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Royal Mail launches carbon neutral mailing programme PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 July 2007

Royal Mail today launched a scheme to incentivise businesses to make their Door to Door mailings carbon neutral and encourage consumers to recycle the items they receive.

Royal Mail’s Carbon Neutral Door to Door scheme makes it easier for companies to reduce the carbon footprint of their mailing by giving them advice on the types of paper, inks and varnishes to use as well ensuring effective targeting of the campaign.

After carbon impact has been minimised in line with scheme standards, Royal Mail calculates the remaining CO2 emissions generated by the mail campaign and pays to offset through schemes such as the Woodland Trust’s Carbon Plus+, which plants native trees in the UK.

Mailings made under the scheme will carry a Royal Mail carbon neutral logo to demonstrate to customers that the sending business is taking its commitment to the environment seriously. They will also be asked to include WRAP’s (Waste and Resources Action Programme) Recycle Now logo to encourage the recipient to dispose of the mail piece in the most environmentally friendly way.

Ross Drake, General Manager of Royal Mail’s unaddressed service, Door to Door, said: "The environmental issue is becoming more important to companies and consumers and it is moving higher up the political and business agenda.

"Royal Mail is already taking this issue seriously and has an integrated Carbon Management Programme in place to ensure it reduces its impact on the environment. But we are in an ideal position to lead change in the direct mail industry and are prepared to spend money to incentivise our customers to make their unaddressed mailings carbon neutral. And all this can be done without compromising the quality of a campaign."

He added: "Businesses’ commitment to reducing the impact of their operations on the environment is growing and this includes their marketing and advertising activities. Consumers are also increasingly demanding evidence of this commitment from companies they do business with. This helps our customers show they are taking this issue seriously."

Royal Mail’s Carbon Neutral Door to Door scheme lays down a range of standards companies must adhere to before they can register with the scheme. These include:
• The use of paper with a minimum of 50 per cent recycled content, and that any virgin paper used is sourced from a forest certification scheme
• Ensuring packaging is made from recycled, recyclable or reusable materials and is reduced where possible
• The use of production partners with recognised environment management accreditations
• The use of vegetable based or recycled inks and aqueous (non-oil based) varnishes
• The exclusion of polywrap and window envelopes because consumers cannot easily recycle them

Royal Mail today launched the scheme to businesses that use unaddressed direct mail as part of their marketing activities and expects the first mailings bearing the carbon neutral logo (below) to begin in September. Companies in the financial, retail and charity sectors are among the biggest users of Door to Door services as well as government organisations and public bodies such as health trusts and schools.

Companies are also being encouraged to apply the standards to addressed mailings and Royal Mail is developing a Responsible Mail Consultancy for those customers wishing advice on reducing the carbon footprint of those direct mail campaigns.

Businesses wanting more information about reducing the environmental impact of their direct mail should go to www.royalmail.com/responsible for further information.

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