Two Sides Global Campaign Reports Increasing Greenwashing as Organizations Focus on Sustainability

Two Sides has challenged over 2,650 organizations found to be communicating greenwashing messages to their customers. Over 1,180 organizations have, so far, removed misleading anti-paper statements.

PORTLAND, Ore. – April 25, 2024 – Economic pressures remain the driver for greenwashing, and many organizations that have relied on paper to communicate with their customers are increasingly transitioning consumers from traditional paper-based services to digital platforms to reduce costs. The switch to digital is often justified by misleading and unsubstantiated environmental marketing messages such as; “Go Green – Go Paperless” or “Choose e-billing and help save a tree,” but this is Greenwashing.

A Two Sides Greenwashing Study in 2022 revealed that 65% of US consumers who have seen greenwashing claims are influenced to switch from paper to electronic communications. Furthermore, data from the 2023 Two Sides Trend Tracker Survey showed that 81% of consumers believe they should have the right to choose how they receive bills and statements.

With increasing focus on corporate sustainability, other sectors – such as tissue and paper-based packaging – now experience greenwashing with the misleading and unsubstantiated marketing of products claiming to be more sustainable for many reasons, including new and alternative sources of fiber.

Two Sides North America Executive Director, Jules Van Sant says, “These greenwashing claims violate established environmental marketing regulations and are hugely damaging for an industry known for its strong and consistently progressive 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 organizations we challenge are surprised to learn that US forests have actually been growing by the equivalent of 1,200 football fields every day.”

Globally, Two Sides has engaged over 2,650 Organizations making misleading statements about paper. In North America, nearly 200 companies, including many Fortune 500 companies, have removed unsubstantiated claims about paper.

Two Sides estimates that, due to the vast reach of some of these organizations, unsubstantiated claims have a long-lasting damaging effect on consumer perceptions of paper and threaten a US industry that employs over 925,000 people and supports more than 2 million additional jobs throughout the supply chain.

The Anti-greenwash campaign continues to be a priority for Two Sides and urges companies not to use unsubstantiated and misleading environmental claims about going paperless in all of their communications.

“We are grateful for the openness, communication and cooperation when we present the facts around the use of paper, print, mail and paper-based packaging. But we have more work to do! As a result of our outreach, hundreds of organizations have changed or eliminated these misleading greenwashing claims from their messaging. Our industry stakeholders, Two Sides members, supporters and informed consumers help keep our work at the forefront. We are thankful for those who send us examples of greenwashing – keep them coming,” Van Sant concludes.

Please send any instances of greenwash to our Anti-Greenwashing Claim Submission Form.

For more information about our anti-greenwashing campaign, visit Anti-Greenwashing Campaign – Two Sides North America (twosidesna.org).

About Two Sides

Two Sides is a not-for-profit, global initiative promoting the unique, sustainable, and attractive attributes of print, paper, and paper packaging. Its members span the entire 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 us at info@twosidesna.org.

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Paper Greetings are America’s Calling Card

In the age of digital dominance, a surprising and heartwarming trend defies the wave—millennials’ and Gen Z’s preference for physical greeting cards. Even though these generations are digital natives, recent studies and surveys reveal that many prefer the tangible charm and personalization of paper greeting cards over their e-counterparts.

According to a recent poll from online card and gift giant Shutterfly1, more than half (54%) of Americans say they still mail their greeting cards versus sending via digital and social platforms.

The new survey of 2,000 U.S. adults split evenly by generation revealed that two out of three prefer to receive physical cards as opposed to digital ones, including younger respondents who are millennials (62%) or are part of Gen Z (59%). Personalization was a big deal to survey respondents, preferring to include family, vacation, or pet photos with cards.

So, what exactly is driving this preference?

One of the key factors contributing to the sustained popularity of paper greeting cards is the emotional resonance they carry. Recent industry research has shown that about 80% of people keep cards that represent a life or relationship milestone. And over the years–especially since the pandemic–young people have taken the reins on greeting card messaging, launching independent lines that have found their way into retailers large and small. Many prefer cards that speak to their specific problems and joyful moments that haven’t been largely seen in traditional greeting cards. 

Retail insights on consumer habits2 support the idea that there is demand for traditional greeting cards, and demand for personalization, digital integration, and representation. To that end, Hallmark Video Greetings launched in early 2022. Card buyers can scan a QR code in the physical card, and once they’re online, they can add videos or photos and invite others to join via email or text. Once everyone’s content is submitted, Hallmark stitches it together into one video, which the recipient can view by scanning the QR code. The big two–Hallmark and American Greetings–are also meeting the demand for representation by diversifying their offerings to reflect North America’s modern demographics.

A year into the pandemic, the industry found millennials and Gen Zs not only wanting to connect with people they couldn’t see in person but also experiencing screen fatigue and activity looking for ways to describe their unique experiences in the world. And this generation is more likely to send a card just because it fits the recipient, letting go of pressure around card-centered holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Like previous generations without digital options, people today appreciate the effort and intentionality required to select, customize, and send a paper card. It becomes a tangible representation of the relationship between the sender and the recipient, making the experience more meaningful and enduring.

Small businesses use cards to build relationships

Small businesses also continue to send an enormous number of holiday cards each year. A 2022 report from the Greeting Card Association3 shows that one-third of companies send a holiday greeting, and 87% of them are physical, not e-cards. This adds up to an estimated 150 million greeting cards mailed by small businesses during the winter holiday season, and those rates are likely to remain constant or slightly grow. 

The vast majority of small businesses that send physical holiday cards send them to current customers to show gratitude and build relationships. Given that direct mail is much more likely to get a meaningful response than email or other digital outreach, building relationships with greeting cards during the holidays is a sound business decision.

The preference for paper greeting cards among consumers and businesses is a testament to the timeless appeal of tangible expressions. In a fast-paced digital world, the intentional act of sending and receiving physical cards has become a powerful and cherished tradition.

 

Shutterfly Report, Nov. 2023 https://nypost.com/2023/11/09/lifestyle/millennials-gen-z-still-prefer-physical-greeting-cards-over-digital-ones/

Canadian Grocer Report, Feb. 2023 https://canadiangrocer.com/digital-driving-consumer-habits-there-still-value-traditional-greeting-cards

Small Business Use of Greeting Cards, Greeting Card Association 2022 White Paper https://omsgca.wpenginepowered.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Lind_WhitePaper-GreetingCards-2022-v1d-1.pdf

Two Sides North America Celebrates Record-Breaking Year

As we look toward the New Year, Two Sides North America has a lot to celebrate! With the help of our members and supporters who submitted greenwashing claims from their service providers, we’ve broken our all-time annual record with 30 additional wins in our Anti-greenwashing Campaign in 2023!

These wins collectively represent more than 200 million North American consumers who are no longer seeing unsubstantiated environmental claims about paper from their financial institutions, utilities, insurance companies, government agencies and other organizations.

But there’s more work to do!  As companies face inflationary pressures, they’re looking for ways to cut costs. In many cases, this means urging their customers to go paperless and using misleading environmental claims about paper to get them to make the switch. And we know this tactic works!

Two Sides North America research showed that 65% of U.S. consumers who’ve seen greenwashing claims are influenced to switch from paper to electronic communications.

You can help the Two Sides North America Anti-greenwashing Campaign achieve even greater success in 2024!

If you see greenwashing claims like “go green, go paperless” or “going paperless saves trees” from companies you do business with, or if you spot media stories promoting alternative types of packaging as environmentally superior to paper, send a pdf or jpg snip of the claims to the Two Sides North America Anti-Greenwashing Campaign at info@twosidesna.org.

If your company is not a member of Two Sides, you can support our efforts by joining today! Membership starts at just $250.  Click here for more information or give us a call at 971-288-6734.

Best Wishes for a Happy & Prosperous New Year from your Two Sides North America Team!

Unmasking Greenwashing: The Consequences and the Cure

In our increasingly environmentally conscious world, it’s common for companies to tout their green initiatives and environmentally friendly practices, and that’s just good business.  But all too often, companies claim benefits –  like the environmental superiority of “recyclable plastic” packaging or “going green” by switching from paper to electronic communications — as a way to cloak poor environmental performance or mask cost-cutting efforts. With no sound scientific evidence to back them up, these types of claims are textbook greenwashing.  

Some of the consequences of greenwashing are obvious.  Clearly, unsubstantiated environmental claims mislead consumers, often causing them to take actions they would not otherwise consider. As reported previously by Two Sides North America (TSNA), psychological research has shown that when people see and hear unsubstantiated claims over and over again, they start to believe them as true, and ultimately incorporate them into their decision making. A 2022 TSNA study confirmed this finding. The study showed that among Americans who had repeatedly seen “go green, go paperless” and similar claims from their banks, utility companies and other services providers, 65% were influenced to switch from paper to electronic bills and statements.

Greenwashing claims can also cause reputational harm, not only damaging the credibility of companies that make such claims, but also casting doubt over the valid claims of companies that are contributing to real environmental progress.  The U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s “Green Guides” provide very specific guidance related to environmental claims, stating that “claims must be truthful, not misleading and supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.” Unfortunately, this guidance is often ignored.

Hidden Consequences

One of the least discussed but most damaging consequences of paper-related greenwashing is economic in nature. When respected companies, media and producers of competing materials make unsubstantiated environmental claims, they negatively influence consumers’ perceptions of paper products and put at risk the livelihoods of workers across the print, paper, paper-based packaging and mail sector.  A recent study by the Envelope Manufacturers Association Foundation reported that this sector accounts for 7.9 million workers who make up 5% of the U.S. workforce and contribute nearly $2 trillion to the U.S. economy.  From papermakers, printers and converting equipment operators to graphic designers, paper industry suppliers and mail management and distribution employees, greenwashing creates economic vulnerabilities for many.  

The Greenwashing Cure: Accountability

The way to eliminate paper-related greenwashing by corporations, media and producers of competing materials is to hold them accountable for their bogus claims.  Two Sides North America is the only industry organization doing just that.

Two Sides directly challenges greenwashing companies to remove unsubstantiated environmental claims in a non-confrontational way, educating CEOs and other senior management with facts from credible, third-party sources that clearly demonstrate the unique sustainability characteristics of paper products and the solid and continually improving environmental record of the North American paper industry. So far this year, TSNA has persuaded 24 more companies and two state/provincial government agencies to remove unsubstantiated environmental claims about paper, which translates to roughly 239 million consumers who are no longer seeing anti-paper greenwashing claims from these service providers.  

Two Sides also defends the sustainability of paper and paper-based packaging in the media, most recently in our letters to the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times and Office Products International (OPI) News. 

“Paper is one of the few products on earth that already has an environmentally sustainable, circular life cycle,” says TSNA President Kathi Rowzie. “North American paper is made from an infinitely renewable natural resource – trees that are purpose-grown, harvested and regrown in sustainably managed forests. It’s manufactured using mostly renewable, carbon neutral bioenergy in a process that uses a lot of water, but actually consumes very little of it. And paper products are recycled more than any other material in the U.S. municipal solid waste stream. But many consumers believe paper is bad for the environment because corporations, the media and other organizations they trust are telling them so. The Two Sides Anti-greenwashing Campaign is working hard to change that.”

You Can Help!

If you see greenwashing claims like “go green, go paperless” from companies you do business with, or media stories promoting alternative types of packaging as environmentally superior to paper, send a pdf or jpg snip of the claims or forward the offending email to the Two Sides North America Anti-Greenwashing Campaign at info@twosidesna.org.

90 Million More Consumers Now Safeguarded from Anti-Paper Greenwashing

Two Sides North America Anti-Greenwashing Campaign Persuades 21 Leading Companies to Remove Unsubstantiated Environmental Claims in 1H23

Since its inception, the Two Sides North America Anti-greenwashing Campaign has eliminated literally billions of instances of paper-related greenwashing in the United States and Canada, and its engagement with large utilities, banks, insurers and other organizations during the first half of 2023 has added to this success.

During the first six months of 2023, 21 additional companies representing approximately 90 million customers have removed greenwashing messages such as “Go green, Go paperless” and  “Go paperless to help protect the environment” from their marketing communications.

“In addition to misleading consumers, these types of unsubstantiated environmental claims pose a serious threat to the economic security of the more than 7 million people whose livelihoods depend on a healthy North American paper, printing and mailing sector,” says Two Sides North America President Kathi Rowzie. “Our recent research found that 65% of consumers who’ve seen anti-paper greenwashing are influenced to go paperless.”

That same research found that the Two Sides Anti-greenwashing Campaign has preserved more than $300 million in annual revenue for the paper, printing and mailing sector over the last decade.

Two Sides challenges greenwashing companies to remove unsubstantiated environmental claims in a non-confrontational way, educating CEOs and other senior management with facts from credible, third-party sources that clearly demonstrate the unique sustainability characteristics of paper products and the solid and continually improving environmental record of the North American paper industry.

“Paper is one of the few products on earth that already has an environmentally sustainable, circular life cycle,” Rowzie says. “North American paper is made from an infinitely renewable natural resource – trees that are purpose-grown, harvested and regrown in sustainably managed forests. It’s manufactured using mostly renewable, carbon neutral bioenergy in a process that uses water, but in reality consumes very little of it. And paper products are recycled more than any other material in the U.S. municipal solid waste stream. But many consumers believe paper is bad for the environment because corporations and other organizations they trust are telling them so. The Two Sides Anti-greenwashing Campaign is working hard to change that.”

You can help Two Sides in the fight to eliminate anti-paper greenwashing and protect North American jobs. If you see instances of greenwashing, please email them as a PDF, JPG file or link to info@twosidesna.org.

For more facts about the sustainability of print and paper products, please visit www.twosidesna.org/mythsandfacts.

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DOWNLOAD PRESS RELEASE HERE.

Media Contact:

Kathi Rowzie, President, Two Sides North America

E: info@twosidesna.org

P: 937-999-7729

 

40 Million More Consumers Now Safeguarded from Anti-paper Greenwashing

Two Sides North America Anti-greenwashing Campaign Kicks off 2023 with Big Wins

Since its inception, the Two Sides North America Anti-greenwashing Campaign has eliminated literally billions of instances of paper-related greenwashing in the United States and Canada – and engagement with large utilities, banks and insurers in January and February has set the pace for millions more in 2023.

So far this year, seven additional companies representing 40 million customers have removed  “go green, go paperless,” “go paperless, protect the environment” and similar claims from their marketing communications.

“In addition to misleading consumers, these types of unsubstantiated environmental claims pose a serious threat to the economic security of the more than 7 million people whose livelihoods depend on a healthy North American paper, printing and mailing sector,” says Two Side North America President Kathi Rowzie. “Our recent research found that 65% of consumers who’ve seen anti-paper greenwashing are influenced to go paperless.”

That same research found that the Two Sides Anti-greenwashing Campaign has annually preserved more than $300 million in revenue for the paper, printing and mailing sector over the last decade.

Two Sides challenges greenwashing companies to remove unsubstantiated environmental claims in a non-confrontational way, educating CEOs and other senior management with facts from credible, third-party sources that clearly demonstrate the unique sustainability characteristics of paper products and the solid and continually improving environmental record of the North American paper industry.

“Paper is one of the few products on earth that already has an environmentally sustainable, circular life cycle,” Rowzie says. “North American paper is made from an infinitely renewable natural resource – trees that are purpose-grown, harvested and regrown in sustainably managed forests. It’s manufactured using mostly renewable, carbon neutral bioenergy in a process that uses water, but in reality consumes very little of it. And paper products are recycled more than any other material. But many consumers believe paper is bad for the environment because corporations and other organizations they trust are telling them so. Two Sides is working hard to change that.”

You can help Two Sides in the fight to eliminate anti-paper greenwashing and protect North American jobs. If you see instances of greenwashing, please email them as a PDF, JPG file or link to info@twosidesna.org.

 

 

The Illusion of Truth: How Greenwashing is Hurting your Business

By Kathi Rowzie, President, Two Sides North America

Sustainability has gone mainstream, with more people than ever before concerned about the environmental impacts of the products and services they buy and use. They understandably want to do the right things for the planet, but the explosion of greenwashing is causing consumers and businesses to use – or in the case of paper, not use – products without any basis in fact.

The Oxford Dictionary defines greenwashing as “Disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image.” And you don’t have to look far to understand the scope of the problem. In a recent survey conducted by The Harris Poll for Google Cloud, 72% of CEOs and C-suite leaders in North America admitted that their companies are guilty of greenwashing, even as most gave their companies an “above-average” rating for environmental sustainability. Greenwashing investigations of ESG (environmental, social, governance) investment funds are becoming commonplace. And, as reported in the Harvard Business Review, studies show that companies that tout their environmental credentials often have poor environmental compliance records.

As major companies, service providers and government agencies attempt to disguise their cost-saving efforts as environmental responsibility, unsubstantiated claims that encourage people to go paperless are among the most often repeated greenwashing ploys. Going paperless is green, saves trees, eliminates waste and reduces your carbon footprint, they say. The evidence is clear that greenwashing works. But why do messages that are so contrary to fact resonate so well with consumers and business decision makers?

Psychological research has shown that when people see and hear unsubstantiated claims over and over again, they start to believe them as true, and ultimately incorporate them into their decision making. This phenomenon, called the “illusory truth effect,” was first identified in a 1977 study (Hasher, et al.) which found that repeated statements are easier to process, and subsequently perceived to be more truthful. This conclusion, that misconceptions become part of our knowledge base and inform our choices as a result of repetition, has since been repeated dozens of times by cognitive, social and consumer psychologists. Evidence of the robustness of this effect comes from studies showing that the illusory truth effect occurs even when the repeated statements are highly implausible (Fazio et al. 2019) or when the repeated statements directly contradict a person’s prior knowledge (Fazio et al. 2015).

So what does this mean for your business? Two Sides North America (TSNA) research illustrates the damaging effects that repeated greenwashing claims are having on the U.S. paper, printing and mailing sector, finding that 65% of consumers who have seen anti-paper greenwashing claims from their service providers are influenced to switch from paper bills and statements to digital versions. The study, conducted in partnership with global research firm Censuswide, also found that the TSNA Anti-greenwashing Campaign has preserved more than $300 million in annual revenue for the sector. But the results of this study, while telling, represent just a small slice of the broader anti-paper greenwashing epidemic.

Anti-paper greenwashing is accelerating as inflationary pressures drive large corporations and other service providers to implement deeper cost cuts. But greenwashing is not exclusive to the service sector, and printing papers are not the only products at risk. Even as interest in paper-based packaging as a sustainable solution to plastics pollution gains momentum, unsubstantiated claims portraying paper as less environmentally sustainable than plastics are on the rise. So too are misleading claims used to promote packaging made with alternative fibers and non-fiber materials. And the media’s repetition of environmental myths about paper only serve to reinforce the illusion of truth.

TSNA’s Anti-greenwashing Campaign is the only industry effort to directly challenge these anti-paper greenwashing claims at their source, and with great success. Working with major corporations, government agencies and the media, the campaign has eliminated literally billions of instances of unsubstantiated “go paperless” environmental claims over the last decade.

But there’s much more work to do as the growing chorus of anti-paper voices continues to repeat the same opportunistic greenwashing claims, threatening the financial future of paper-focused businesses and the livelihoods of people who work for them.

You can help by reporting greenwashing claims to Two Sides at info@twosidesna.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inflation Accelerates Anti-paper Greenwashing As Companies Look to Cut Costs

Two Sides North America Anti-greenwashing Campaign Responds With Record-breaking Success

CHICAGO – July 27, 2022 – For years, major corporations, service providers and government agencies have surrendered to the temptation to cloak their cost saving efforts in a veneer of environmental virtue by claiming – without evidence – that going paperless is better for the environment. Two Sides North America (TSNA), the only industry organization to directly challenge this greenwashing, has been highly effective in stemming the tide of misleading declarations, persuading 170 major organizations to remove anti-paper environmental claims.

However, as rising inflationary pressures drive cost cutting, greenwashing is once again on the rise. To help reverse this trend, TSNA has doubled down on its anti-greenwashing efforts, and with unprecedented success. So far this year, TSNA has already broken its full-year record for the number of corporations and other organizations it has persuaded to eliminate anti-paper greenwashing claims.

“Since its inception, the Two Sides Anti-greenwashing Campaign has eliminated literally billions of instances of greenwashing in the United States and Canada, and the 24 large organizations that removed misleading claims from January through July represent millions more,” says Two Sides North America President Kathi Rowzie. “These type of claims pose a serious threat to the economic security of the more than 7 million people whose livelihoods depend on a healthy North American paper, printing and mailing sector. Our recent research found that 65% of consumers who’ve seen anti-paper greenwashing are influenced to go paperless.”

That same research found that the Two Sides Anti-greenwashing Campaign has annually preserved more than $300 million in revenue for the paper, printing and mailing sector over the last decade.

Two Sides challenges greenwashing companies and other organizations to remove unsubstantiated environmental claims in a non-confrontational way, educating CEOs and other senior management with facts from credible, third-party sources that clearly demonstrate the unique sustainability characteristics of paper products and the solid and continually improving environmental record of the North American paper industry.

“Paper is one of the few products on earth that already has an environmentally sustainable, circular life cycle,” Rowzie says. “North American paper is made from an infinitely renewable natural resource – trees that are purpose-grown, harvested and regrown in sustainably managed forests. It’s manufactured using mostly renewable, carbon neutral bioenergy in a process that uses water, but in reality consumes very little of it. And paper products are recycled more than any other material. But many consumers believe paper is bad for the environment because corporations and other organizations they trust are telling them so. Two Sides is working hard to change that.”

You can help Two Sides in the fight to eliminate greenwashing and protect North American jobs. If you see instances of anti-paper greenwashing, please send them in a PDF, JPG file or link to info@twosidesna.org.

Media Contact:

Kathi Rowzie, President

Two Sides North America

info@twosidesna.org

937-999-7729

About Two Sides

Two Sides is a global, member-funded non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the uniquely sustainable attributes of print, paper and paper-based packaging. Two Sides’ members span the entire print, paper and paper-based packaging value chain, including forestry, pulp, paper, packaging, inks and chemicals, finishing, publishing, printing, envelopes and mail operators.  For more information, visit www.twosidesna.org.

 

New Research Shows Anti-paper Greenwashing Works, Misleading U.S. Consumers to Switch from Paper to Electronic Bills and Statements

But Two Sides North America’s Anti-greenwashing Campaign Preserves Millions in Annual Revenue for the U.S. Paper, Printing and Mailing Sector

CHICAGO – May 18, 2022 – Anti-paper greenwashing works, unfairly costing the U.S. paper, printing and mailing sector huge sums in lost revenue each year. But Two Sides North America’s (TSNA) Anti-greenwashing Campaign is succeeding in eliminating many of these misleading claims, clawing back hundreds of millions for these businesses, according to the results of the latest TSNA study.

In their efforts to cut costs, many leading U.S. financial institutions, utilities, telecom companies and other service providers are using unsubstantiated environmental marketing claims – greenwashing – to persuade consumers to switch from paper to digital bills and statements, suggesting that going paperless is “green,” “saves trees” or is “better for the environment.”

The new TSNA research results illustrate the damaging effects these greenwashing claims have on the U.S. paper, printing and mailing sector, finding that 65% of those who have seen anti-paper greenwashing claims are influenced to switch from paper to electronic bills and statements. The study, conducted in partnership with global research firm Censuswide, also showed that the Two Sides North America Anti-greenwashing Campaign is having a powerful impact, preserving more than $308 million in annual revenue for the sector.

The Two Sides study surveyed 2000 U.S. consumers and evaluated data on major U.S. companies that have eliminated unsubstantiated and misleading environmental claims as a result of the TSNA Anti-greenwashing Campaign. These companies represent approximately 9.5 billion annual bills and statements.

“This study not only confirms the remarkable success of Two Sides’ Anti-greenwashing Campaign, but also drives home the serious financial risk that greenwashing among service providers poses to the paper, printing and mailing sector, threatening the economic security of more than 7 million Americans whose livelihoods depend on paper,” says Two Sides North America President Kathi Rowzie.

In its most recent report (2020) on transactional mail, the U.S. Postal Service reported that U.S. households annually receive more than 15 billion bills and statements in the mail, representing 41% of total First Class mail. Bills are primarily from credit card companies, utilities, telephone/cable companies and insurance companies, while statements are predominantly sent from the financial/banking sector.

“The Two Sides Anti-greenwashing Campaign has been highly successful, but there’s much more work to do as service providers continue to distort the paper industry’s great environmental record and threaten paper, print and mail volumes with opportunistic greenwashing claims,” Rowzie says.

“And it’s important to note that banks, utilities and telecoms are not the only ones using unsubstantiated environmental claims to promote going paperless,” she adds. “Two Sides is also challenging entities like government agencies and large digital document management firms that are greenwashing to encourage both individual consumers and businesses to switch all paper communication to digital versions in the cloud, at the same time failing to recognize the vast and growing environmental footprint of electronic communication.”

Two Sides challenges greenwashing companies and other organizations in a non-confrontational way, educating CEOs and other senior management with facts from credible, third-party sources that clearly demonstrate the unique sustainability characteristics of paper products and the solid and continually improving environmental record of the North American paper industry.

“Paper is one of the few products on earth that already has an environmentally sustainable, circular life cycle,” Rowzie says. “North American paper is made from an infinitely renewable natural resource – trees grown, harvested and regrown in sustainably managed forests. It’s manufactured using mostly renewable, carbon neutral bioenergy in a process that uses water, but in reality consumes very little of it. And paper products are recycled more than any other material. But many consumers believe paper is bad for the environment because organizations seeking to cut costs or promote their own digital business objectives are telling them so. Two Sides is working hard to change that.”

For more information about the Two Sides North America Anti-greenwashing Campaign, visit www.twosidesna.org/anti-greenwash-campaign/.

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DOWNLOAD THE PRESS RELEASE HERE.

About Two Sides

Two Sides is a global, member-funded non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the uniquely sustainable attributes of print, paper and paper-based packaging. Two Sides’ members span the entire print, paper and paper-based packaging value chain, including forestry, pulp, paper, packaging, inks and chemicals, finishing, publishing, printing, envelopes and mail operators.  For more information, visit www.twosidesna.org.

Media Contact:

Kathi Rowzie, President

Two Sides North America

info@twosidesna.org

937-999-7729

Two Sides Global Anti-Greenwashing Campaign Momentum Continues

Since 2010, Two Sides’ fact-driven campaign has persuaded more than 880 organizations globally, including 159 in North America, to remove unsubstantiated environmental claims about paper from their marketing communications.

CHICAGO – May 4, 2022 – As banks, utilities, telecom companies and government agencies face mounting economic uncertainties, many of these services providers are looking to cut costs by encouraging their customers to switch from paper to digital communications. But all too often, these cost-cutting appeals are cloaked in unsubstantiated and misleading environmental marketing claims that suggest going paperless is “green,” “saves trees” or “is better for the environment.”

“These greenwashing claims not only fail to comply with established environmental marketing standards, but they also damage consumer perceptions of paper’s environmental sustainability,” says Two Sides North America President Kathi Rowzie. “And that’s a threat to the economic security of millions of people in the United States and Canada whose livelihoods depend on the paper, print and mailing sector.”

North America’s leading corporations and other service providers influence millions of consumers every day with their anti-paper greenwashing claims, leading many to believe that the use of paper is destroying forests and is bad for the environment. For example, a 2021 Two Sides survey of U.S. consumers showed that 60% believe that U.S. forests are shrinking, when in fact, U.S. net forest area increased by 18 million acres over the past 30 years – the equivalent of 1,200 NFL football fields every day – according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Global Forest Resources Assessment. The UN FAO reports that Canada’s net forest area remained stable at around 857 million acres during the same period.

“Paper is one of the few products on earth that already has an environmentally sustainable, circular life cycle,” Rowzie says. “North American paper is made from an infinitely renewable natural resource – trees grown, harvested and regrown in sustainably managed forests. It’s manufactured using mostly renewable, carbon neutral bioenergy in a process that uses water, but in reality consumes very little of it. And paper products are recycled more than any other material. But many consumers believe paper is bad for the environment because their service providers are telling them so. Two Sides is working hard to change that.”

Two Sides challenges greenwashing companies and other organizations in a non-confrontational way, educating CEOs and other senior management with facts from credible, third-party sources that clearly demonstrate the unique sustainability characteristics of paper products and the solid and continually improving environmental record of the North American paper industry. Because North America’s leading corporations and other service providers have such an expansive reach, Two Sides anti-greenwashing efforts to date have had an enormous impact, with unsubstantiated “go paperless” environmental messages removed from literally billions of customer communications.

“But there’s much more work to do as companies continue to distort the paper industry’s great environmental record and threaten paper, print and mail volumes with opportunistic greenwashing claims,” Rowzie says. “This is why the Anti-Greenwashing Campaign continues to be a top priority for Two Sides.”

Across North and South America, Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Two Sides has challenged more than 1,900 organizations that have made unsubstantiated environmental claims about paper and continues to pursue those whose use greenwashing claims to mask their cost-cutting efforts.

“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,” Rowzie concludes.

To learn more about Two Sides North America and its Anti-Greenwashing Campaign, please visit www.twosidesna.org.

About Two Sides

Two Sides is a global, member-funded non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the uniquely sustainable attributes of print, paper and paper-based packaging. Two Sides’ members span the entire print, paper and paper-based packaging value chain, including forestry, pulp, paper, packaging, inks and chemicals, finishing, publishing, printing, envelopes and mail operators.  For more information, visit www.twosidesna.org.

 Download the press release here.

Media Contact:

Kathi Rowzie, President

Two Sides North America

info@twosidesna.org

937-999-7729

 

 

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