Roy Hathaway, Defra's head of wastes management, was speaking at the launch of the PAS 2020 environmental standard for direct marketing, a BSI rule book commissioned by the DMA with the support of organisations including Royal Mail and client body ISBA.
He described PAS 2020, a tiered accreditation process advocating the use of recycle messages, suppression and paper with recycled fibre, as "a road map for direct marketers to operate to higher environmental standards".
"It is up to the direct marketing industry itself to ensure that this initiative succeeds," Hathaway said. "If it can do so, the industry will be on the way to showing that it can deliver its share of the Waste Strategy [the Government's environment manifesto] objectives ...without the need for additional intervention by government. The ball is in your court."
A website supporting the PAS 2020 accreditation process, www.greendm.co.uk, created by the Lateral Group, was also launched this morning.
Hathaway praised the industry for boosting the recycling of addressed mail from 13% in 2003 to 28% in 2005, though it was short of the 30% target set out in the 2003 voluntary agreement between Defra and the DMA.
"It remains to be seen whether the industry will achieve the 55% recycling target for 2009 set out in the agreement," Hathway continued. "I hope the industry will redouble their efforts to reach that important target, and that PAS 2020 will help them to do so.
After the launch Marc Michaels, director of direct marketing at the COI and chair of ISBA's Direct Marketing Action Group, said client organisations would have to "factor PAS 2020 into their business plans" as the COI has already done.