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MCA environmental initiatives

The Council of Europe recently launched its ‘New Earth Deal’ campaign in advance of the UN’s Climate Change Conference in Denmark in December. The focus by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is firmly on the part to be played by government and business, in reducing waste.

The Mail Consolidators Association (MCA) is to debate in November a requirement for members to subscribe to a waste reduction program in their business strategy. It is anticipated this requirement will be included in 2010 in its Code of Conduct to which all members subscribe.

ISO, at the forefront of environmental initiatives, through its 14001 accreditation requires companies to control or influence the environmental impact of their operations. Mail International, an MCA member and ISO14001 accredited company, sees such requirements as part of their commitment to producing services that meet the needs of their customers whilst minimising any environmental impact.

MCA members continually examine their production, handling, transport, supply and other operations in order to strip out wastage. For example, MHI has recently focused on how to reduce transportation operations by:

* Sourcing materials as locally as is pragmatic without compromise to quality or sustainability.

* Tighter consolidation management greatly improving efficiencies in the logistics chain.

* Use of electronic transfer of data files and images PDF's for proofing as appropriate, to replace carriers in the pre-production process

Other members have focused on the sustainability of material they use, such as bio-degradable & compostable polythene, recyclable paper & envelopes.

The use of digital solutions such as data management to maximize the effectiveness of mailing packs through the removal of deceased and gone aways will contribute to reducing the carbon footprint. This data management is used actively as a key process across MCA members. IMX, an MCA member, introduced bar-coded carrier sheets over two years ago enabling undeliverable items to be consolidated at the first point of return (usually at a local IMX European office or agency) where they are scanned and the data emailed to the respective clients. The contents of the mailing would be consigned for recycling.

MCA members understand the environmental impact of their activities, through effective waste management and innovative solutions they can adept clients activity to maximize its effectiveness while reducing its environmental impact.

The MCA is a trade organisation for companies providing international mail consolidation and distribution services ex UK. The MCA is a membership organisation, and it acts as a forum for approved mail consolidators and international mail distributors to share information, develop joint initiatives, and promote best practice, to the mutual benefit of members and their customers.

The international mail consolidation and distribution industry includes international mail operators and many small and medium enterprises throughout the UK.

Consolidated mail services are used by a range of clients from many different industry sectors, such as publishing, direct mail and financial services. Mail services are a vital communication channel for the marketing and promotion of goods and services. Mail order and especially cross-border mail order is one sector of the industry that is rapidly expanding, assisting exporters.

The annual UK international mail market is estimated to be worth in excess of £1bn – this excludes print, fulfilment and ancillary preparation services. Increasing competition, especially in the past few years with foreign postal administrations entering the UK market, has considerably ‘expanded’ the competitiveness of the market and accelerated the introduction of innovative alternative services.