Digital YPA ELITE® System Increases Efficiency and Cuts Waste

As some of you may be aware, the Yellow Pages Association owns and operates proprietary industry software called YPA ELITE® that’s used by publishers and Certified Marketing Representatives (CMRs) to facilitate Yellow Pages advertising orders, graphics, and artwork transmittal transactions.   Our partner in hosting and maintaining this software is the B2B e-commerce solutions provider GXS.

As the sole processing system for national orders, YPA ELITE® executes over 6.1 million transactions each year. Just 15 years ago, this was a completely paper process – requiring prints, Veloxes, faxes, mailing and myriad labor-intensive steps to go from sales and design to final ad placements.  But with the help of GXS, we have gradually digitized the transaction process over the years, increasing the efficiency, accuracy and environmental safety of the system. This might sound small, but the migration to a paperless system has really added up.

According to the latest data from GXS, the Yellow Pages Association eliminated 55.39 metric tons of paper usage in 2008 through the YPA ELITE® System.   This translates to a significant reduction in the carbon footprint of the Association.  By migrating to a totally electronic system, the YPA ELITE® system in 2008 succeeding in:

  • Saving 201 tons of wood, or the equivalent of about 1,391 trees.
  • Cutting consumption of 2,292 million BTUs of energy which is the equivalent of the energy used by 25 homes each year.
  • Eliminating 341,141 lbs (170 tons) CO2 equivalent, which is the amount of CO2 emitted by approximately 31 cars yearly.
  • Avoiding the creation of 135,630 pounds of solid waste, the equivalent of 4.85 full garbage trucks.

Partnering with GXS has really paid off in savings and quality.  And this is just one small part of bigger steps the Yellow Pages have taken to reduce the environmental impact of the industry.

4 Responses to “Digital YPA ELITE® System Increases Efficiency and Cuts Waste”

  1. Quinn says:

    For the combined size of the Yellow Pages, saving 1,391 trees a year is nothing. The reality is your business is outdated, environmentally taxing, and doesn’t really help consumers figure out which businesses are worth supporting. What’s the point in continuing with it?

    The stack of Yellow Pages outside my apartment complex sat there untouched for two weeks before I finally dumped them in the recycling bin. I only wish I could have opted to never receive them in the first place.

  2. Quinn, thanks for your comment. We do have a big responsibility to the environment. My post only focuses on one program at our association that I thought was interesting. You might also check out and the individual Web sites for the publishers. They all have good environmental programs in place that focus on the sustainability.

    We also agree with you that delivering a book to a consumer who doesn’t wish to receive it isn’t good business, so we have for consumers who want to reduce, customize or eliminate delivery of most directories.

    I sometimes get comments similar to yours about the relevance of Yellow Pages, but data shows that print directories received more than 12 billion references in 2008 alone. And I hope you’ll take a look at what we’re doing beyond print. Usage of Internet Yellow Pages sites has seen double digital growth and our mobile apps (for devices like the iPhone) are very popular. We provide local search content to Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and others. We’ve done quite a bit to transform our industry as the needs of advertisers and consumers changes.

  3. Heather says:


    I think it’s important to highlight and applaud ANY efforts or steps the industry is taking in the right direction.

    It’s too easy to point fingers and say, “What you’re doing isn’t enough”, “You’re not doing it fast enough and by the way, you shouldn’t even exist,” but the point is that we’ve found ourselves in the midst of a tectonic shift — the very DNA of ‘business as usual’ is being reconstructed — and in a transformation this profound, it is going to take all of us time to figure out which way is up.

    It’s also worth mentioning that YP directories provide the backbone of this country — small business — with a vital supply of customers. After all, sustainable communities are ones that have a healthy local economy that weaves together a solid core of local businesses, owned and operated by local people, and that source local materials.

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