Non-profit organisation Two Sides is committed to an anti-greenwashing campaign. It argues that going paperless is not necessarily greener.

Two Sides is a global initiative run by companies from the Graphic Communications Industry. It began an anti-greenwashing campaign in 2012. Since then, more than 170 companies, including many of the Fortune 100, have removed misleading claims about going paperless from their communications.

Two Sides released an infographic – or “ecographic” – earlier this year, to mark Earth Day on April 22.

The ecographic demonstrates how complex the debate about going paperless really is.

Facts highlighted include:

The Payoff of Making the Switch

  • In the USA, 65% of all paper used is recovered for recycling.
  • The print paper and mail value chain supports 8.4 million jobs in the USA.
  • The environmental impact of the electronic products and services that are replacing paper are important and shouldn’t be ignored.

The Benefits of Responsible Forestry

  • The USA grows more trees than it harvests.
  • Over the last 50 years, the volume of trees growing on US forestland increased 49%.
  • The forests products industry is a leader in the production of renewable energy.
  • The income landowners receive for products grown on their land encourages them to maintain, renew and manage this resource sustainably.

Misleading Claims

  • 87% of Americans say the main reason companies want to shift customers to electronic delivery is to save money – not to be environmentally responsible.
  • Marketers should not make broad, unqualified general environmental benefit claims like “green” or “eco-friendly” because such claims are difficult to substantiate, if not impossible.

You can download the infographic here.