“The opportunities for environmental improvement are so rich,” Broder said. “Pitney Bowes as a company has been very committed to reducing its environmental footprint. The postage meter itself is an environmental improvement because it eliminates trips to the post office which would involve carbon-emitting car and truck trips.”
The U.S. Postal Service has also implemented green programs for marketers, including a pilot program launched in March called Mail Back that allows customers to recycle small electronics and inkjet cartridges by mailing them free of charge using special envelopes found at 1,500 post offices across the country.
Broder said Pitney Bowes is also in the process of developing a service to help large mailers measure their own environmental impact and recommend steps to reduce the effects of mailing efforts.
Broder suggested there is certainly more to be done at his company and by other marketers.
“The results of the survey clearly indicate there's additional work to do to educate direct marketers about the importance of environmental conservation,” Broder said. “There has been a tectonic shift in the way the public views environmental issues, and as an industry we not only have to catch up with it but get ahead of it.”
That need to get ahead of the issue will become important at a time when 13 states are considering “do not mail” legislation to regulate direct mail.
Sixty percent of marketers in the survey said businesses should be responsible for reducing their environmental impact. Sixty percent also said they believe a “do not mail” registry would positively affect the environment, but only 24% favor legislation.
“They tell us they want to avoid legislation, yet few act the part of self-regulators, and most fail to even consider the environment,” Frankland said. M