Environmental Planning Tool|
and Optional Policy & Vision Statement Generator
PURPOSE & USE OF THIS TOOL
This practical and easy-to-apply tool was created by DMA's Committee on Environment and Social Responsibility (CESR) for you, the members of the direct marketing community. It is intended to be used by your organization to:
1. Assist in conducting an internal evaluation of environmental practices that affect aspects of your marketing process.
2. Help you attain Direct Marketing Association "Green 15" environmental performance compliance.
3. Generate an environmental vision statement or policy for your organization to consider and adopt.
EVALUATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL PRACTICES
The planning tool provides you with a list of ideas and strategies to consider when developing internal environmental goals and/or policies. It empowers you to create and/or evaluate your internal policies and goals for continual environmental improvement, in balance with financial performance. Using the tool, you can consider your current practices and the environmental impact of your organization.
The tool is flexible. You may choose to focus on single areas in which to make improvement, set goals and build from there; or you may take a more comprehensive approach. At a minimum, the tool is designed to be educational. Using it gives you both a greater awareness of the breadth and complexity of environmental issues facing direct marketers and the means for addressing them in a practical, feasible manner.
ENVIRONMENTAL VISION STATEMENT OR POLICY
All responsible environmental stewards should develop internal environmental vision statements, goals, and/or policies. This tool makes it easy to do. Its "generator" function enables you to create and print your own statement or policy in draft form, which you can tailor to your company based on your indicated choices. You can even "personalize" it for your company further by using the “My Comments” box at the bottom of each section.
Be sure to check with counsel to understand any legal or ethical obligations prior to making your environmental policy or statement public. And please know that citations of third-party forest certification systems, and other programs and organizations within this tool do not constitute the DMA's endorsement or sponsorship of these programs.
THE “GREEN 15”
Through the "Green 15", the DMA calls upon you as a member organization to establish internal and measurable benchmarks to improve environmental performance in key areas of your direct marketing process: (1) List Hygiene and Data Management; (2) Design; (3) Paper Procurement and Usage; (4) Printing and Packaging; and (5) Recycling and Pollution Reduction in Our Workplace and Community.
To help you in this effort, DMA has developed a branded icon – – and flagged those practices listed in this tool that directly pertain to "Green 15" implementation and measurement.
BUSINESS BENEFITS OF "GREEN 15" IMPLEMENTATION
& USE OF THIS PLANNING TOOL
BENEFIT 1: THE TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE
The "Triple Bottom Line" refers to the three bottom lines served by progressive businesses and industries today: financial performance, environmental performance and social responsibility.
When implemented in a sustainable manner, the “Green 15” and the majority of practices listed in this tool provide opportunities for marketers to increase efficiency, reduce waste, and lower costs, while serving these three bottom line objectives. Moreover, building better customer relations, winning brand loyalty, inspiring employees and driving innovation are other likely outcomes from integrating the "Green 15" into your business operations.
For example, organizations that target customers more closely through a variety of list hygiene, data management, consumer preference and data analytics tools generally spend less on production costs while increasing marketing relevancy and response rates. Marketers have direct control over how lists are cleaned and managed. Thus, by testing and implementing various list hygiene and data management practices routinely, there are tremendous opportunities to increase efficiency, prevent waste and connect with customers in a profitable manner.
BENEFIT 2: REDUCE GREENHOUSE GASES & MITIGATE CLIMATE CHANGE
The "Green 15" and the bulk of the strategies listed in this Planning Tool offer opportunities for direct marketers and/or their suppliers to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and, by extension, their impact on climate change.
For example, under the Planning Tool's “List Hygiene & Data Management” section, there are 17 suggested strategies for better targeting and source reduction, which are keys to waste prevention. Specific strategies range from using DMAchoice and enhancing consumers' ability to opt out of receiving mailings to maintaining in-house suppression lists and merging/purging data to minimize duplicate mailings and other forms of communication. By implementing any of these 17 list hygiene & data management strategies, direct marketers reduce the amount of duplicate, unwanted and undeliverable offers they send to consumers and businesses. Thereby, they free resources for business growth activity elsewhere and/or they conserve resources and avoid the environmental impact of producing more marketing messages than needed.
Similarly, the other five sections of the tool provide additional opportunities for direct marketers and their suppliers to reduce the amount of GHGs released into the atmosphere through the pursuit of waste prevention and source reduction, sustainable forestry, recycling, use of environmentally preferred materials, conservation, enhanced energy & fuel efficiency in transportation, and other practices specifically focused on carbon management and overall "eco-footprint".
There are other business benefits for implementing improved environmental performance. Employees can be motivated, customers can regard your brand in a better light and investors and shareholders can evaluate your business from a socially responsible, as well as financial, perspective. Use this tool and it's likely that you will find additional benefits for your company.