Direct Mail: Destroying the Environment or Improving the Economy?
I work in the ultimate green environment: the world’s largest underground business complex. Yes, Mail Print’s building is located in one of Kansas City’s nine underground commercial real estate parks. It’s always a comfy 68 degrees. We don’t even have to heat the building, although we do use air conditioning to remove humidity (a necessity for getting ink to properly adhere to paper). Our offices and production facility have been underground for 15 years, resulting in significant savings for our business and the environment alike.
At Mail Print, we like to think we were green before the term was even coined, but it must seem ironic to some, since a portion of our business results in putting ink on paper, and therefore we must be killing massive amounts of trees. However, there are studies that show the paper industry has actually increased conservation of forests. (More on this later.)
I believe that direct mail has a place in our world, economy and culture. I take environmental responsibility very seriously, as do the majority of my peers in the direct marketing industry. I have created results for businesses that could not be attained through other communication channels alone. That drives new businesses, consistent growth and ultimately new jobs.
Direct Mail Impacts Business Growth and therefore the Economic Outlook
Before a multitude of environmentalists start hunting me down, here are some facts. (Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to put so much specific information about where I am located.)
- In the United States we have more forests today than we did 50 years ago, and about the same amount of forestland as we had 100 years ago. (Source: U.S. Forest Resource Facts and Historical Trends.)
- Direct mail represents just 2.4% of municipal solid waste, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The recycling recovery rate of direct mail has grown nearly 700% since 1990. (Source: Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States.)
- The Bottom Line: In 2009 direct mail returned $15.22 for every dollar invested. (Source: Direct Marketing Association Economic Impact Study.)
There are countless ways to make sure your printing and mailing practices support the environment, rather than destroy it; here are a few we recommend:
- Promote recycling
- Use recycled paper or paper produced through responsible forestry
- Apply vegetable or soy-based inks instead of petroleum-based inks
- Use electronic mediums (email, text, web pages) whenever it makes sense,
- Use good list hygiene, and by all means improve targeting to avoid mailing to people who won’t respond any way.
The irony of this… a savvy direct marketer does this anyway because it produces the best results. What a bonus that they are also supportive of environmental stewardship.
Related Download: Finding Eco-friendly Print and Direct Mail Providers
Click here to access a free white paper from Mail Print: Insist That Your Printer is as Green as You Are.
Comments are closed.