know that one of our core values is protecting the environment. It was the reason our company was founded in 2001, and remains at the heart of both our business practices and our contact data quality products.

When our CEO Geoff Grow – a mathematician and an environmentalist – saw the amount of misdirected print marketing mailed to people many years ago, he was struck by what a waste of resources were involved. He often received mail addressed to someone else, duplicate catalogs, and mailings addressed to different variations of his name and recognized what a widespread problem this was and the impacts it has on businesses and our environment. So he began Service Objects with a goal of using mathematical equations to reduce this massive waste stream.

Here, as we approach two decades in business and over 4 billion transactions processed, we wanted to take a look at the results of these efforts to date – and show you what one company can do to make a difference on important social and environmental issues.

2020: A look at the numbers

The infographic shown here is a summary of the impact of our contact data quality transactions to date. These numbers are pretty substantial: over two million trees saved, over three-quarters of a billion gallons of water, and nearly half a million kilowatt hours of energy saved. Not to mention 70 million pounds less air pollution and over 350,000 cubic yards of waste kept out of landfills.

More importantly, these numbers represent a sharp increase from those of just a year ago, in some cases nearly doubling the figures from our previous years combined. This tracks our rapid growth in transaction volume over the past year, which saw us go from 3 billion to 4 billion transactions processed in less than two years.

There are numerous factors behind our rapid growth, ranging from our reputation in the industry, our relationship with many of the leading consumer-facing firms in the US and elsewhere, and perhaps most importantly, a growing focus on data quality. Between the emergence of stiff new consumer data privacy regulations and increasing competitive needs to lower marketing costs, maintaining contact data quality is no longer an option for businesses of any size.

Thankfully, this is a good development for the environment as well as our business. Nowadays businesses can no longer afford the luxury of tolerating bad data, and this in turn has a tangible impact on the waste stream and its effects on the ecosystem.

Looking to the future

Of course, it will take more than one company’s contributions to address the massive environmental issues facing society today, fueled by developments ranging from climate change to deforestation and more.

Here in our native California, for example, wildfires have devastated large numbers of both homes and forest land since 2018. We have responded by partnering with One Tree Planted, an organization that provides direct reforestation efforts, as one of 500 organizations who have publicly committed to repopulate the state with over one million new trees. We plant 10 trees for each new customer, and are well along towards fulfilling our company’s commitment to this project. You can keep in touch with our ongoing corporate conservation efforts here.

We all have a role in protecting the environment, and encourage you and your organization to also look at how you can do your part – not just in terms of formal efforts and corporate support, but in looking at your own day-to-day business practices, as we do here at Service Objects. Together we can make a real difference in the health of our planet.

Planting a Seed to Protect the Orca

Many of you know that Service Objects was founded in 2001 to support environmental conservation, specifically by reducing the massive waste stream of misdirected and unwanted direct mail.

Today we have grown to become a leader in the data quality industry, with a customer base that includes many of America’s largest companies. But we are equally proud of our environmental track record. Over the past 18 years, the data services we provide resulted in nearly two million trees and 200 million pounds of paper saved. Every month, our Address Validation products alone keep over 300 tons of paper out of landfills!

Conservation has always been central to our workplace culture, as well as a big part of the reason we come to work here every morning. We wanted to share one of our latest initiatives with you, partnering with One Tree Planted to support targeted reforestation efforts here in the United States and throughout the world.

The Orca Project

In addition to planting trees worldwide, One Tree Planted promotes specific targeted projects, and one of the more interesting ones, Orca Project, involves saving the endangered Southern Resident Orca whale in the Pacific Northwest. Their numbers are down to 75 as a result of dwindling food supplies, particularly fewer Chinook salmon, a situation which in turn can be linked to development, pollution, and climate change. By supporting reforestation efforts along the banks of waterways where these salmon spawn, there is hope of reducing erosion and pollution, and providing a better environment for salmon to lay eggs, hatch and develop. This is just one example of where targeted reforestation can have an impact on an entire ecosystem.

About One Tree Planted

One Tree Planted is a Vermont-based non-profit organization with a simple mission: support global reforestation efforts by planting trees. Working with reforestation partners in North America, Latin America, Asia and Africa, they fund planting projects across their full life cycle from site preparation to monitoring trees as they grow, ensuring a tree survival rate of 80-90%. Their efforts have made a real difference on an issue that deeply affects our native California, where we lost over 18 million trees in 2018 to causes ranging from drought to wildfires.

One of the things we really like about One Tree Planted is that they not only do important environmental work, but make very efficient use of their funds. They have a very simple economic model: one dollar of donations plants one tree. Their message has caught on, and their model works: every year since their founding in 2014, they have doubled the number of trees they plant. In 2018 they planted 1.3 million trees worldwide, and so far in 2019 they are on track for planting over 4 million trees.

What we’re doing – and how you can help

We are proud to support the efforts of One Tree Planted, including planting ten trees for each new customer at Service Objects, as well as donations to programs such as the Orca Project. Aside from corporate support, this organization exists through the generosity of individual donors such as yourself, who can get involved in making a real change planting trees for as little as one dollar.

For more information on One Tree Planted, visit their website at, and be sure to check out this great article about the Orca Project. I hope you’ll join us in supporting one of the most important causes of all – preserving the well-being of the planet we all share.

Reflections on Earth Day 2019

On April 22 we celebrate Earth Day, a day of learning and action that marks its 50th anniversary next year.

It has been quite a movement. According to its official website, the original Earth Day – proposed by US Senator Gaylord Nelson in response to a massive oil spill here in our native Santa Barbara, California – attracted over 20 million Americans to rallies and teach-ins. Today, it is the largest secular observance in the world, with over billion people taking part each year.

Every year, our celebration of Earth Day gets me thinking about the difference between a cause and a mission. Many companies support causes, and that is a great thing. But for us, saving the environment is a mission. It was why I originally founded Service Objects back in 2001 – to use strategies from mathematics to reduce the waste stream of mis-directed direct mail marketing. Today, this is still a key part of why we do what we do.

For me, this is personal. I am an avid outdoorsman living in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, which in my lifetime has faced dangers ranging from that 1969 oil spill to recent threats from global warming, wildfires and mudslides. Last year alone our state of California suffered the loss of over 18 million trees due to environmental catastrophe, not to mention scores of human lives.

Naturally we are trying to help in the short term. This past year we joined a consortium of businesses directly funding reforestation efforts in California with a goal of one million new trees planted. And through our partnership with One Tree Planted, Service Objects plants ten new trees each time a new customer signs up for one of our services.

In the longer term, our services have continued to make a real impact on the waste stream in the environment. How big an impact? Last year we validated our three billionth transaction since our founding in 2001, and as of this writing we are now closer to three and a half billion. (If you are curious about how we are doing, check out the live real-time transaction count right on the front page of our web site.) Here is what we estimate these transactions have saved to date:

  • 217 million pounds of paper
  • 8 million trees
  • 754 million gallons of water
  • 442 million kilowatt hours of energy
  • 332 thousand cubic yards of landfill space
  • Nearly 64 million pounds of air pollution

Nowadays our business goes far beyond cleaning up direct mail – we serve some of the world’s largest companies with everything from lead validation to geocoding. But address validation is still at the heart of what we do.

Every day is Earth Day at our company. We incentivize employees for biking to work, conserve energy and work hard to reduce our own waste stream. Conservation isn’t just a banner or a slogan for us, but a cornerstone of our culture. You can read more about our corporate commitment to the environment here and we are proud of our efforts.

So here is my challenge for you on this year’s Earth Day: what can you do to make a real difference for the environment? I hope that you and your business will join us in helping to protect this fragile planet we all share. Together we can accomplish a great deal for this Earth and future generations.

Service Objects and One Tree Planted Partner to Plant 1 Million Trees in CA

2018 was a tough year for our home state of California.

According to a recent CNN report, an estimated 18 million trees died here from issues such as drought, disease, invasive insect species and wildfires. In particular, the massive Thomas Fire affected Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties and impacted our employees and community directly, and the devastation it caused is still visible.

In response to this major environmental challenge, Service Objects has joined with 500 participating companies who have each promised to plant at least 2000 trees in California through One Tree Planted, with a goal of repopulating the state with over one million new trees. We have committed to plant 10 trees for each new customer and are already well on our way to exceeding our goal.

One Tree Planted is a unique organization. As their name suggests, they support reforestation efforts in regions around the globe, including North and South America, Latin America and Africa. They are very cost-efficient at what they do, and their entire focus is on planting trees. We particularly like partnering with them because they let you choose which geographic region your trees are planted in, allowing us to support the regrowth of forest land here in California.

Supporting environmental causes is nothing new for us at Service Objects. We were originally founded in 2001 with a goal of reducing the waste stream in the environment, by cleansing databases of bogus, fraudulent, and undeliverable customer records. In doing so, we estimate we have saved over one million trees, 400 million gallons of water, and prevented 30 million pounds of air pollution. Even as we have grown to become one of the world’s major players in contact data quality services, we remain true to our founding values to make the world a better place through data quality excellence.

This means that environmentalism isn’t just some faceless corporate contribution for us – it is part of our DNA. As a company, we are very thoughtful about our stewardship of the environment. We incentivize people for bicycling to work instead of driving, conserve energy, and encourage recycling and minimal use of resources wherever possible. And we will continue to support like-minded causes through corporate action.

This year we chose to focus our contributions on our company’s home state of California, because of all the devastation this state has faced as a result of recent wildfires and other environmental issues. We love living and working here and realize that we all need to pull together to help rebuild our community and our state. This is why our partnership with One Tree Planted was a natural fit for this pivotal time in California history.

If you would like to learn more about Service Objects’ corporate conservation efforts, we have a dedicated web page where you can check out more details. Above all, we would like to thank you – our customers – for being part of our efforts to create a better planet for all of us. Or as our state’s forests might say, “thanks a million!”

Thoughts on this Independence Day

If you live in the United States, you probably think that Independence Day is synonymous with the fourth of July. In reality, Independence Day holidays are celebrated around the world, commemorating freedom under a variety of dates and names. Whether it is our neighbor to the north’s Canada Day (July 1), Singapore’s National Day (August 9), Brazil’s Dia da Independência (September 7), or a host of similar holidays, much of the globe marks and cherishes the birth of their nation’s own self-determination.

Declaring our independence – from waste

At Service Objects, our own Independence Day dates back to 2001. That was the year our founder Geoff Grow – a mathematician and an environmentalist – looked at this nation’s flood of wasted and misdirected junk mail, along with its cost to the environment, and realized that he didn’t have to just sit back passively and accept it. This led to the beginnings of our flagship Address Validation service, a first step in helping clients deliver to valid addresses every time.

Of course, we have grown substantially since then: not just in a revenue sense, but in the breadth of products we offer. Nowadays our solutions encompass areas that include fraud prevention, regulatory compliance, marketing optimization and customer insight. But they all tie back to one core concept: automated tools for data quality. And in turn, a concern for the environment.

Nowadays we are proud of serving over 2,500 customers and processing over three billion transactions. But we are also proud of serving the environment as well as our great clients. You’ll see this in a company where most people ride bikes to work, recycling is a fact of life, and our products continue to reduce the waste stream in this country – on the order of over a million trees and nearly half a billion gallons of water saved. And to this day, we still plant ten trees for every new customer we serve.

Declaring your independence – from bad data

Naturally, we enjoy having the opportunity to serve you too. And this Independence Day, we invite you to look at some of the data quality problems you can break free from, including:

Whatever stands between you and leveraging the full power of your contact data assets, we probably have a solution for it, ranging from worldwide address validation to US tax rates. Whether it is a specific data quality problem, or a planned strategy for effective data hygiene, we have cost-effective solutions to make your life easier.

We also can set you free from implementation worries. Our services can be integrated directly with your CRM, marketing automation or other systems, using real-time API integration or cloud connectors. We can also provide convenient batch list processing for your databases, without the need for systems integration. And you can try out our products for free, with either real-time output right on our website and/or free API keys.

Whatever is holding your business back, we’re glad to help get your Independence Day party started – just contact us for a free consultation, with no sales pressure. (Just remember that we’re closed on July 4th! Except for our 24/7 support, of course.) We look forward to helping you declare your own independence from data quality problems.