DMA Politically Direct (Spring 2008): The Green Movement: How Important Is It to You, Your Customers, and DMA?
May 16, 2008 — How “green” is your organization? More and more, that question is being asked by your customers, donors, business partners, and policymakers. From the largest company to the smallest, environmental responsibility is a key business concern, affecting your reputation, operations, efficiency — and your bottom line.
For the end-to-end direct marketing community, DMA recognizes that making environmentally responsible decisions is increasingly important from a social, economic, and ethical perspective.
Legal concerns are present as well. Around the US, policymakers are now considering proposals that would regulate direct marketing — and direct mail in particular. Some regulation advocates are citing environmental concerns.
To underscore DMA’s commitment to helping marketers understand and apply environmental considerations throughout the direct marketing process, we have created an innovative environmental action program that includes new member encouragements and requirements, educational initiatives, and tools to help you communicate your environmental commitments to your customers, donors, and prospects.
In May 2007, as part of DMA’s environmental action program, DMA’s Board of Directors enacted a resolution calling upon members to implement and benchmark a set of 15 business practices — our “Green 15” — which deliver environmental benefits while remaining sensitive to an organization's bottom line.
In June 2008, the DMA Board will publicly establish target goals for marketers in key areas of the Green 15.
The Green 15 practices are divided into five areas germane to the direct marketing process:
Paper Procurement & Use
1. Encourage your paper suppliers to increase wood purchases from recognized forest certification programs.
2. Require that your paper suppliers commit to implementing sustainable forestry practices that protect forest ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as providing the wood and paper products that meet industry needs.
3. Ask your paper suppliers where your paper comes from before buying it with the intent of not sourcing paper from unsustainable or illegally managed forests.
4. Require your paper suppliers to document that they do not produce or sell paper from illegally harvested or stolen wood.
5. Evaluate the paper you use for marketing pieces, product packaging, and internal consumption to identify opportunities for increased environmental attributes.
List & Data Management
6. Comply with DMA Guidelines for list management, including maintaining in-house Do Not Market lists, using DMA’s Mail Preference Service (MPS) monthly, and provide customers and prospects with notice of an opportunity to modify or eliminate mail solicitations from your organization in every commercial solicitation.
7. Maintain “clean” mailing lists by using US Postal Service or commercial equivalent files where applicable for: ZIP Code correction, address standardization, change of address, address element correction, delivery sequence file, and/or address correction requested.
8. Apply predictive models and/or recency-frequency-monetary (RFM) segmentation where appropriate.
Mail Design & Production
9. Review your direct mail and printed marketing pieces, and test downsized pieces when and where appropriate.
10. Test and use production methods that reduce print order overruns, waste allowances, and in-process waste.
11. Encourage packaging suppliers to submit alternate solutions for environmentally preferable packaging, in addition to quoting prices on approved or existing specifications.
Recycling & Pollution Reduction
12. Purchase office papers, packing and packaging materials made from recycled materials with post-consumer content where appropriate.
13. Integrate use of electronic communications (email, Web, and intranets) for external and internal communications.
14. Ensure that all environmental labeling is clear, honest, and complete, so that consumers and business customers know the exact nature of what your organization is doing.
15. Participate in DMA's "Recycle Please" campaign and/or in another recycling campaign and/or demonstrate that your company or organization has in place a program to encourage recycling in your workplace and/or your community.
DMA ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES
· To access DMA’s online Environmental Resource Center, which includes the “Green 15” Toolkit, visit www.the-dma.org/environment
· To access DMA’s Environmental Planning Tool and Optional Policy Generator, visit http://www.the-dma.org/envgen
· To access information about DMA’s Recycle Please campaign, which provides consumers with valuable “green” resources, visit www.RecyclePlease.org
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