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DM industry launches first environmental standard

DM industry launches first environmental standard

A new environmental standard, launched today (21 January 2009), will place responsibility for the sustainable development of direct marketing into the hands of the industry’s practitioners.

PAS 2020: Direct Marketing – Environmental performance - Specification has been commissioned by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) in partnership with Acxiom, ISBA (The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers), Royal Mail and the Telephone Preference Service.

Developed by BSI British Standards, it will provide the direct marketing industry with a standard against which the environmental performance of a direct marketing campaign can be independently certified. 

PAS 2020 establishes a set of environmental objectives, performance levels and indicators which set out how to create and manage an environmentally-responsible direct marketing campaign.

PAS 2020 is applicable to all organisations involved in direct marketing regardless of their size or complexity, for example, client companies, advertising agencies, printers and mailing houses.

The first edition of the standard, available from, covers all marketing channels, but contains more detail on channels whose environmental impacts are better understood at present, such as direct mail. The detailed specifications for environmental performance include:

The use of suppression and cleaning files to maximise data efficiency
Clarification on specifying the most environmentally-friendly paper stocks and production techniques

The use of ‘call to recycle’ action on all appropriate marketing materials

The launch of PAS 2020 will enable effective self-regulation for the direct marketing industry at a time when the impact of impending Government legislation looms large. The year 2010 will see the implementation of major initiatives, such as the EU Landfill Directive, devised by policymakers to improve the environmental behaviour of businesses and consumers.

Robert Keitch, Director of Media Channel Development at the DMA, said: “PAS 2020 will serve as a vital resource for the DM industry to decisively meet its environmental obligations, demonstrate its environmental credentials and to brace the industry for the introduction of strict new environmental legislation that could prove financially draining for unprepared businesses.

“Adopting environmental best practice is commercial best practice; as well as increasing production and delivery efficiencies, businesses modifying their operations today will fare better than businesses that don’t as legislation starts to come into effect.”

The standard has been independently facilitated by BSI British Standards and has been developed over 18 months. 

BSI carried out an extensive consultation process, engaging with key stakeholders from government, industry, trade associations and consumer groups. 

A one month public consultation with several hundred organisations resulted in 1,000 comments, all of which were reviewed by the PAS 2020 Steering Group, which was made up of 30 industry representatives.  


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