Two Sides convinces 131 firms to change or remove misleading anti-paper statements in 2019

Last year was the busiest year to date for Two Sides’ compelling Anti-Greenwash Campaign. Globally, 388 organizations were found to be using unsubstantiated claims about print and paper’s impact on the environment. These organizations were identified by Two Sides throughout North and South America, Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Since 2010, the Two Sides global campaign has changed or removed misleading environmental claims of over 500 organizations, including many of the world’s largest corporations. Two Sides has now verified that 131 of those organizations it engaged in 2019 have removed or changed their messaging. This brings the total number of companies to over 500 since the campaign began in 2010. During 2019 in North America, Two Sides worked with several major organizations to achieve significant changes in messaging – including Cigna, ComEd, Comcast, JP Morgan Asset Management, JP Morgan Chase, Principal, Selective Insurance and Starbucks, to name a few. In ongoing efforts to cut costs, many banks, telecom providers, utility companies and even governmental organizations are encouraging their customers to switch to digital services by using unfounded environmental claims such as ‘Go Green – Go Paperless’ and ‘Choose e-billing and help save a tree.’

Phil Riebel.

“Not only are these claims misleading and in breach of advertising rules, they also ignore the growing and significant environmental impact of today’s massive electronic infra-structure,” said Phil Riebel, President of Two Sides North America. “Far from ‘saving trees,’ a healthy market for forest products such as paper, encourages the long-term sustainable management and growth of forests. Many of the organizations we engage with are always surprised to learn that net forest growth in the U.S. is equivalent to over 1,500 NFL football fields per day.”

Jonathan Tame.

Jonathan Tame from the Two Sides Global Team added: “Tackling greenwash is an ongoing challenge that requires significant resource to research, monitor and engage many organizations. Because of the huge reach of some of these corporations, these unsubstantiated claims about print and paper have a negative effect on consumer perceptions about paper. For this reason, the anti-greenwash campaign will continue to be a priority for Two Sides. We are grateful for the cooperation of the hundreds of organizations we have worked with in recent years. We are also thankful for the many industry stakeholders and members of the public who send Two Sides examples of greenwash.”

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.