The Green Production Process: Environment-friendly practices that make social and economic sense
As consumers demand greater environmental responsibility from companies with whom they do business, direct-marketing managers look for ways to differentiate themselves in this brave, new, green world. Some organizations have set up internal task forces to identify ways to minimize adverse environmental impacts. For direct marketers, a key part of that effort involves turning to vendors for options on how to go green.
Environmental certifications ensure that marketers’ production companies use paper produced from forests that are sustainably managed. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) manage the two most popular forest- and paper-certification programs in the U.S. Direct marketers that work with a production company that is FSC- and/or SFI-certified can display logos on the print material.
Both certification programs tell your current and prospective customers or donors that you are dedicated to protecting forests. The movement has taken hold enough that consumers now notice — even look for — a certification logo, assuring themselves they are interacting with organizations that take stewardship of the environment as seriously as they do. Clearly, a direct marketer’s choice of production partner responds to marketplace concerns.
Reduce your carbon footprint
Today’s consumer pays attention to the environmental impacts of many manufacturing processes, including practices in the marketing industry. Web sites like carbonfootprint.com and nature.org enable individuals to calculate their carbon footprints and offer pointers on how to live carbon-neutral lives.
Many forward-thinking direct-marketing production companies aspire to operate in a way that reduces or eliminates whatever adverse environmental impacts they may have. Carbon-neutral status is challenging, to be sure — but sensitivity to the direct-marketing carbon footprint belongs on the list of every direct-marketing manager’s goals.
Good managers focus not only on improving the number of responses; they also pay attention to the cost of achieving those response rates. Green production can go a long way toward improving a project’s ROI.