Submitted: The Two Sides Team May 24, 2016
Verizon deserves credit for heeding Two Sides advice and not misleading their customers
by Phil Riebel
Over the past three years Two Sides has been writing letters to Verizon encouraging them to change inaccurate and unsubstantiated environmental messaging used to promote electronic services over print and paper. (See our blog on this topic).
So it was great to see that Verizon made major changes to their website recently, removing each of the questionable green claims we had pointed out. We hope this change in messaging will also spread to other channels, especially printed materials, and that Verizon will use the messaging reset to consider the sustainable features of print and paper.
Have a look at these before-and-after shots of the Verizon website. It isn’t perfect, of course. We recommend that companies refer to “e-statements" or "online statements” instead of using language such as “paperless” or “paper-free." Someone switching from digital to paper statements would not say they were “going digital-less,” after all, and those kinds of messages can still carry the flawed connotation that paperless is always greener. So while we will continue to encourage Verizon to make further improvements, there can be no doubt that this represents a major upgrade in accuracy over previous messaging.
More than 40 major corporations in the U.S., and more than 165 corporations around the world, have worked with Two Sides to change and improve their environmental messaging.
Our request is simple: remove or modify unsubstantiated claims that electronic communications are always “greener” than print and paper. We recommend that companies:
Verizon’s previous messaging ran afoul of many of these guiding principles, and they deserve credit for taking active steps to remedy the situation. Two Sides members are grateful, and we suspect Verizon customers will be too.
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