The greening of print outsourcing

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Stacy DeWalt
Stacy DeWalt

With an increasing number of orga­nizations focused on conservation and protecting the environment, those who currently outsource or are contemplating outsourcing their mail and print distribu­tion operations should take note: It's easier and more cost-effective being green.

Consider the following and you'll see how businesses can still be eco-friendly while both controlling costs associated with printing and distributing documents and optimizing their business processes.

Converting to print-on-demand, which involves printing only materials that are needed when they are needed, saves paper and the energy used to print and transport large volumes of brochures, collateral, catalogs, etc. from one place to another. Significant savings can also be achieved by not warehousing materials or printing in bulk because print eventually becomes outdated. Info trends reported in 2003 that on average, 12.6% of print becomes obso­lete before it is even used. Also, rather than shipping millions of mail pieces to one cen­tral location and distributing the materials from that location to other multiple desti­nations, send documents electronically to a printing facility close to the recipients, then have the items delivered locally.

Targeted communications have proved that less is definitely more by delivering better results than mass mailings while sav­ing paper and the fuel needed for transpor­tation. Recipients are only given informa­tion relevant to their needs rather than an abundance of materials they cannot use.

The Web can be effective as a comple­mentary channel to direct mail. A simple mail piece becomes a highly effective solicitation tool when it drives customers and prospects to a Web site for additional information.

There is much that can be done to con­serve the environment while conserving costs. Even simple ideas such as creating a mail piece with smaller dimensions, using a lighter weight paper and using smaller fonts and other design considerations can have a tremendously positive impact on the environment. In the end, your company's bottom line will thank you — and we can all breathe a lot easier!

Stacy DeWalt is VP of vertical market development and marketing. at Pitney Bowes Man­agement Services. Reach her at


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