Back to Sustainability: 3 Ways Your Fulfillment Partner Can Help
In the turmoil of the great recession, many companies put plans to improve their environmental impact on the back burner. Perhaps they didn't cease active programs, but many ambitious plans were quietly shelved. It’s a shame, too, because the initiatives were working.
Why Green Gets Green
“Helping customers to manage their accounts and allowing flexibility to modify the frequency and amount of marketing materials they receive is a win for everyone,” says Meta Brophy, director of publishing operations for Consumer’s Union, president of the board of directors of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, and a charter member of the DMA’s Committee on Environment and Social Responsibility. Her point is that often times the most environmentally friendly thing you can do is trim waste and market efficiently, in this case by allowing customers to control the contact strategy so you're not wasting mail. “Being able to call a catalog company and say, ‘my child is too big now for anything you offer in the kid's catalog, please discontinue but send the regular catalog,’ is right on point.”
Many companies are not seeing the financial argument for going green today. For example, Brophy points to the “Gibbs & Soell Sense & Sustainability Study, July 2010," which asked companies to identify the barriers to "going green." It found that 78 percent of Fortune 1000 company executives responded that there was not a great enough ROI.
But Brophy still sees significant advantages to improving your environmental impact. “GO AND FIND THE ROI!” she implores marketers. “Change the P&L. If you can't raise the price, you can still manage the expenses. Generally speaking, if you find greater efficiencies, and often if you consume less, you'll spend less.”
For example, Brophy suggests that “if you ask, research, test, you can make better selections that will serve your purpose. Right-sizing formats, sizes, the number and type of components, packaging, and quantities all make sense economically and environmentally.”