According to publishers Chris Erasmus, the title and its digital version have held the number one spot in terms of green news and info in South Africa, since soon after its launch.
"We are pleased and proud to have survived the downturn, having launched this new title in October 2008. It has been very difficult to launch an entirely new title in South Africa, based on a new multi-niche format without anything like it existed here before and at a time when people were cutting back on their magazine purchasing.
"However, we had planned to occupy more than one niche, realising from our years' worth of research into other 'green' titles from around the world that critical mass was critical. Therefore, we have an overtly consumer-oriented title, but it also has B2B elements, corporate communications from strategic to operational aspects of sustainability and related CSR, along with a place for emergent green businesses - a mix that worked well.
"Fear of being preached at"
"Once people pick up the magazine and take a look at it, the feedback is that the majority seem to like it. The problem is getting people in the current environment to take the step of buying a new title, especially in the 'green zone', as it sees many are resistant because they fear being preached at and don't want to be made to feel personally responsible and 'bad' for the many eco-challenges facing our planet.
"However, we are not ideological, rather preferring the practical approach of supporting that which works. Our guiding principle is to give space to 'next best step solutions', which recognise that the 'green journey' is just that, a journey, much less than a destination. People and companies are in different places and engaged with that journey to different degrees. There is no perfect 'green' company, product or service but there are greener options. Our job has been to place these before consumers, key decision-makers and major corporate players in a way that is accessible, visually engaging and informative, without lecturing or being preachy. It would seem we have managed that and it was great to have been acknowledged so soon after our launch with an SAB enviro-journalism award.
"Our next focus is to grow into the digital zone. We already have iPhone and iPad apps up but we are working towards double-streaming our print offerings with equivalents for all platforms in the digital and mobile zones," concludes Erasmus.