Broad, unsubstantiated environmental claims about electronic communication mislead consumers.
A study by Two Sides North America found that half the leading U.S. banks, utilities and telecommunications companies were making unsubstantiated claims about the environmental benefits of electronic billing. In response, Two Sides initiated a campaign to educate senior executives on the sustainability of print and paper and to encourage them to abandon misleading environmental claims. As of December 31, 2022, more than 170 major North American corporations and other organizations (over 900 globally) had removed or changed unsubstantiated and misleading anti-paper environmental claims.
Marketing claims like “go green, go paperless” do not meet environmental marketing standards established by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the Competition Bureau of Canada, the UN Environment Programme, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 14021), the World Federation of Advertisers and others. These standards disallow generic environmental marketing claims such as “green” and “environmentally friendly,” and require that all environmental marketing claims are truthful, not misleading, and supported by reliable scientific evidence.
A 2022 Two Sides North America study found that 65% of U.S. consumers who have seen anti-paper greenwashing messages from
their service providers were influenced to switch from paper to electronic communications, posing a serious financial risk to the U.S.
paper, printing and mail sector and threatening the economic security of more than 7 million Americans whose livelihoods depend