Using Mail More Sustainably – Latest Report From Royal Mail Marketreach

© Royal Mail Marketreach

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Making Mail Even More Sustainable

A new guide from Royal Mail Marketreach explains the sustainable benefits of mail and how those benefits can be boosted by the right choice of materials and suppliers.

For some time now, direct mail has been one of the most sustainable forms of marketing available to companies and organisations. The fact that the paper industry uses a large proportion of renewable energy to process paper sourced from carefully managed forests combined with Europe’s high paper recycling rate means that mail is a key part of the circular economy.

But while most people in the paper industry are fully aware of its environmental credentials, others in the wider marketing sphere aren’t, so Royal Mail Marketreach and industry body the Strategic Mailing Partnership have teamed up to produce a handy guide to making mail campaigns more sustainable.

Key Carbon Decisions Explained

Titled ‘Using Mail More Sustainably: A step-by-step guide’, the booklet takes the reader through the many reasons why consumers’ perception of a company’s environmental attitude can be critical to success before explaining the areas to consider when planning a sustainable mail campaign.

From the type of paper and inks used for printing to ways to improve recycling, the guide offers a clear explanation of the key decisions mail users need to make across all areas of the process to improve a campaign’s sustainability as well as reduce its cost.

Protecting the planet by improving sustainability must be a major priority,” explains Philip Ricketts, Wholesale Commercial Director at Royal Mail. “This guide provides genuine guidance for mail users, including practical insights on ways to take often simple steps within the mailing sector to becoming more sustainable.

Two Sides Adds To The Story

Alongside chapters on choosing the right suppliers, using effective design to reduce waste, and reducing the environmental impact of the production process, a key section in the guide is ‘How paper has evolved’, which uses a series of Two Sides facts to set the record straight about the misconceptions people have about paper recycling.

Those facts include only 16% of Europeans believe that at least 60% of paper is recycled2 despite the current European recycling rate being 74%1, as well as European forests provide 90% of the wood fibre for the region’s paper mills and are growing in size by 1,500 football pitches every day.3

Elsewhere, the subject of offsetting carbon emissions is tackled, first helping the reader to identify the areas affecting the carbon cost of their mailing before explaining how to calculate those costs and offset them.

Wide-Ranging Impacts

Finding the right balance between business targets and sustainability isn’t easy, but this guide will help all businesses of all sizes continue their eco-journey, improving not only their own environmental impact but that of the entire industry.

We hope the guide gives organisations a better understanding of when and how they could reduce the carbon footprint of their mail campaigns,” says Ricketts, “as every change we make today can lead to a more sustainably optimistic future within the mailing industry.

To download the guide, go to



  1. European Paper Recycling Council, 2020
  2. Two Sides & Toluna, 2021
  3. Two Sides, 2022


Source: Two Sides