DMA Praises USPS for Environmental Efforts; Calls on Mailers to Address Environmental Challenges
June 1, 2007 — In a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, Postmaster General John E. Potter highlighted how the United States Postal Service (USPS) and the broader mailing community are working to address environmental concerns. “Our industry partners are also working hard to make sure the mail — their mail — continues to offer great value, environmentally and economically,” he said.
Potter announced that the Postal Service has achieved “Cradle to Cradle”SM certification at the silver level from MBDC (McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry) for its Express Mail and Priority Mail packages and shipping supplies.
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) congratulates the USPS on this achievement and joins with Postmaster General Potter in encouraging companies involved in all aspects of the mailing process to find innovative ways to improve environmental performance.
Earlier this month, DMA announced two key environmental initiatives for the integrated marketing community.
The association is calling on marketers and suppliers throughout all channels — print, interactive, and broadcast — to benchmark environmental performance and set measurable goals for improvement.
In addition, DMA has launched a national initiative to encourage the recycling of catalogs, magazines, and direct mail. More information about DMA’s environmental initiatives is available online at www.the-dma.org/environment.
“Environmental awareness, profitability, and meeting customer needs aren’t mutually exclusive goals,” said DMA President & CEO John A. Greco, Jr. “We now have in place a blueprint toward sustainability that can ultimately have a positive impact on direct marketing's environmental footprint — and on its bottom line performance.”
In his May 30 speech, Potter recognized the economic value that advertising mail provides, noting that “every dollar spent on direct marketing this year will return an average of almost 12 dollars in sales. That’s a higher return on investment than non-direct mass communication channels.” “Last year alone,” he continued, “advertising mail contributed more than $660 billion in increased sales to the economy. And it’s growing. That’s why I say, ‘The future? It’s in the mail!’”
However, Potter also urged business and nonprofit mailers to better “understand the needs and sensitivities of the people we’re trying to reach.”
In particular, Potter expressed concern about the “do not mail” bills that have been introduced in 15 states. “If we don’t deal with these issues ourselves, as an industry, somebody else may do it for us — by stopping the wanted mail along with the unwanted,” he cautioned.
In agreement with the Postmaster General’s observations, Greco called on marketers to work together to educate policymakers and the public about the importance of direct mail. “Of course, do not mail registries would be bad for businesses that need the mail to reach new customers and grow new markets,” Greco said. “We also need to let people know that these legislative proposals are bad for consumers, and will take away much of the convenience, choice, and value that many people today really appreciate.”
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