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Direct Marketing Group Cutting Down on Paper

greenmarketingcoalition.gifA group of direct-marketing companies are banding together with their corporate clients to make direct mail, an inherently unsustainable practice, greener, New York Times reports.

Calling themselves the Green Marketing Coalition, the group includes Microsoft, Washington Mutual and OptimalHealth.

The group has set guidelines for making the industry more sustainable, but no targets have been set.

The guidelines suggest:

1.    Using chlorine-free recycled paper
2.    Proofreading marketing materials using Adobe PDF files instead of hard copies
3.    Taking advantage of tax deduction from green initiatives
4.    Adhering to higher waste disposal standards
5.    Choosing vendors committed to recycling
6.    Cleaning out direct-mail lists to remove the names of dead people and others unlikely to respond

Most environmentalists are amused at the idea for the coalition, but say that there needs to be more concrete targets. However, the founding members say they didn’t want to scare companies away with strict regulations and that the coalition was created as a forum to exchange green ideas with marketers in other industries.

But despite the coalition’s good intentions, it’s not clear if they will win over almost half of consumers who said last year that they think direct mail accounts for half of municipal waste.

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