With all the recent talk about the Paris Agreement, many local governments and businesses have pledged to continue their efforts to support a more sustainable future. For many businesses, including ours, this isn’t a new commitment or paradigm shift in our thinking. Rather it’s business-as-usual and full speed ahead, as sustainable practices have become increasingly ingrained in our cultures and operations.
A significant aspect of IWCO Direct’s sustainability practices is our recycling efforts. As one of the largest producers of direct mail in North America, you can imagine that a significant portion of our efforts focus on paper, cardboard, plastics, stretch film, pallets, and other materials that go into making highly effective marketing pieces. Our paper and corrugated recycling efforts reduce the amount of waste going to landfills, provide an additional fiber source for recycled materials, and utilize renewable resources. However, we also recycle many other materials, including aluminum, rigids (beverage cans and plastic bottles), batteries, and electronics.
IWCO Direct’s Recycling Efforts by the Numbers
We continue to share our message to create greater visibility beyond the standard “reduce, reuse, and recycle” goals across our platform. Because we’re fanatical about using data to improve performance—whether in a direct marketing campaign or operational improvements—we know you can’t manage something until you measure it. IWCO Direct continues to track our usage of paper with recycled content and the amount of paper we recycle each year. Paper recycling provides environmental benefits by conserving natural resources such as energy, reducing air and water pollution, and reducing greenhouse gasses.
Thankfully we’re not alone in our recycling efforts. The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) recently announced that a record 67.2 percent of paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling in 2016! You can find more data on U.S. paper recovery at http://www.paperrecycles.org/statistics.
It’s also important to understand the correlation between paper use and healthy forests. Simply put, the more paper we use and recycle, the more attention that’s paid to our forests. Two Sides is working hard to spread the message that “the continued use of paper and other wood products may be a key factor in maintaining a forested landscape for future generations.” Paper can be recycled several times until the fibers become too weak to make new paper. This underscores the need for new fiber from sustainably managed forests to contribute to recycled fiber in the future.
Spreading the Message, Involving Others
We realize each incremental effort contributes to our organization’s commitment to the environment. As Joe Morrison noted in his President’s Day blog, we “built a company framework around it to make sustainability an ongoing initiative.”
IWCO Direct’s Environmental Council continues to work with our clients, suppliers and communities to achieve our vision. We’re committed to continuous research to learn and identify tools that will help us more completely understand our environmental impact. In order to learn what practices have had the most success, we’ve also scheduled guest speakers to share their organizations’ experiences with our team.
We fully understand we are an extension of our clients’ environmental initiatives and the value and commitment they place on creating a sustainable environment. To that end, we continue to seek new products that align with our sustainability policies and the needs of our clients. This strategy includes working with supply partners that have similarly strong environmental goals. In addition, we share our successes and new ideas for improvements with as many groups as we can.
We should all do our part to recycle, beginning with paper, cans, and bottles to help save energy and protect the world around us. If you have any questions about our recycling efforts, or would like some insights into bolstering your sustainability practices, please let me know.
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