The Two Sides campaign says that, since 2010, it has changed or removed misleading environmental claims of over 500 organisations, including many of the world’s largest corporations.
Last year, the busiest year to date for Two Sides’ Anti-greenwash campaign, saw 388 organisations globally using unsubstantiated claims about print and paper’s impact on the environment. These organisations, identified by Two Sides, cam from New Zealand, Australia, Europe, North and South America and South Africa. Two Sides reports that 131 of those organisations engaged in 2019 have removed or changed their messaging. This brings the total number of companies to over 500 since the campaign begun in 2010.
Kellie Northwood, chief executive at The Real Media Collective, which runs the campaign locally, says, “Australia and New Zealand have achieved a strong 67 per cent conversion of changing incorrect messaging and we continue to tackle the local Government claims currently encouraging people to go online for Rates and Notices.”
In ongoing efforts to cut costs, many banks, telecom providers, utility companies and even governmental organisations 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’.
Northwood says, “Our Keep Me Posted campaign partners with Two Sides in challenging the environmental myths about paper as well as highlighted the digital divide that is alienating consumers who prefer printed bills and statements.”
Jonathan Tame, of the Two Sides global team, says, “Not only are these claims in breach of advertising rules, but they are hugely damaging to an industry which has a solid and continually improving environmental record. 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 organisations we engage are always surprised to learn than European forests have actually been growing by 1500 football pitches every day.
“Tackling greenwash is an ongoing challenge that requires significant resource to research, monitor and engage so many organisations. Because of the huge reach of some of these organisations, these unsubstantiated claims about paper have a damaging effect on consumer perceptions of paper. For this reason, the Anti-greenwash campaign will continue to be a priority of Two Sides.
“We are grateful for the cooperation of the hundreds of organisations 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.”
Two Sides continues to actively challenge major organisations found to be misleading consumers by using environmental claims about the use of paper. Please send any instances of greenwash to [email protected]
Two Sides, a not for profit, global initiative promotes the sustainable and attractive attributes of print, paper and paper packaging. Its members span the entire print, paper and packaging value chain including: forestry, pulp, paper, packaging, inks and chemicals, finishing, publishing, printing, envelopes and postal operators.
For more information about the anti-greenwash campaign, or to learn more about Two Sides, please contact Kellie Northwood, [email protected]