New mass mail policy reduces waste

Author: Rachel Novick


In response to requests by many faculty and staff, the University has adopted a policy to limit the distribution of mass mailings through Campus Mail Services. Under the new policy, Campus Mail will only accept up to 300 of the same item within a one month period. This policy will apply to all mailings except those mandated by regulatory compliance or those that receive an exception approval from the Office of Sustainability.

This policy is designed not to reduce campus communications, but rather to streamline it through existing channels, thereby reducing printing costs and paper use. These channels include:, the University calendar at, ND Works, the Observer, and The Week @ ND. We encourage you to utilize these tools and to include links to your department website where you can post PDFs, online forms, and other materials you wish to make available.

By sending up to 300 items through campus mail, your department will be able to distribute one poster or other communication item to every academic and administrative unit, which can be shared with the members of that department by being displayed in a common area. Posters hung in common areas will likely be retained and read for a much longer time period than individual postcards.

Departments that are required to send large paper mailings in order to comply with government regulations should notify Campus Mail in advance. If you feel that your department has a particular communication that is not mandated by regulatory compliance but nevertheless requires individual mailing, please fill out an exception form. The Office of Sustainability will respond to all such requests in a timely manner and will inform Campus Mail of approved mailings.

In addition to the many requests for such a policy from individual faculty and staff and from focus groups of key stakeholders, the results of ImproveND 2009 also indicated broad campus support for “dramatically reducing campus mail advertisements and flyers”. Prior to proposing this policy, the Office of Sustainability conducted an audit of all mass mailings sent on campus from December 2008 through May 2009, which indicated that this policy will save the University over $100,000 each year in printing costs alone.