Last week Steve Myrvold, IWCO Direct VP–Operations, and I joined colleagues for the Envelope Manufacturers Association (EMA) annual Spring Meeting. We always enjoy participating in EMA events because the organization clearly sets its sights on the future of direct mail and paper-based communications. The EMA Foundation’s Institute for Postal Studies publishes periodic mailing industry job studies which provide the most widely used benchmarks for the role and scope of the mailing industry in the U.S. economy. In addition, EMA’s sister organization, The Global Envelope Alliance, sponsors studies on increasing the value and volume of mail worldwide.
Our discussions at the Spring Meeting included the responsible production, use and sustainability of paper-based communications, legislation supporting financial stability of the U.S. Postal Service, and new technological innovations designed to increase efficiency and productivity in envelope manufacturing.
We heard from Phil Riebel, and COO of Two Sides U.S., Inc., an organization dedicated to sharing trustworthy information regarding paper’s unique recyclable and renewable qualities and why print on paper is an attractive, practical and sustainable communication medium.
We also learned about a new initiative between EMA and GreenBlue, a nonprofit that equips business with the science and resources to make products more sustainable. GreenBlue will be providing EMA member companies with the tools they need to develop environmental benchmarks and the key performance indicators needed to track our progress toward achieving those goals.
The EMA Postal and Regulatory Policy Committee has worked diligently to communicate with members of Congress about the tools the Postal Service needs to manage its business and create a stable financial future for the entire mailing industry. We are currently urging the Senate to pass S. 1789, the 21st Century Postal Service Act, as the first step toward a stronger Postal Service. (As this blog was published the Senate was debating this bill. As soon as we know the outcome of the final vote we’ll post an update.)
Among the technological innovations we heard about were new high-definition printing plates that will continue to advance the quality and precision of Flexographic envelope printing. We also learned about equipment that could directly incorporate envelope creation into the mailing (inserting) workflow. We hope to learn more about this exciting new development when our Operations Team attends the drupa exhibition in May.
As we seal the envelope on this year’s Spring Meeting, it was a very progressive agenda for an association celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
– Kurt Ruppel
Marketing Services Manager
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