According to Accenture almost one third of Europe’s largest companies have pledged to become Net Zero by 2050. Whilst a study from Deloitte shows that 67 per cent of SMEs have started using more sustainable materials in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint.

No matter what industry or size of organisation; the environment is now a major element of ongoing business strategy which is being filtered down operationally for implementation.

Making pragmatic changes is the key. Small steps across all areas of the business add up to major change.

For organisations that use direct mail MarketReach and The Strategic Mail Partnership (SMP) new guide provides advice that helps businesses make their direct mail campaigns more sustainable -from choosing paper stock through to mindful design that reduces paper usage. One of the main points in the guide is targeting – minimising wastage by ensuring that the mail pack is delivered to the right person. This is something that we have extolled for many years and is a key element of our Lean DM principles (our guide can be downloaded here:

Carrying out data hygiene before every mailing campaign is now considered best practice to ensure that mail is not sent to people more than once or to people that have moved, changed their name, or passed away. Despite significant improvements in data hygiene over the last decade the biggest complaint to the ICO remains mail being sent to the deceased and the reason for this is because it causes distress to people that have been bereaved. Not only that, but it also causes significant brand damage with most family members of the deceased saying that they would blacklist the company responsible for sending the mail, reducing lifetime value of these potential customers.

Now more than ever keeping on top of where your customers live is also a priority, since home movers are at their highest ever level. Despite the cost-of-living crisis and soaring inflation the property bubble has yet to burst. Research shows that when someone moves they have an average of 65 organisations to inform, which would take around 11 hours of non-stop emails/telephone calls to achieve. Unsurprisingly, therefore most home movers only get round to telling the most important organisations such as banks, utility providers and doctors. Charities, retailers, automotive companies tend to be at the bottom of the priority list.

Finally, sending duplicate mail or mail containing errors is also wasteful and brand damaging. Consumers themselves are more environmentally aware with 88 per cent now considering household recycling to be ‘normal’. This is up by 30 per cent since 2017. Sending the same mailing pack to the same person more than once is wasteful and will send the wrong signals to your customers. Additionally, research shows that getting someone’s name wrong results in the mail pack going straight into the recycling unopened.

Clearly, clean data plays a key role in mail sustainability. Minimising mailing wastage both reduces the carbon footprint and increases ROI. Win win!