Direct mail can take a toll on the environment. Paper waste, ink and production use up precious resources and, if not monitored carefully, leave a detrimental footprint on our ecosystem. But there are ways you can mitigate your campaign’s environmental impact.

Recycled and Sustainable Paper Choices

Simply introducing recycled or sustainably harvested paper into your direct mail stream can go a long way in reducing the environmental impact of your campaign. And, research has shown consumers both want and expect companies to use recycling logos and messages on direct mail. You may have seen a number of logos that signify good environmental stewardship. Some of the most common are:

  • The Forest Stewardship Council logo is printed on paper and packaging and guarantees that the wood comes from a certified well-managed forest. This logo is obtainable only from a FSC-certified printer.
  • The Sustainable Forestry Initiative promotes improved forestry practices in North America. Certified operations must adhere to 14 core principles that promote sustainable forest management, including measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat and species at risk.
  • The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership’s SGP symbol lets consumers know the printer uses materials derived from renewable resources or with as low environmental impact as possible, uses renewable energy and maximizes its recycling and recovery efforts when possible.

Go multi-channel to reduce waste

Multichannel campaigns promote “greener” direct mail. Cross-media/multichannel campaigns deliver sustainability advantages, in part, because print volumes don’t need to be as large. Spreading the message across multiple media platforms can result in lower print volumes — lowering postage costs as well as environmental impact.

Variable data printing & improved scrubbing better control print volumes

VDP enables each printed piece to be personalized for enhanced relevance of the recipient, boosting response rates and enabling smaller mailings to match the results of larger, less targeted campaigns. In addition, the short print runs and abbreviated set-up requirements mean offers can be tested endlessly to small groups, helping marketers hone messaging to optimize results and further control print volumes.

Rigorous list scrubbing also contributes by reducing duplicate and incorrect addresses, cutting the size and number of wasteful items.

Streamlined production & proofing processes eliminate unnecessary printing

Electronic job ordering and submission and soft proofing reduce energy and paper usage, as well as associated costs, all while boosting efficiency.

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