As companies continue to develop corporate sustainability plans focused on being better stewards of the environment, we are often asked for ideas on making direct mail more sustainable in efforts to help achieve specific sustainability goals. Because the direct marketing industry has been proactive in adapting to this growing concern, we’re able to offer clients a range of solutions.
Strategic sourcing of paper is typically the first area of focus. IWCO Direct has had an Environmental Policy in place since 2010. We are committed to using paper that originates from responsibly managed forests, and we recycle thousands of tons of paper each year.
In 2011 we established a Paper Procurement Policy which includes an overview and framework that addresses responsible forest management, supplier practices and sourcing restrictions, efficient paper use and transparency and reporting. We recently updated our Paper Procurement Policy to be more robust after working closely with Domtar and the World Wildlife Fund to help assess the effectiveness of the policy. Domtar’s EarthChoice Advisory Services is a great resource to learn more about how to develop a sound Paper Procurement Policy.
IWCO Direct is also Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Chain-of-Custody certified by the Rainforest Alliance. Direct mail campaigns can be made more environmentally-friendly when FSC paper products are utilized. In addition, there may be recycled or biodegradable materials such as paper, plastic and window film that support client programs.
Other Ways to Make Direct Mail More Sustainable
Direct marketers can further reduce the environmental impact of their direct mail efforts through material selections, Lean Manufacturing processes and delivery efficiencies. Wherever possible, we help our clients employ best practices for list hygiene, data management, predictive modeling and segmentation. Mailing to those most likely to be interested in an offer – and ensuring it reaches its destination – helps reduce returned or undeliverable mail, wastes less paper, consumes less energy and drives higher response rates.
Historically, IWCO Direct has provided information to our clients or potential clients whenever requested. As we update our approach, we will continue to share our policy and commitments.
Our long term approach to sustainability will focus on continuous improvement throughout the process. We look forward to partnering with our clients to help them achieve their sustainability goals. Please join us as we transition to a long-term view. Every one of us can have an impact on the planet!
Subscribe to SpeakingDIRECT to have new articles delivered to your inbox as they post. We promise to keep it fresh and interesting.