Global print and paper advocacy group Two Sides says its campaign to end greenwashing claims by global corporations has had a 67 per cent success rate with 91 companies operating in Australia and New Zealand changing their messaging about how customers should receive bills.
As part of its advocacy to have paper billing reintroduced in many sectors including local councils, utilities and banking, Two Sides researched the websites and communications of 164 organisations, finding 135 were making unsubstantiated claims about print and paper’s environmental impact.
It reports that so far 91 of those companies have removed or changed their message after being approached by Two Sides.
Two Sides, led in Australia and New Zealand by the Real Media Collective chief executive officer Kellie Northwood, says after nearly 10 years of anti-greenwash campaigning, results have begun to show.
She says, “We have been running the anti-greenwashing campaign for almost a decade now and it is pleasing to see the larger companies are really engaged and doing the right thing.
“It is disappointing to see local councils and government departments now being the worst offenders and something we will be writing to all local council and government departments about in the coming weeks.”
Industries found to have the highest number of greenwashing claims included telecommunications providers, local councils, utility providers, start-ups and government organisations.
Two Sides International chairman Martyn Eustace says, “We are really pleased that our ongoing effort is having such a significant effect on some of the world’s largest and most influential companies and organisations. But there is no room for complacency and there is still a great deal of work to do tackling companies that continue to mislead their customers.
“The era of outlandish and unsubstantiated environmental claims is over. Marketers and companies presenting misleading information as facts are being called to task and with paper being renewable, recyclable and strong carbon store the position from companies that digital saves the environment is no longer being accepted by consumers.”
Two Sides says research conducted among 10,000 consumers in 2019 found over half (53 per cent) believed claims about the switch to digital being better for the environment is really because the company wants to save money.
It also found 57 per cent of respondents objected to banks, governments and other organisations persuading them to go paperless as it is not really paperless because they regularly print out documents at home anyway.
A massive 81 per cent of respondents said they believed they had the right to choose how they received their communications printed or electronically from financial organisations and service providers.