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An Earth Day Look at Direct Mail Sustainability

Karen Weil

The first Earth Day in 1970 brought together more than 20 million Americans across all walks of life. The huge success of the event spurred the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Since its inception, Earth Day has become the largest secular holiday in the world with more than a billion people celebrating it every year across 192 countries. It’s a reminder that we must protect the planet in whatever way we can.

At IWCO Direct we use Earth Day as a reminder of what all our hard work and efforts throughout the year mean for a healthier planet. We are always looking for ways to make our products and processes more environmentally-friendly. We work with our suppliers to identify new products in the market and with organizations such as World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Canopy to identify new initiatives within our environmental program. (Our Environmental Policy is available on our website.)

An intense focus on recycling is also a major component of our sustainability initiatives. We have been recognized by Pioneer Industries International for our recycling efforts and in 2015, IWCO Direct saved:

  • 374,952 trees
  • 154,392,000 gallons of water
  • 1,852,704 gallons of oil
  • 88,224,000 kilowatt hours of electricity

Direct mail marketers can make their mail campaigns better for the environment by selecting eco-friendly substrates, such as those offered by IWCO Direct. Our house digital paper is Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified, and we have recycled paper, plastic card substrates and window film substrates available through our core supplier programs.

Paper is an Environmentally Responsible Choice

But recycling alone is not enough. One challenge direct mail marketers face is the persistent messaging that electronic communication is automatically better for the environment. This ignores the environmental cost of the power generation that makes electronic options possible. As WWF observes, “Paper is made from renewable resources, and responsibly produced and used paper has many advantages over other non-renewable alternative materials.”

In addition to offering responsible environmental product choices, we all need to help educate consumers on choices with the least impact on the environment. This includes ensuring that environmental messaging is accurate. As our friends at Two Sides North America remind us, “paper is one of the few truly sustainable products. Paper is based on wood, a natural and renewable resource that can be planted, grown, harvested and replanted. Each year forests in the U.S. and Canada grow significantly more wood than is harvested.”

So whether it’s recycling, partnership or education, let’s all do what we can to improve the direct marketing industry’s sustainability efforts as we celebrate Earth Day 2016.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2016/04/22/earth-day-and-direct-mail/
Karen Weil


Karen Weil

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