Live from ACCM: Exploring DMA's 'Green 15'
May 21, 2008 — Yesterday, at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, Serenity Edwards, director, Corporate Responsibility for the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), Dick Goldsmith, chairman, The Horah Group, and Phil Riebel, environmental director, North America, UPM-Kymmene Inc., discussed how and why marketers should make the effort to “go green.”
The session, entitled “Go Green: 15 Strategies for Marketers to Improve Efficiency and Help the Environment,” took place during the 25th Annual Conference for Catalog and Multichannel Merchants (ACCM). Co-produced by DMA and Multichannel Merchant, ACCM concludes tomorrow in Orlando.
In 2005, Edwards explained, DMA’s Board of Directors formed the DMA Committee on Environment & Social Responsibility (CESR). Its purpose was to identify ways for marketers to become good corporate citizens and to be able to measure their progress over time. “One of the committee’s top priorities was to help members improve and benchmark their progress” Edwards said. Since then, the committee has worked diligently to help shape DMA’s work relating to the environment.
Why Go Green?
Simply put, one key reason for going green is that it’s the right thing to do, explained Goldsmith. However, he added, it’s also very important that businesses stay in business and be financially sound. “That’s one of the real beauties of being environmentally friendly,” he said. “It’s what we call the triple bottom line.”
To illustrate this concept, Goldsmith pointed to the early days of McDonald’s. When Big Macs first came out, they were served in Styrofoam “clamshell” containers, he explained. When McDonald’s replaced them with paper containers, not only was it good for the environment, but the company also received a great boost to its reputation. “And guess what, McDonald’s also saved $12 million, in costs,” said Goldsmith.
“It’s also about increased efficiency. The less we waste, the more efficient we are, and the more we save,” Goldsmith said. “It’s about sustainability and making sure the resources we need to be in business next year are still there.”
Goldsmith noted three tools DMA provides to help consumers get started on the green path:
· DMA Environmental Planning Tool (www.the-dma.org/envgen)
· DMA Environmental Resolution, which is known as DMA’s “Green 15” (www.the-dma.org/Green15)
· DMA “Recycle Please” Campaign (www.recycleplease.org)
What Are the ‘Green 15’?
The Green 15 is comprised of 15 environmental practices divided into five key areas:
· List Hygiene & Data Management
· Mail Design & Production
· Paper Procurement & Use
· Recycling & Pollution Reduction
In addressing three key areas of the Green 15 — namely paper procurement and use, packaging, and pollution prevention — Riebel stressed the importance of adopting a life-cycle view of paper manufacturing. “You can think of it as a puzzle made up of several pieces,” he explained. “The type of fiber you use is one piece of the puzzle; the energy efficiency of mills and carbon footprint can be another piece; and emissions to air, water, and landfills can be the rest of the puzzle. You need to keep a view of all these things.”
The following is an outline of the key elements of the Green 15.
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.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.the-dma.org/environment.
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