Since 2010, Two Sides’ Global Anti-Greenwash Campaign has seen 710 companies either substantially change or altogether remove misleading anti-paper statements from all of its communications – including many of the world’s largest corporations. With huge pressures on the economy, companies such as banks, telecom providers, utility companies and even governmental organizations are increasingly focused on switching their customers from paper to digital services in order to cut costs. All too often their customer communications attempt to mask these cost-saving efforts, justifying the switch with unfounded environmental marketing claims such as Go Green – Go Paperless and/or Choose e-billing and help save a tree. “Not only are these ‘greenwash’ claims in breach of established environmental marketing rules, but they’re hugely damaging to an industry which has a solid and continually improving environmental record,” said Two Sides Managing Director Jonathan Tame. “Far from saving trees, a healthy market for forest products such as paper encourages the long-term growth of forests through sustainable forest management. Many of the organizations we engage are always surprised to learn that European forests have actually been growing by 1,500 football pitches every day!”
Globally in 2020, industry advocacy organization Two Sides engaged 320 organizations (located in North and South America, Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand) that were making misleading statements about paper. So far, 134 of them have removed such statements from all their communications. Two Sides continues to engage the remaining organizations. This brings the total to 710 companies that have removed misleading greenwashing statements since the campaign began in 2010. “Greenwashing is a serious issue for our sector, and we’ve seen a worrying increase driven by current economic pressures,” Tame pointed out. Because of the huge reach of some of these organizations, their unsubstantiated claims have a damaging effect on consumer perceptions of paper worldwide. This is why the Anti-Greenwash Campaign continues to be a priority for Two Sides, and why the organization continues to urge companies to reject the use of unsubstantiated and misleading environmental claims about going paperless. “We are grateful for the cooperation of the hundreds of organizations that have changed or eliminated greenwashing claims from their messaging, and we are also thankful for the many industry stakeholders and members of the public who send Two Sides examples of greenwashing,” Tame added.
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