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DirectMail.com reveals 'green' efforts

Mar 17, 2010 12:00 AM


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DirectMail.com (Prince Frederick, MD) has released the results of its "go green" initiatives implemented throughout the firm's three-building physical plant in Calvert County, MD. DirectMail.com's efforts to promote the highest environmental standards in its operations:

1975: Began recycling paper and cardboard as well as plastic, shrink wrap, corrugated boards and skids.

2000: Transitioned to an electronic job management system to eliminate paper use in job jackets and tickets, price quotes and proofs and minimize paper use in customer invoicing and payment; remixed old ink and contracted with a private vendor to collect spent ink and chemical waste for recycling into road asphalt.

2005: Converted to UV, vegetable-based, low-VOC inks and chemicals.

2006: Created a free, national "Do Not Mail" list that allows people to opt out of receiving unsolicited catalogs, letters and postcards. DirectMail.com receives no compensation for it. Over 500,000 individuals were opted out in 2009.

2008: Achieved Forest Stewardship Council certification; switched from film-based plates to a computer-to-plate (CTP) system. DirectMail.com recycles all aluminum CTP plates.

2009: Acquired advanced sheeting and ganging technologies to maximize fit on every press run and minimize run time, energy use and paper waste; contracted with a private vendor to recycle computers, monitors, printers and other electronic equipment; implemented an energy conservation plan; joined the EnerNoc network and is compensated for agreeing to shut down operations during peak energy demand periods to avoid construction of new power plants.

Don Burns, GM of DirectMail.com's Cut Sheet Division, is one of several employees leading the firm's environmental efforts. He says, "My primary concern is saving trees. Simple steps, such as our practice of encouraging customers to use recycled paper, can have a major impact. In one recent job, the customer's choice of 1,700 lb of recycled versus virgin fiber paper translated to 8 trees saved, 24 lb of waterborne waste and 384 lb of solid waste not created, 3,466 gal of wastewater flow avoided, 755 lb of net greenhouse gases prevented and 5.8 million BTUs of energy not consumed, according to an environmental calculator."