Environmental Policy


Specialized Marketing Services Inc. recognizes how vital it is to incorporate environmental stewardship in the conduct of business, including the efficient and sustainable use of natural and economic resources, which incorporates practices such as energy conservation and preservation of biodiversity. Specialized Marketing Services Inc. is committed to understanding the impact our organization has on the environment and working to continually improve our environmental performance, while encouraging our suppliers and customers to do the same.

To this end, we seek to adhere to principles addressing the following five areas, and to support these principles through specific initiatives. Our goal as an organization is to address these key aspects of our environmental performance as members of the direct marketing community:


  • 3.0 List Hygiene and Data Management
  • 4.0 Design
  • 5.0 Paper Procurement and Usage
  • 6.0 Printing and Packaging
  • 7.0 Recycling and Pollution Reduction in our Workplace and Community
  • 8.0 Commitment to Continuous Improvement



Specialized Marketing Services Inc. continually endeavors to manage data and lists in an environmentally responsible manner with a focus on reducing the amount of duplicate, unwanted and undeliverable mail [to both consumers and businesses]. To achieve our goals in this area:

3.1 We Maintain Suppression Lists

3.1.1 We maintain in-house do-not-market lists for prospects and customers who do not wish to receive future solicitations from us (as required by DMA's Commitment to Consumer Choice).

3.2 We Offer Notice & Choice

3.2.1 We provide periodic notices and opportunities for prospects to opt in or opt out of receiving future marketing contacts from our organization.

3.2.2 We offer customers a choice to receive communications from our organization electronically.

3.3 We Clean Our Lists Prior to Mailing

3.3.1 We use the Direct Marketing Association (U.S.) Mail Preference Service (MPS) monthly on all applicable consumer prospecting lists. In addition to use of MPS, we maintain clean, deliverable files by using:

  • ZIP Code correction
  • Address standardization
  • USPS National Change of Address (NCOA)
  • Other USPS products such as
  • Address Element Correction (AEC)
  • Delivery Sequence File (DSF)
  • Address Correction Requested (ACR)
  • Predictive models and RFM segmentation

3.3.2 We use the DMA "Deceased Do Not Contact" list to eliminate names of deceased persons from mailings.

3.4 We Merge/Purge Our Data

3.4.1 We match outside lists against each other to prevent duplicates.

3.4.2 We use match definitions in merge/purge that minimize duplicates.

3.4.3 We match outside lists against other commercially available suppression files where appropriate.

3.5 We Test Market Offers

3.5.1 We test a sample of a list before mailing or marketing to the entire list.

3.5.2 We test different versions of advertising and marketing offers, in mail and other media, to select those offers and media combinations that receive the best response.


We strive to design and print our advertisements and other communications in an environmentally responsible manner, and we communicate our environmental expectations to our supplier(s). Wherever feasible, in designing and printing communications, we look at opportunities for source reduction. We also communicate our goals to our suppliers. To this end:

4.1 We Reduce the Amount of Waste

4.1.1 We review periodically direct mail and direct marketing packages and test downsized pieces when and where appropriate

4.1.2 We test and use lighter-weight papers wherever feasible.

4.1.3 We adjust trim sizes of our publications and/or collateral in an effort to reduce waste.

4.1.4 We test and use production methods that reduce print order overruns, waste allowances and in-process waste.

4.1.5 We include overrun allowances in our contracts and specify that excess inventory be recycled.

4.1.6 We work with our printer to explore using new printing techniques [such as digital and computer-to-plate (CTP) printing and pdf or virtual proofing] that help reduce chemical and paper waste, and emissions.

4.2 We Give Preference to Recyclable and/or Reusable Materials

4.2.1 We routinely survey the marketplace for high recycled content for corrugated boxes and packing materials and/or recyclable or reusable materials.

4.2.2 We seek to utilize recycled printing and writing paper with post-consumer content (when and where feasible).

We seek to utilize recycled paper in of our printed communications.

4.2.3 On envelopes and parcels, we prefer and use:

  • Ink-jet addressing
  • Open address windows

4.3 We Communicate Environmental Principles to Suppliers

4.3.1 We specify environmentally preferable materials to our suppliers.

4.3.2 We work with our mail partners and printers to design products with less environmental impact.

4.3.3 We give preference to printers that seek to reduce air and water pollution, energy use, and chemical waste in their operations. We communicate these goals within our organization and to our suppliers.


Specialized Marketing Services Inc. recognizes that improving forestry practices is an important component of environmental stewardship and sustainability. We strive to procure, use, and recover paper in a manner that helps to ensure the sustainable use of forests and other natural resources. In support of this principle:

5.1 We Research & Understand Our Investment in Paper

5.1.1 We work to understand the investment our company has in paper.

We research actively our own paper and wood supplies to be an informed paper and wood products user.

We invest time and resources to understand and address environmental issues associated with paper procurement.

5.1.2 Our designated buyers have expertise in procuring environmentally preferable paper.

5.1.3 We meet periodically with groups of paper buyers representing our peers to learn what other paper-using companies and organizations are doing to support responsible paper procurement.

5.1.4 We partner, meet or dialogue with other companies, environmental groups and/or local community groups to better understand their concerns.

5.2 We Respect Forest Ecosystems and Biodiversity

5.2.1 We ask our paper supplier where our paper comes from before buying it with the intent of not sourcing paper from unsustainably or illegally managed forests.

5.2.2 We avoid paper from sources that are known to log unsustainably or illegally managed forests.

5.3 We Encourage Sustainable Paper Procurement and Clean Production

5.3.1 Wherever feasible, we require paper suppliers to provide annual reports on their environmental practices.

5.3.2 We give preference to suppliers who conform to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 environmental management standards for manufacturing and forestry practices.

5.3.3 We use a scorecard system to compare and assess potential suppliers.

5.3.4 We expect continual improvement in our company and partners by rewarding and encouraging suppliers who meet or exceed industry standards.

5.4 We Encourage Responsible Use of Forest Resources

5.4.1 We evaluate paper used for marketing pieces, product packaging and internal consumption to identify opportunities for increased recycled content, increased post-consumer recycled content, lower basis weights and other environmental attributes.

5.4.2 We consider the net environmental benefits and detriments of using recycled fiber before purchasing it. We recognize that recycled fiber manufacture, transportation and de-ink sludge disposal can have significant environmental impact.

5.4.3 Whenever the economics are sound and the environmental benefits clear, we purchase paper with recycled content, including papers with post-consumer content

5.4.4 We understand the need for virgin fiber in some paper manufacturing to ensure adequate strength. Where feasible, we strive to reduce the selected use of paper and paper products (including newsprint, packaging, tissue products, office papers and printing stock) made from 100-percent virgin fiber content.


Specialized Marketing Services Inc. believes that sourcing environmentally preferred papers and other materials is only a beginning. Equally important is efficient use of papers and materials once they are purchased.

6.1 We work continually to eliminate unnecessary packaging materials that do not protect merchandise or enhance its presentation before prospects and customers.

6.2 In our fulfillment, we implement packaging guidelines that optimize the ratio between the size of outgoing shipments and the size of cartons used.

6.3 In our fulfillment, we use reusable packaging that allows customers to return items in the same package used for shipping to ease the return process.

6.4 We sort incoming packaging materials for recycling collection.

6.5 We reuse incoming packaging materials for outgoing shipments where possible.

6.6 We employ lighter-weight or efficient packing materials where possible to minimize volume/weight and reduce our environmental footprint.

6.7 We encourage packaging suppliers to submit alternate solutions for environmentally preferable packaging, in addition to quoting prices on approved or existing specifications.

6.8 We share packaging guidelines with vendors to reduce the volume of incoming packaging per item.


Specialized Marketing Services Inc.’s policies and initiatives in this area are guided by the Three Rs: "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle." With this in mind, we seek an efficient and environmentally sensible workplace, as well as to promote environmental stewardship in our community. Toward this principle,

7.1 We Reduce & Reuse in the Workplace

7.1.1 Where possible and practical, we purchase office papers, packing and packaging materials made from recycled materials with post-consumer content.

7.1.2 We integrate the use of electronic communications (e-mail, Web and intranet) for external and internal communications.

7.1.3 We use recycled paper with post-consumer content for internal company print communications.

7.1.4 We make primary use of two-sided printing and photocopying where appropriate.

7.1.5 We develop online systems for reports, projects and monitoring to reduce paper generation.

7.1.6 We reuse file folders, hanging folders and binders where appropriate.

7.1.7 We substitute durable materials for disposable products.

7.2 We Deploy Recycling in Our Workplace

7.2.1 We investigate energy, water, material usage and waste management procedures, practices, and patterns and set internal goals to reduce, reuse and recycle, and establish programs to measure internal savings in waste, energy and costs.

7.2.2 We implement in-house recycling programs for:

  • Paper
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Beverage cans and bottles
  • Plastics
  • Pallets
  • Printing ink and toner cartridges
  • Personal and laptop computers

7.2.3 We recognize employees for:

  • Advancing our recycling policies and/or initiatives
  • Suggesting creative or innovative environmental solutions

7.2.4 We participate in existing industry-specific or government programs for:

  • Energy savings

7.3 We Promote/Advance Recycling in Our Community

7.3.1 We use the recyclable symbol to identify paper and paperboard products made from fibers that, after use, are suitable for recycling.

7.3.2 We encourage customers to reuse, return or recycle materials where appropriate.

7.4 We Employ Efficient Transportation and Distribution

7.4.1 We implement transportation policies and practices guided by objectives to reduce vehicular emissions, decrease traffic congestion and improve air quality. In support of this principle:

  • We consider geographic location when selecting suppliers.
  • Wherever feasible, we plan for the greatest efficiency when drop shipping our mail.

8.0 Commitment to Continuous Improvement

Specialized Marketing Services is committed to continually improve our environmental performance. To this end, we endeavor to make responsible, sound business decisions and wherever feasible integrate environmental considerations into all aspects of our operations. We readily acknowledge that environmental stewardship is an ongoing challenge and a continual learning experience. We continue to research best practices and to explore the possibility of partnerships with other companies, environmental and conservation organizations, and local communities, all with the intent of further strengthening our environmental stewardship.