Webmart launches carbon offsetting mailing scheme

Richard Stuart-Turner
Friday, July 30, 2021

Webmart has launched a new brand that aims to mitigate the impact mailing has on the environment by calculating the carbon footprint of postage and offsetting twice that amount for free.

Enviromail was launched last week
Enviromail was launched last week

Using its postage carbon calculator, the Bicester-headquartered marketing and print procurement specialist’s new Enviromail service, which launched last week, is able to map the journey of mailing packs through the UK distribution network from the mailing house to front doors.

The calculator, which was developed in conjunction with Webmart’s suppliers, logistics partners, and carbon advisory specialist CarbonQuota, also knows the type of vehicle used, the makeup of the mailing pack, number of returns, recyclability, and the route the mail will take, to accurately calculate the carbon footprint of postage.

Once calculated, twice this amount is offset by Enviromail through high quality accredited schemes for free.

By using Enviromail, for no extra cost to them Webmart’s customers will be supporting afforestation projects in Nicaragua, renewable energy projects in India, and clean cookstoves in Rwanda, as well as the continued rewilding of a 166-acre forest in Scotland that Webmart has invested around £300,000 in so far.

Webmart sales and marketing director Tom Maskill told Printweek that gaining its C9 licence with Royal Mail – downstream access providers have this to give them access to Royal Mail access rates for postage – was part of the new offering.

“In conjunction with that, we wanted to launch it with a bit of a ‘Webmarty’ USP, something that would both prove our environmental credentials and our customers’ environmental credentials.

“So we thought, what if we could make postage net positive for the environment? We’d been researching it and working on it for about nine or 10 months, which has involved mapping out the journey that mail takes and working with Royal Mail and CarbonQuota to create this calculator for postage.

“We take that carbon footprint that we calculate, we double it and then we offset it through accredited schemes. We’ve set aside a budget internally for doing good for the environment, so it comes out of that pot of money that we’ve set aside.”

Webmart outsources all of its mailing production and the calculator will enable the business to show its customers how they could reduce the carbon footprint of a job ahead of production, for example by using a different mailing house.

“We can consult on the reduction of it ahead of time and then once we’ve reduced it we can then offset twice of whatever emissions we have to emit,” said Maskill.

He added early customer reception to Enviromail had been “insane”.

“There’s still a lot of misinformation out there about mail and its impact on the environment.

“Generally speaking, it’s not as bad as people seem to make it out to be but being able to use the Enviromail indicia on mail, and where a customer can see that it’s been done climate positively, makes a big difference, especially when they don’t have to pay for it.”

Maskill said that for a new Webmart customer, the default would be to send something out via the Enviromail service, but “there are some instances, like international mail for example, where we can’t, so at the moment it’s just UK mail”.

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