The Direct Marketing Association is working with some of its members and the British Standards Institution to create the first standard for environmental performance in direct marketing.
The standards, which will take between nine months and a year to develop, will require participating organisations to ensure their mail packs are recyclable, for example by reducing the use of heavy metals in inks and plastic windows in envelopes.
They will also be expected to reduce waste by paying greater attention to the data quality of mailing lists, so that fewer unwanted mailings are sent out.
Organisations that adhere to the standards set out by the accreditation will be able to display a kitemark-style symbol on their literature.
Alex Walsh, head of industry development at the DMA, said: "The kitemark will be something people can check against and display to their customers or donors to show they are carrying out the best possible practice and are doing their bit to minimise their impact on the environment."
Event's carbon check
The MS Society is aiming to make its MS Life Manchester 2008 event for people affected by multiple sclerosis environmentally friendly.
The charity has hired event management agency Seventeen Events to assess the carbon footprint left by all aspects of the event, from hotel accommodation to exhibitors on stands. The event next March will try to comply with a draft version of BS8901, a new British Standard for sustainable event management that is expected to launch at the end of 2007.