When discussing the sustainability of marketing, attention very much needs to be paid to digital communications. Many fall into a trap: We may believe we are being environmentally "good" when we use a digital message in place of a print message. Evidence increasingly tells us to think more deeply.
Amid the doom and gloom of overall postal finances—where members of Congress and the White House probably have more to do with the current woes of the U.S. Postal Service than all the email in the world—came a timely press announcement from the USPS's sustainability officer. Posted Feb. 24, I include the full text of the press release here, followed by some commentary: Green Teams Help Postal Service Save Millions
Direct marketers and mailers making environmental claims have a number of resources available to them to help make such statements meaningful to consumers. The most important of those to U.S. marketers are the Federal Trade Commission's Green Guides—officially titled "Guide for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims"—which were enacted in 1992, and updated in 1996 and 1998. In 2007, the FTC initiated a new effort to update the Green Guides once again—and here we are in 2012 still waiting for this next edition.
The year was 1990. Earth Day turned 20 years old. The darling book that year was 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth. Its author's top recommendation was "Stop Junk Mail." The book was a "cultural phenomena," as one reviewer recalled, selling more than 5 million copies in all.
Choosing a channel was not an issue for Shakespeare in the 1600s when his only option was to dip his quill in the ink well and draft his plays on whatever writing surface was available. Marketers today have many channels in which to communicate with their customers, but the savvy marketer considers the environment and the marketing return on the investment. If you’re a supporter of going green off the clock, shouldn’t you be practicing what you preach on the clock?
While the nation's postal-related headlines are dominated by USPS plans to optimize (consolidate) its mail processing network and to slash costs during the next three years as it fights for financial sustainability, a less known development is a new USPS service on behalf of postal customers that is truly insightful—and free of charge—and about to launch early next year, subject to some final testing.
As marketers, we have the chance to lead what Harvard Business Review calls the third great wave of global enterprise: sustainability.
Many companies don't see the financial argument for going green. But to improve sustainability—and ROI—marketers can lean on their fulfillment partners.
One year after officially opening its first green roof in midtown Manhattan, N.Y., the U.S. Postal Service announced it continues to exceed its energy savings targets, which places it more than two-thirds of the way to achieving its goal to reduce energy use by 30 percent by 2015. The green roof, atop the Morgan mail processing facility, covers 109,000 square feet - nearly 2.5 acres. During construction, approximately 90 percent of the original roof was recycled and reused on the new roof. The green roof is the largest in New York City,