Dolphin Blue’s Big Splash in Media Culminates with Speaking Engagement at the University of Texas’ Sustainable Business Summit 2008

Share Article

Online Provider of Green Office Supplies Gaining Momentum, Credibility and Respect

Over the last several months, Dolphin Blue’s founder and CEO, Tom Kemper, made waves with several national and regional publications. However, speaking at the University of Texas’ Sustainable Business Summit on January 26th is the most meaningful.

Dolphin Blue, a 14-year-old online retailer, only offers products that contain, at minimum, 20 percent post-consumer recycled material with many items containing 100 percent post-consumer recycled material. In addition to successfully operating a business committed to creating a sustainable planet, the media have also recognized Kemper for co-founding Sustainable Dallas and working with manufacturers to bring new environmentally responsible products to the market.

“I am honored to be associated with such distinguished speakers as Cindy Hoots of Starbucks and Umberto Torreson of The Dow Chemical Company,” Kemper said. “The McComb’s School of Business should be applauded for being the first school in Texas for committing their resources to creating a sustainable business curriculum.”

Through speaker panels, interactive workshops, a sustainable product fair, a conference luncheon, and hands-on activities, we will analyze the best practices of companies who have integrated green strategies into their vision and discuss emerging business innovations that will help businesses ensure future success.

Attendees will interact with local and national business leaders and faculty experts. The panels will focus on the important environmental issues that face businesses in the 21st century, and the economic opportunities therein. Half of the event will be hands-on learning opportunities, from green venture launch coaching to an alternative fuel vehicle car test drive.

The summit will move beyond making the business case for green business and will arm participants with the tools for implementation.

One of his bylined articles was featured as the cover story for the 2007 Nov./Dec. issue of Office World News. “Selling Green Office Supplies: Making our planet and your wallet greener” Kemper writes:
[I]n spite of wide-spread adoption of recycling programs in corporations, cities and schools, filling bins with paper and plastic disposables does little good because the demand for post-consumer recycled content office supplies is still relatively low. Your local elementary school implementing a recycling program provides journalists with that wonderful “feel good” story but, what journalists seldom show is that up to 80 percent of recycled material is either burned for its BTU value or taken to a landfill.
Demand is low for environmentally responsible office products because consumers and corporations are always looking for the lowest price. People do not realize that buying office supplies made from virgin pulp has unseen costs. For example, taxpayers subsidize the forest industry to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars each year to build access roads and cut down trees in our national forests. If chlorine used to bleach paper contaminates our water supply, taxpayers for both corporations and individuals pick up the tab to clean up the mess, or we pay the price for chlorine’s effects on humans through our diminished health, associated healthcare costs and increased insurance premiums.    
In 1999, Kemper and other community leaders embarked on a mission to answer key questions each year through their leadership of Sustainable Dallas’ annual Conference on Sustainability. The 2007 Sept./Nov. issue of Green@Work featured another one of Kemper’s articles detailing his work with Sustainable Dallas. In “A Community of Sustainability: Sustainability groups are leading the charge toward environmental responsibility,” Kemper writes,

In the beginning, [Sustainable Dallas] struggled to find and secure qualified speakers from companies that showed a commitment to sustainability. Today, CEOs, marketing gurus and ad agencies are clamoring to capitalize on the “growth of green” by promoting, selling and advertising that they are sustainable as a way to increase their corporate reputations and appeal to an increasing umber of green-minded consumers.

[Sustainable Dallas] determined that going green had to be more than just a marketing campaign and learned not to make assumptions about presenters and attendees. Rather, Sustainable Dallas exercises due diligence to ensure that speakers and company examples are legitimately green to maintain the organization’s hard-earned credibility. Although many in the business community are taking positive steps in regards to sustainability, recent involvement in sustainable business practices does not automatically qualify a company or person as an expert or case-study example.

Because of the efforts of Sustainable Dallas, the City of Dallas has incorporated alternative fuel vehicles and hybrids into its fleet. Sustainable Dallas also played a role in the City of Dallas’ utilization of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system for new buildings. Texas Instruments’ recently completed, world-class, semiconductor manufacturing facility in Richardson, Texas was inspired by Amory Lovins during his appearances at the 2001 and 2003 Sustainable Dallas Conferences. Organizers of the sustainability conference arranged a private meeting with 23 engineers involved in planning the LEED-certified plant, designed with many ideas wrought from that landmark meeting.

Virginia Review, the only independent, nonpolitical, professional journal for Virginia’s government officials, published Kemper’s article, “So, You Want Your Town to be Green?”

“Paper and paper packaging are the number one volume commodity entering the waste stream. By using products made from recycled content, we save energy, reduce emissions and preserve our forests,” Kemper writes in the 2008 Jan./Feb. issue of Virginia Review. “These tremendous benefits accrue from the use of recycled-content papers and other office supply items when used in place of virgin-material products. It makes sense for not only those of us now living, but also for future generations, our progeny.”

D Magazine Partner’s Dallas CEO has also taken note of Dolphin Blue’s commitment to the environment by placing the company on its “Green List” in a special issue titled Dallas Goes Green. Also in December, this same family of publications recognized Dolphin Blue with a company profile in the December issue.

“Thomas Kemper was living green long before it was a popular PR strategy. Nearly 20 years ago, back when tree-hugger was a Texas epithet, Kemper was trying to spread awareness about responsible living,” writes Jessica Jones, managing editor of Dallas CEO. “He started small, campaigning outside Tom Thumb stores to bring curbside recycling to the grocery chain. In 1992, he organized the first public recycling event in Dallas. But when he noticed his recycled items were being taken straight to the landfill, he realized there had to be a demand for his supply to matter.”, The Advocate, Business Leader, In Business, Government Product News, Adhesives & Sealants Industry and Recycled Paper News have written about Tom and Dolphin Blue in the last six months. Kemper has numerous other articles pending for 2008 and is available for other speaking opportunities. As he always does, Kemper asks his trademark question, “What are you doing to be green?”

“Whether you buy recycled office supplies and printed paper products from Dolphin Blue or others, please make it a point to do so. We have only one planet, and we need to preserve it for future generations,” Kemper concludes.

About Dolphin Blue
Based in Dallas, Texas, Dolphin Blue is an online retailer of environmentally responsible office supplies. Since 1993, Dolphin Blue has promoted the responsible stewardship of Earth’s resources by encouraging the conscientious purchase of everyday business supplies. All products sold through Dolphin Blue contain, at minimum, 20 percent post-consumer recycled material with many items being made of 100 percent post consumer recycled materials. Product packages and labels are made using only post-consumer recycled materials and are printed using only soy and vegetable-based inks. To contact Dolphin Blue, visit or call 800.932.7715.


John Dalkowitz


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

John Dalkowitz
Visit website