Just in Time for Earth Day – New Global Greenwashing Guidance

World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) announces a series of recommendations to combat greenwashing and build consumer trust

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has published a series of recommendations for brands, marketers and advertisers to ensure their environmental claims are credible among consumers and can be backed up if challenged by regulators. The global organization, which represents marketers responsible for 90% of global marketing communications spend around the world, aims to provide marketers with a clear set of principles and best practices to follow when they communicate the actions their companies are taking to drive more sustainable outcomes.

The WFA has identified six core principles that brands should follow:

  • Claims must not be likely to mislead, and the basis for them must be clear.
  • Marketers must hold robust evidence for all claims likely to be regarded as objective and capable of substantiation.
  • Marketing communications must not omit material information. Where time or space is limited, marketers must use alternative means to make qualifying information readily accessible to the audience and indicate where it can be accessed.
  • Marketers must base general environmental claims on the full life cycle of their product or business, unless the marketing communication states otherwise, and must make clear the limits of the life cycle.
  • Products compared in marketing communications must meet the same needs or be intended for the same purpose. The basis for comparisons must be clear and allow the audience to make an informed decision about the products compared.
  • Marketers must include all information relating to the environmental impact of advertised products that is required by law, regulators or Codes to which they are signatories.

A Pledge for the Planet

The six core principles are part of the WFA’s Planet Pledge initiative, which encourages brands to commit to a zero-carbon economy and use their marketing to drive more sustainable behavior. There are currently 27 signatories to the pledge, including brands such as  Bayer, Dole, IKEA, L’Oréal, Mastercard, PepsiCo and Unilever, who collectively represent over $50 billion in marketing spend.

“Current consumer skepticism of environmental claims and marketers’ fear of greenwashing are together the biggest obstacles to our industry being part of the solution to the climate crisis,” said Stephan Loerke, CEO of the WFA. “Big reductions in CO2 emissions have occurred on the back of technology and innovation; the next big advance needs to be driven by behavioral change. This is where marketers can help. This guidance is an essential first step to creating an environment where marketers and consumers can feel more confident about companies’ sustainability credentials.”

A Growing Movement

 The WFA principles reinforce established environmental marketing guidance from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Canadian Standards Association and International Organization for Standardization (ISO 14021), as well as the efforts of the Two Sides Anti-Greenwashing Campaign.

“Two Sides is the only industry organization that directly challenges major corporations to stop using unsubstantiated environmental claims about paper products,” says Two Sides North America President Kathi Rowzie. “Respected companies that use greenwashing claims damage consumer perceptions of paper and put at risk the livelihoods of more than 7 million people in the North American paper, print and mail sector. Greenwashing also distracts from a company’s legitimate environmental initiatives and can damage corporate reputation when misleading claims are exposed.”

Over the past decade, Two Sides North America has persuaded 157 major corporations and other organizations to stop using unsubstantiated environmental claims about paper, leading to the removal of billions of instances of greenwashing.

To learn more about the Two Sides Anti-Greenwashing Campaign, visit https://twosidesna.org/anti-greenwash-campaign/

Download the WFA Global Guidance on Environmental Claims 2022 at www.wfanet.org/leadership/planet-pledge


Reaching Consumers in an Environmentally Responsible Way: The Return of Printed Catalogs   

By Kathi Rowzie, President, Two Sides North America

After a sharp decline in 2020, printed catalogs are coming back in a big way. Market research firm Keypoint Intelligence reports that digital print volumes – the production method for most smaller-run catalogs – has rebounded close to its pre-pandemic level, and demand is expected to soar past pre-pandemic production next year and continue rising at a compound annual rate of 8% through 2025.

Why? As the rising cost of digital advertising increases the cost of acquiring and keeping customers, brands are looking for omnichannel strategies that enhance customer experiences, build loyalty and increase sales. Printed catalogs allow brands to connect with consumers in ways that digital platforms cannot.

The touch, feel and even the smell of catalogs provide a more intimate shopping encounter, and that interaction can be highly personalized thanks to today’s digital printing technology. Catalogs have staying power far beyond a quick scan on a handheld device. And their enticing visual appeal offers a shopping-as-entertainment experience that drives consumers online to learn more, seek additional products and make both online and in-store purchases. At the same time, the ability to target digital advertising has become less precise with the advent of new online privacy policies that allow consumers to opt out of being tracked.

The catalog comeback can also be attributed to brands’ efforts to tap into growing consumer awareness of sustainability and the desire to create a more environmentally friendly, circular economy. These savvy brands are looking beyond simplistic environmental paper calculators and pop culture myths about the environmental sustainability of paper — that it causes deforestation, is a major contributor to climate change, consumes huge amounts of water and generates excessive waste – and instead, are depending on hard, science-based facts to drive their marketing decisions.

For example, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines deforestation as the permanent loss of forestland. In the United States, trees to make paper are grown, harvested and regrown using sustainable forest management practices that perpetuate infinitely renewable forestlands. In fact, in its recent Global Forest Resources Assessment, the UN FAO reported that net forestland area in the United States actually increased 18 million acres between 1990 and 2020. That’s an area equivalent to 1,200 NFL football fields every day. Continuing demand for sustainably sourced paper encourages landowners to keep their land forested and manage it responsibly rather than selling it for development, the leading cause of deforestation in the United States. The U.S. Forest Service reports that less than 2% of U.S. forestland is harvested each year, compared with 3% that is disturbed annually by natural causes like fire, insects and disease, and most of this 2% of harvested wood is used for non-paper purposes.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the paper industry contributes only 0.5% of the nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions. These very low emissions are due to decades of energy efficiency and process improvements at U.S paper mills, and to the fact that the U.S. paper industry generates two-thirds of the energy to manufacture its products using renewable, carbon-neutral fuels, primarily biomass.

While the paper industry uses large amounts of water to produce catalog papers, most of that water is not consumed in the manufacturing process, this according to the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI). NCASI reports that water used in the papermaking process is recycled up to 10 times in a typical paper mill, and then nearly 90% of that water is cleaned to meet federal and state clean water standards before it is returned to its source. The remaining water is retained in the manufactured paper or evaporates back into the environment.

And when it comes to circularity, paper has all other materials beat hands down. According to the U.S. EPA, around two-thirds of all paper products are recycled, more than any other material.

In today’s highly competitive marketplace where environmental responsibility is a necessary part of any marketing strategy,  brands that choose printed paper catalogs to effectively reach their customers can be confident that they are making a sound environmental choice.



Can Paper Help Save the Planet?

The recent United Nations global climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, brought the world’s leaders together again to try to reach agreement on further commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. High on the agenda was preserving the health of the world’s forests – a critical natural resource for absorbing these emissions.

With this heightened international attention on preventing deforestation, primarily in the developing world, now is a good time to remind ourselves that the North American forests that supply the wood fiber for our paper and packaging products are among the most sustainably managed in the world.

They are so well-managed, in fact, that our forests continue to be a net absorber of carbon. In the United States, sustainable forest management practices, the regeneration of forest area and modern harvesting practices resulted in a net sequestration of carbon every year from 1990 to 2019, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) reports that U.S. forests annually capture and store 14% of economy-wide carbon dioxide emissions. Natural Resources Canada reports that forestlands capture and store around 19% of all carbon dioxide equivalents emitted in the country.

The production of wood and paper products is a powerful economic engine and driving force in keeping North American lands forested. By providing a dependable market for responsibly grown fiber, the paper industry encourages landowners to manage their forestland instead of selling it for development or other non-forest uses. More than half (58%) of the forestland in the U.S. is privately owned and managed, mostly by millions of small landowners, and they are under no obligation to keep their lands forested. Without the economic incentive provided by the forest products industry, untold millions of acres of forestland would likely have been lost permanently to commercial land development – converted to building projects, strip malls or parking lots.

For proof, look no further than countries where there is little economic incentive to keep lands forested. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Global Forest Resources Assessment, those areas of the world that consume the least amount of wood have the greatest problem with the kind of deforestation that the Glasgow conferees were trying to address.

Compare that with North America’s forest products industry. While they were producing the wood and paper products that enrich the lives of consumers, net forest area in the U.S. grew by some 18 million acres between 1990 and 2020, according to the UN FAO, and Canada’s forest area of 857 million acres has been stable over the same period. By law, every acre of Canadian forest that is commercially harvested must be regenerated.

In the U.S., the net average annual increase in growing stock on timberland is about 25 billion cubic feet, according to the USFS, and forests in the U.S. annually grow nearly twice as much wood as is harvested. USFS also reports that tree harvesting in the U.S. occurs on less than 2% of forestland per year in contrast to the nearly 3% disturbed annually by natural events like insects, disease, and fire, and most of this harvested wood is used for non-paper purposes. Harvesting in Canada occurs on only 0.2% of forestlands, while 4.7% is disturbed by insects and 0.5% is disturbed by fire, this according to Natural Resources Canada.

The Glasgow summit also kicked off a discussion of the inherent advantages of bio-based materials – like  paper and paper-based packaging– in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and their potential role in a more broad-based, circular bio-economy. The FAO released a report demonstrating how renewable wood-based products can help combat climate change and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

According to Dr. E. Ashley Steel, Forest Statistics Expert at the UN FAO:

“There is strong evidence at the product level that wood products are associated with lower GHG emissions over their entire life cycle compared to products made from GHG-intensive and non-renewable materials. Wood and wood-based products are generally associated with lower fossil and process-based emissions when compared to non-wood products.”

The document left open for later study the extent to which paper and paper-based packaging may serve as substitutes for non-wood products in the search for those that contribute to the net reduction of greenhouse gases, but there’s little doubt that any product sourced from materials that are grown and regrown are better for combating climate change than the non-paper alternatives.

Pharmaceutical Printed Literature Association Joins Two Sides North America

CHICAGO – January 5, 2022 – Two Sides North America is pleased to welcome the Pharmaceutical Printed Literature Association (PPLA) as its newest member. PPLA is a coalition representing printers, equipment manufacturers, raw material suppliers and distributors of regulated printed pharmaceutical information used by both medical professionals and patients, including package inserts, medication guides, and other label packaging such as folding cartons and pressure-sensitive labels. PPLA’s 25 member companies employ thousands of individuals across manufacturing operations in 15 states.

“As Two Sides continues to grow our membership across all sectors of the print, paper and paper-based packaging industry, we are delighted to have PPLA join us and look forward to working with them to help promote the sustainability of our industry and our products, and printed pharmaceutical information in particular,” said Two Sides North America President Kathi Rowzie.

Chartered in 2001, PPLA is the leader in advancing patient safety through the use of printed medical information. PPLA has long advocated for federal and regulatory policies to uphold the continued and broad utilization of printed pharmaceutical literature, including patient medication information and package inserts for professional use. PPLA is committed to supporting provider preference and empowering patients by ensuring medication information is accessible in a reliable, printed format.

“Printed medication information is critical for patients, caregivers, and health care providers to understand prescription drug dosage, administration, side effects, adverse reactions and interactions with other drugs,” says PPLA Chairman Dave Joesten. “Two Sides does a great job of telling the sustainability story of paper communication, and we are excited to work with them to amplify PPLA’s message that printed medication information is not only essential, but also environmentally responsible.”

For more information on PPLA, visit www.pplaonline.org

About Two Sides North America, Inc.

Two Sides North America is an independent, non-profit organization that promotes the sustainability of print, paper and paper-based packaging, and dispels common environmental misconceptions about  paper products. We are part of the Two Sides global network which includes more than 600 members across North America, South America, Europe, Australia and South Africa.

Media Contact:

Kathi Rowzie, President

Two Sides North America, Inc.

P:  937-999-7729

E:  info@twosidesna.org



Survey Reveals Increased Consumer Interest in Direct Mail, Other Traditional Media Channels

A  recent study released by R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, a leading global provider of marketing and business communications, reveals that traditional marketing channels, including word of mouth, direct mail, and in-store signage, are largely untapped by marketers. The study, based on surveys of both U.S. marketing professionals and consumers, uncovers significant differences between marketer assumptions and what consumers say actually influences their brand awareness and purchase decisions.

Among the findings, more than half (51%) of consumers were more excited to receive direct mail in the past year than they were in the year prior, with the highest levels among Gen Y (65%), Gen Z (57%), and Gen X (53%). Baby Boomers are least likely to be excited about receiving direct mail (36%). In store, consumers show a preference for retailers who effectively use signage and displays, with a majority (58%) saying in-store signage is influential in their purchase decisions. While 67% of marketers made significant changes to their marketing strategies in the past year, the consumer data suggests that marketers should continue to fine-tune their efforts and consider re-investing in traditional marketing channels.

As marketers evaluate such reinvestment, they may also want to consider using their platforms to address widespread misconceptions about the environmental sustainability of direct mail and other paper-based channels. A recent study commissioned by Two Sides North America found that a majority of consumers (67%) believe that electronic communication is more environmentally friendly than print on paper, but the facts do not support this conclusion.

The miniaturization of today’s electronic devices and the “invisible” nature of digital infrastructure and cloud-based services cause many to vastly underestimate the environmental footprint of electronic communication. This footprint includes the environmentally intensive mining of finite raw materials like iron, copper and rare earth minerals to produce electronic devices, massive amounts of mostly fossil fuel energy to manufacture and operate those devices and the server farms that support them, and an enormous and growing amount of e-waste, only 15% of which gets recycled.

In contrast, paper is an inherently sustainable product. It’s primary raw material is an infinitely renewable resource – trees grown, harvested and regrown in sustainably managed forests. It’s recycled more than any other material. And because paper manufacturing uses mostly renewable, carbon neutral biomass energy,  the U.S. pulp and paper industry contributes only 0.5% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Find more sustainability facts (with source citations) about paper products and electronic communications here.



Two Sides Anti-Greenwashing Campaign Scores Big Wins, Builds Momentum for Strong Results in 2021

New Fact Sheet on Greenwashing Now Available

With pandemic lockdowns as a backdrop, banks, utilities, telecoms and other large service providers boosted their efforts to switch customers from paper to electronic communication over the last 15 months, and with those efforts came a new wave of misleading environmental claims about paper – greenwashing.

The Two Sides Anti-Greenwashing Campaign mobilized to push back against this tide of new claims in January after a 10-month pandemic-related interruption, and wins have been steadily increasing. Thanks to this renewed effort, 14 companies have changed or removed misleading environmental claims related to print and paper so far this year, including large banks, utilities and notably, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, whose communications reach 44 million Americans or 15% of the U.S. population. This is in addition to seven wins in 2020 on greenwashing cases that were already in progress.

“We know that consumers are increasingly aware of the impact their choices have on the environment, and that environmental claims made by companies they trust can influence their decision making,” says Two Sides North America President Kathi Rowzie. “But those claims often are not based in fact. Many companies continue to encourage consumers to switch from paper to electronic communications using unsubstantiated claims that digital communication is green, saves trees and is better for the environment, and this activity has increased significantly during the pandemic.

“These are clear cases of greenwashing that damage consumer perceptions of paper and put at risk the livelihoods of more than 7 million people in the North American print, paper and mail sector,” Rowzie adds. “That’s why Two Sides Anti-Greenwashing Campaign is needed now more than ever.”

The campaign has achieved a total of 148 wins in the U.S. and Canada (more than 700 globally) since its inception in 2012, bringing the North American success rate to 68%.

The goal of the Anti-Greenwashing Campaign is to directly engage and encourage major North American corporations to adopt best practices for environmental marketing established by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC),  the Competition Bureau of Canada (CBC), and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 14021). These standards are quite detailed, but in a nutshell they say that environmental marketing claims should be accurate, substantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence and should not suggest environmental benefits by using broad, vague terms like “green” and “environmentally friendly.”

“One of the distinguishing features of the Two Sides Anti-Greenwashing Campaign is that we don’t push a ‘pixels versus paper’ scenario but instead recognize that both print and electronic communications have attractive benefits and environmental consequences,” Rowzie explains. “It’s a straightforward approach that simply says, ‘Hey Corporate CEO, your company is making unsubstantiated marketing claims about the environmental attributes of print and paper. Here are the facts. We encourage you to follow best practices for environmental marketing from the FTC, CBC and others, and put an end to your misleading claims.’”

Not only are greenwashing claims unacceptable under established environmental marketing standards, but they can also harm the companies making them. “Greenwashing distracts from a company’s legitimate environmental initiatives and can damage corporate reputations when misleading claims are exposed,” Rowzie explains. “And some consumers are skeptical that a commitment to environmental improvement is the underlying motive for companies’ push to go paperless. In a recent Two Sides survey, just over half of consumers said that when a company encourages them to switch from paper to digital communication because “it’s better for the environment,” they know the real reason is that the company is trying to cut costs.”

To promote greater understanding of what greenwashing is and why it should be avoided, Two Sides has published a new four-page fact sheet titled Go Green, Go Paperless” Messages are Misleading: The Facts About Greenwashing. 

 “We use this fact sheet when we contact companies about their paper greenwashing claims, but it’s a great tool that anyone can download and share with employees, customers, investors and other stakeholders,” Rowzie explains. “It’s an effective tool to help explain what greenwashing is, the harm it causes and why paper is an inherently sustainable choice that contributes to a circular economy.”

If you see a greenwashing claim from one of your service provides – on a bill, statement, envelope, website or email – send a screenshot, scan or link to info@twosidesna.org.   

For more facts about the sustainability of print, paper and paper-based packaging, click here.



Has the Pandemic Changed the Way U.S. Consumers Access News and Information?

New Two Sides survey shows U.S. consumer reading habits have changed, but print on paper remains a valued and sustainable part of everyday life

CHICAGO – May 25, 2021 – Print media has seen significant disruption during the coronavirus pandemic, with lockdowns changing the way we access and consume news and information. But even as familiarity with and use of online media has increased, print on paper remains a widely used and highly valued resource. This according to a new survey, “Paper’s Place in a Post-Pandemic World,” commissioned by non-profit organization Two Sides North America and conducted by global research firm Toluna.

“Print and digital communications are often compared as an either/or proposition to suggest one is better than the other,” says Two Sides North America President Kathi Rowzie, “but our research shows that both play an important part in today’s information-driven economy. Rather than adopt a one-size-fits all digital communications strategy, savvy news organizations and other businesses will continue to offer consumers a choice and in doing so, help to assure that those who are unwilling or unable to access digital information are not disadvantaged.”

As a result of pandemic-related lockdowns, traditional news brands have successfully developed or enhanced their digital platforms, leading many to turn to online media as a primary source of news and information. But it cannot be assumed that everyone who moved online for news did so by choice or that all who moved online will remain there as restrictions on work, travel and leisure are lifted. While the Two Sides survey showed that 58% of consumers intend to read more news online in the future, this percentage has not changed since 2019.  And although print newspaper readership has taken a hit during the pandemic, 49% of consumers say they would be concerned if printed news were to disappear.

It’s important to note that for many Americans, printed communication is not a choice – it’s a necessity.  The U.S. Federal Communications Commission estimates that some 21 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet service,1 but other organizations, including Microsoft,2 report estimates as high as 157 million. In addition, many who have access to internet service cannot afford it. Consumers in rural areas without broadband infrastructure and many among our most vulnerable populations – older Americans, those with disabilities and low-income individuals –  depend solely on printed newspapers, magazines, books, bills and statements.

In addition, digital communication is not universally welcomed. Nearly three in 10 consumers (29%) prefer to read newspapers in print, and that number jumps to more than four in 10 for those over age 55.  44% of consumers say they gain a better understanding of a story when reading news in print versus online. When it comes to magazines, 38% of consumers prefer to read in print, with percentages climbing to 49% for those over 55 and 63% for those over 65. When all age groups are included, 44% prefer to read books in print.

As might be expected, the survey shows that younger adults, those aged 18 to 24 in particular, prefer to read all types of media online. But even among these younger consumers, 28% prefer to receive and read  personal information from doctors and hospitals in print, 27% prefer to read books in print and 23% prefer to receive bills and statements from service providers in print.

“It’s clear that digital communication is changing the way we receive news and information,” Rowzie says, “but Americans’ growing dependence on digital communication brings its own concerns, which in turn presents opportunities for print media to hold and potentially reclaim a  bigger slice of the consumer media pie. Our survey reveals that 52% of consumers believe they spend too much time on their electronic devices, and just over half are concerned that the overuse of digital devices may be damaging their health. And as headlines about online security breaches become a common occurrence, 64% say they are increasingly concerned that their personal information held electronically is at risk of being hacked, stolen, lost or damaged.”

Consumers also are increasingly concerned about the environmental impacts of their communication choices, but there are a lot of misconceptions in the marketplace about the sustainability of both digital communication and print on paper.  “Our survey shows that 67% of consumers believe electronic communication is better for the environment that print on paper,” Rowzie says.  “But the miniaturization of today’s electronic devices and the ‘invisible’ nature of digital infrastructure and cloud-based services cause many to vastly underestimate the environmental footprint of electronic communication, which includes the mining of raw materials like iron, copper and rare earth minerals to produce electronic devices, the massive amounts of predominately fossil fuel energy used to manufacture and operate those devices and the server farms that support them, and the enormous and growing amount of e-waste generated.

“Like all manufactured products, paper has an environmental footprint, too,” Rowzie explains. “But in the U.S., it is a material whose industry grows and regrows its own raw material (wood fiber from trees), derives two-thirds of the power to drive its processes from renewable, carbon-neutral biofuel, cleans and returns more than 90% of the water it uses to the environment and recycles more than 95% of the chemicals it uses to turn trees into pulp. In addition, with a 66% recovery rate, paper is the most recycled material in the country, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  That’s a powerful sustainability story the electronics industry cannot match.”

For more facts about the environmental sustainability of print and paper products, visit https://twosidesna.org/two-sides-fact-sheet

About Two Sides North America, Inc.

Two Side North America is an independent, non-profit organization that promotes the sustainability of print, paper and paper-based packaging, and dispels common environmental misconceptions about paper products.  We are part of the Two Sides global network which operates across North America, South America, Europe, Australia and South Africa.

Media Contact:

Kathi Rowzie, President

Two Sides North America, Inc.

P:  937-999-7729

E:  info@twosidesna.org

  Federal Communications Commission, “2019 Broadband Deployment Report,” 2019, https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/reports/broadband-progress-reports/2019-broadband-deployment-report
 Microsoft, “Microsoft Airband: An Update on Connecting Rural America,” 2019, https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2020/03/05/update-connecting-rural-america/

It Pays to Engage the News Media

Popular Science Publishes More Balanced Article on the Sustainability of Paper Products

The magazine Popular Science has shown the potential that a major news outlet can have in enlightening its readers when it approaches issues like the sustainability of paper with a sense of balance and a commitment to science. In April, Two Sides responded to an article in the publication, “Modern Paper Use is Wildly Unsustainable,” that was anything but balanced. We suggested that Popular Science should hold up its articles “to the illuminating glow of real authoritative data and pick up the phone to ask industry scientists or a school of forestry if any of what the authors claim makes sense.”

The publication did not respond directly to Two Sides, but they were clearly paying attention. Sometime after we sent our letter to the editors, they said in an update to the original story that in response to reader feedback they were subsequently “interviewing experts about sourcing, processing and recycling in the US paper industry.” Their resulting article published yesterday, “Where Does Your Paper Come From,” is a far more balanced piece by an accomplished journalist who did her homework.

She interviewed experts, including Gary M. Scott, a professor of paper and bioprocess engineering at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and Ronalds Gonzalez, an assistant professor of supply chain and conversion economics in the Department of Forest Biomaterials at North Carolina State University. She also cited facts from a variety of credible sources, including the U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada, the American Forest and Paper Association and the Forest Products Association of Canada. Papermaking technology has seen significant advances since some of the linked information in the article was published, particularly the information on bleaching and water use, and the writer draws some conclusions that we do not agree with, but the overall portrayal of the industry reflects the realities of forestry and papermaking.

Let’s be clear. We’re never going to be satisfied with the mainstream media’s view of the paper industry or their need to cite organizations who have proven unfair to us. For example, the story also includes the ENGO perspective with links to published reports by the National Resources Defense Council, Environmental Paper Network and others. However, if we continue to engage with journalists covering our industry, we stand a better chance of getting fair coverage from honest news outlets. When the media present the facts, it becomes clear that paper is inherently sustainable – in fact, one of the most sustainable products on earth.

Read the May 20 Popular Science article here.



Member Spotlight

From its humble beginnings more than 78 years ago, Case Paper has grown to be one of the largest paper merchants and converters in the United States. Even though their products, partnerships and capabilities have changed over the years, their commitment to going above and beyond for their customers, or as they say, “being On the Case,” has never wavered.

Headquartered just outside New York City in Harrison, New York, the company has locations in California, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, and recently acquired a new lamination and coating business in Indiana, Case Makes.  Case Paper combines its distribution infrastructure and wide-ranging inventory of paper and board stock with the right equipment and the know-how of a great team to deliver the products their customers need, when they need them.

When it comes to sustainability, Case believes they have both opportunities and obligations to take actions that positively affect our planet. “If we don’t protect our environment we won’t have paper, and we can’t take action without engaging all of our people,” says company President Simon Schaffer-Goldman. “By engaging our employees in initiatives to source our products responsibly, help reduce waste and energy consumption, and strengthen the communities where we operate, we are able to play our part in creating a better world today and for generations to come.”

Case is proud to source 100% of its paper from third-party certified mills (FSC, SFI and PEFC), and offers many paper and board grades with recycled content, including, Primalith™, Sunshine™ Plus, and Coated Recycled Board.  In addition, they are actively testing sustainable laminate options and offering recyclable, repulpable and plastic-free solutions from Case Makes, such as their Transfer Metallized product.

The company is also making strides in terms of energy efficiency by installing solar panels to help power their Chicago facility.

Case also has a strict waste recovery process at all of their facilities. By custom converting special sheet sizes for customers, Case minimizes unnecessary paper waste. They also recycle roll cores and a portion of their wooden pallets, even repurposing some into scratching posts for cats. They like to say they are “just doing their part to be on the right side of hiss-tory!”

This type of lighthearted humor is a hallmark of Case Paper’s communication with their stakeholders, from their pun-packed website to their colorful and character-filled social media content.

“We like to have fun, sharing a lot of ridiculously humorous things on our social platforms,”  Schaffer-Goldman says. “But we are also ‘On the Case’ to share important and valuable information with our networks. We are proud to be a member of Two Sides, which allows us access to the amazing sustainability information and research that the organization has to offer. This way, we at Case are aligned with the facts and our followers can be too.”

For more information about Case Paper, please visit www.casepaper.com.


Follow Case Paper:

On LinkedIn:    @ company/case-paper-company/

On Facebook:  @casepapercompany

On Instagram: @casepaperco

To learn more about the benefits of Two Sides membership, please click here or download our Membership brochure


What Consumers Don’t Know About the Sustainability of Paper Products

New Two Sides Survey Shows U.S. Consumers Underestimate Print and Paper Products’ Unique Contributions to a Circular Economy 

Download the press release here.

CHICAGO – April 22, 2021 – As U.S. consumers become increasingly aware of the environmental impacts of the products they use every day, there remains a wide gap between perception and reality when it comes to the sustainability of paper products. This according to a new survey commissioned by Two Sides North America and conducted by global research firm Toluna.  The survey, “Paper’s Place in a Post-Pandemic World,” sought to explore and better understand consumer perceptions, behaviors and preferences related to the sustainability of paper products.

“More and more consumers are factoring environmental impacts into their purchasing decisions, but all too often those decisions are based on pop culture myths and sensational, headline-driven journalism rather than fact,” says Two Sides North America President Kathi Rowzie. “As attention turns to developing a more sustainable, circular economy, the paper and paper-based packaging industry has a great, fact-based environmental story to tell: Paper is one the few products that can already claim to have a truly circular life cycle.”

What’s happening to the size of U.S. forest area?

Paper use is often blamed for forest loss, and 60% of those surveyed believe U.S. forests are shrinking. The fact: U.S. forest area grew by 18 million acres between 1990 and 2020, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s 2020 Global Forest Resources Assessment. That’s an area equivalent to 1,200 NFL football fields every day. Contrary to the popular belief that manufacturing and using paper destroys forests, the demand for sustainably sourced paper and paper-based packaging creates a powerful financial incentive for landowners not only to manage and harvest their land responsibly, but also to keep it forested rather than converting it to non-forest uses, one of the real documented causes of forest loss.

What percentage of paper is recycled?

Paper recycling in the United States is a hands down environmental success story. But according to the survey, only 11% of consumers believe the U.S. recycling rate exceeds 60% and nearly a quarter believe it’s less that 20%.  The fact: More than two-thirds of all paper and paper-based packaging in the U.S. is recycled, and more than 90% of corrugated cardboard boxes is recycled according to the American Forest and Paper Association. In addition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that paper is the most recycled material in the country, compared to plastics at 8.4%, glass at 26.6% and metals at 33.3%.

Is electronic communication more environmentally friendly than paper-based communication?

As the pandemic forced meetings, events and day-to-day business to online communication and consumers increasingly relied on the internet for news and information, 67% of those surveyed believe that electronic communication is more environmentally friendly than paper-based communication. While consumers enjoy the convenience and the ability to work from home that electronic communication affords, they overlook the environmental impact of digital communication.

The facts: The EPA reports that the pulp and paper industry accounts for only 1.2% of U.S. industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and only 0.5% of total U.S. GHG emissions – which shouldn’t be surprising since two-thirds of the energy used to power U.S. paper industry operations is generated using renewable, carbon neutral biomass. In contrast, the energy consumption required for digital technologies is increasing 9% each year, and the share of digital technology in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions could rise to 8% by 2025 according to The Shift Project, a carbon transition think tank.  And compared to paper’s recycling success story, the United States generates approximately 7 million metric tons of e-waste annually, but only 15% of that waste is recycled, according to the 2020 Global E-waste Monitor.

“The life cycle of paper products is circular by nature,” Rowzie explains. “The raw material used to make it is perpetually regrown, the energy used to manufacture it is generated using mostly carbon-neutral biofuel, and the circle is completed as used paper is recycled into new products at a higher rate than any other material.  Even so, our survey shows that misconceptions about the sustainability of paper products are commonplace. It’s just these types of misconceptions that Two Sides was created to correct.  We believe consumers have the right to make purchasing choices based on data and hard facts, free from pop mythology and misinformation.”

For more facts about the environmental sustainability of paper and paper-based packaging, visit www.twosidesna.org.

About Two Sides North America, Inc.

Two Side North America is an independent, non-profit organization that promotes the sustainability of print, paper and paper-based packaging, and dispels common environmental misconceptions about paper products.  We are part of the Two Sides global network which operates across North America, South America, Europe, Australia and South Africa.

Media Contact:

Kathi Rowzie, President

Two Sides North America, Inc.

P:  937-999-7729

E:  info@twosidesna.org