The Green Prospects
The recent DMA Commitment to Consumer Choice (CCC) program — which requires DMA members notify consumers of the opportunity to modify or eliminate future mail solicitations from their companies — may have a similar benign effect. “It reflects DMA’s continued emphasis on empowering consumers and strengthening their trust with the direct marketing community by providing consumers with the power to make choices about what they do and don’t receive,” says Kachura, who adds that passing a CCC test allows a DMA member to use the DMA Trusted Marketer Seal. Such seals may begin to appear more frequently on mail pieces, alongside FSC and Recycle Please logos. “If you’re going after the [green] market, they want to see minimal use of resources. So you want to do things that make your package look green, such as printing on 100 percent recycled paper and not [using] a poly window,” suggests Goldsmith, who also says to use paper that displays various pro-environment logos.
“[The CCC] is about being responsible to consumers. DMA member companies will have to change things whether they’ve been thinking green or not,” summarizes Brophy.
Part of being responsible, of course, is legitimacy. “Green washing, pretending to be green but not really, will not play well to those in the know,” says Goldsmith. And soon it may come with a price, as the Federal Trade Commission just announced it would speed up its decade-old “green” marketing guidelines because so many businesses are convincing customers to buy certificates or pay premiums for supposedly environmentally friendly projects or practices.
In fact, as part of DMA’s Green 15, marketers are told to avoid green washing: “Ensure that all environmental labeling is clear, honest and complete, so that consumers and business customers may know the exact nature of what your organization is doing.”