Global print advocacy group Two Sides has greenwash companies in its sights. It has engaged with 320 organisations for making misleading statements about paper over the past year. So far, 134 of them have removed those statements from their communications.
Two Sides Australia and New Zealand engaged with 67 organisations. Kellie Northwood, chief executive, says, “We are seeing good success with the anti-greenwashing campaign. We engage on the basis of science, which we communicate clearly. It is clear that printed products are not detrimental to the environment. In fact, they are the most recyclable, renewable, and sustainable form of communication there is.”
The big number in the last year includes Europe, North and South America, and South Africa. It brings the total to 710 companies that have removed misleading greenwashing statements since the Two Sides campaign began in 2010. The 67 Aubstralia and New Zealand NZ organisations represent a cross section of the corprate world.
Two Sides ANZ will typically contact the marketing department, the sustainability head, and the legal counsel of the organisation. Northwood says, “Some respond directly to us, some just quietly change their websites following our engagement. We monitor their communications following our initial engagement. Sometimes things change quickly, sometimes it takes time.”
Jonathan Tame, Two Sides managing director, says, “Not only are these greenwash claims in breach of established environmental marketing rules, but they are hugely damaging to an industry which has a solid and continually improving environmental record. 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 surprised to learn that in Europe alone forests have actually been growing by 1500 football pitches every day.”
Tame continues, “Greenwashing is a serious issue for our sector, and we have seen a worrying increase driven by current economic pressures. Because of the huge reach of some of these greenwashing organisations, their unsubstantiated claims have a damaging effect on consumer perceptions of paper.
“This is why the Anti-greenwash Campaign continues to be a priority for Two Sides. We will continue to urge companies to reject the use of unsubstantiated and misleading environmental claims about going paperless in all of their communications.
“Hundreds of organisations have changed or eliminated greenwashing claims from their messaging. Also, we also thank the many industry stakeholders and members of the public who send Two Sides examples of greenwash.