The Direct Marketing Association is stepping up efforts to help its members move toward greener marketing practices. The DMA has introduced a “Green Marketing” program, which allows its professionals to earn a certificate in eco-responsible marketing. In addition, the DMA has developed an environmental resource center on its website.

The DMA’s Environmentally Responsible Marketing (ERM) program comprises an 11 course curriculum, which starts with a Dec. 1 online briefing. Courses will be held approximately every month. Topics include:

  • Building a long-term sustainable environmental policy or program
  • Understanding product and process life cycles
  • Green list & data management strategies
  • Sustainable design & production
  • Paper sourcing, certification, & labeling
  • Understanding & calculating the carbon footprint of a marketing campaign
  • International trends in green marketing

The DMA notes in its announcement concerning the program that a key goal to the program is to better meet customer expectations, in an attempt to stave off calls for do-not-mail legislation modeled after the federal do-not-call registry.

“Today, marketing strategies need to incorporate responsible environmental stewardship,” said Meta Brophy, who chairs DMA’s Committee on Environment and Social Responsibility, and serves as the director of publishing operations at Consumers Union. She said the DMA’s ERM program is believed to be “the first of its kind in the world of advertising and marketing.”

The faculty for the courses will be drawn from marketing and other professionals from a diverse group of companies and organizations, the DMA said.

In addition to its educational program, the DMA has established an Environmental Resource Center. The center includes a “Green 15 Toolkit,” which contains information and resources to help members understand and comply with the DMA’s Environmental Resolution, passed in May 2007. The latter calls upon members worldwide to implement and benchmark a set of 15 eco-friendly practices.

Why This Matters:  Consumers increasingly are seeking greener solutions to the volume of hardcopy marketing material they receive. The direct marketing industry is under pressure to better target potential customers or face the threat of legislation that limits the amount of direct mail they are allowed to send.