Two Sides, the global initiative to promote the sustainability of print and paper, has reported a 61% success rate in its anti-greenwashing campaign.

Two Sides is working to encourage organizations to drop misleading environmental claims about going paperless being necessarily “greener”. It is working with businesses and organizations around the world to remove such misleading statements from corporate communications.

Two Sides argues that paper is a renewable and recyclable product that, if responsibly produced and used, can be a sustainable way to communicate.

What’s more, consumers agree. Research has shown that consumers aren’t happy with the initiatives to move from paper-based communications to lower cost alternatives: 60% of European consumers would not choose a company that did not offer a paper bill.

Now, Two Sides have reported that these messages are being listened to receptively by organizations around the world.

Kellie Northwood, Executive Director, Two Sides Australia and New Zealand, commented:

“It is our responsibility as an industry, but also as part of broader environmental education, to challenge misinformation about the impact of communication channels. Greenwashing is a threat to our industry and we work very hard to ensure companies making the wrong claims correct their communications. Of the companies we have contacted in Australia, 73% have altered their anti-print messaging, and the remaining we continue to engage with.”

“Our research shows clearly that consumer’s perception on the sustainability of print and paper is negatively influenced by marketing of digitalization,” says Hadrien Cottin, Two Sides France. “We will continue to engage organizations with the facts how paper based communications are a sustainable choice.”

Two Sides makes the point that going paperless isn’t necessarily a greener option – especially if you are swapping it for electronic communications. Global cloud computing consumes twice as much electricity annually as does the entire United Kingdom. And, in 2014, global e-waste weighed in at 9 million tons.

Phil Riebel, President of Two Sides North America, comments:

“Our discussions with Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Sustainability Officers and others, have been very productive and we are pleased with the collaboration of North America’s leading organizations. Thanks to an overall better understanding of the unique sustainable features of paper products, “go green – go paperless” and “save a tree” claims are gradually disappearing from the marketplace.”

Forests are a precious global resource and the forest and paper industries are some of their most important guardians.

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