We haven’t written a “green” post in a pretty long time, so we felt one was due.
This green post will be about the argument that direct mail is bad for the environment because it requires so many trees. But we’re going to take a look at it from both sides.
In a previous DM News article, there was a column that featured April Smith from the National Wildlife Federation and Robert Muma from National Envelope Corporation. They were both asked, “Will lower direct mail volume save trees”?
Both share some pretty compelling arguments…
April Smith argues that producing direct mail requires a lot of trees. She also contends that the actual manufacturing of paper uses an excessive amount of energy and water, and outputs both greenhouse gases and solid waste. She advises that better targeting, using the best list hygiene available and respecting consumers’ mail preferences can improve environmental performance.
Robert Muma argues that that the production of paper begins with the forest companies that harvest trees and that they plant 4-5 trees for every one they harvest. To back this up, he shares that the US forest inventory has increased by about one-third since 1952. And these trees actually soak up carbon dioxide, an important component in the battle against global warming.
So who is right?