Special Report: Sustainability & the Environment
If you’ve yet to confront the challenge of measuring, reporting and improving the environmental sustainability of your printed catalog, here are six things you can do on your own to minimize the negative impact of your business.
1. Design efficiently. Combine bind-ins and ride-alongs with your catalog in a polywrap to reduce the number of separate mailings and the paper needed for those mailings.
2. Move with customers who move. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 14 percent of the population changed addresses last year. Nearly 33 percent of these people didn’t report their new addresses to the U.S. Postal Service, which compiles the National Change of Address (NCOALink) file. Seek out advanced mailing list services. They improve accuracy while letting you mine the lists for cost-effective ways to target audiences with custom-
tailored messages. The better the mailing list, the less energy, paper, ink and fuel are wasted delivering mail to people who’ve moved.
3. Co-mail. If you don’t co-mail by now, you certainly should. It reduces fuel consumption and emissions by combining two or more catalog titles into a single mailstream. Of course, co-mailing has the added benefit of reducing your postal costs.
4. Certify your paper choice. Third-party certifications such as the Forest Stewardship Council, Canadian Standards Association, Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Pan European Forest Council let recipients know that the paper they use was made with wood pulp from healthy, well-managed forests. Avoid commitments to a single certification as it can significantly limit your paper sourcing options.
5. Promote recycling. The greatest impact of a paper product’s life cycle is its end state. After consumption, is the catalog landfilled or recycled? Take part in promotional campaigns to help increase recovery rates and score points with consumers and environmentalists alike.
This can range from a short message asking consumers to recycle, to full-page public service announcements in your catalog.