Two Sides tackles false green claims

Sustainable print and paper initiative Two Sides has reported a 70 per cent success rate in persuading global organisations to remove misleading green claims.

The global initiative researched and checked 377 of the world’s leading corporations, exposing 240 as using ‘misleading greenwash statements’ in their marketing and communications activities. 

The sustainable scheme reports 168 of the offending companies have removed the misleading statements as a direct result of Two Sides’ lobbying.

Australian Two Sides executive director Kellie Northwood says the initiative continues to chase up misleading anti-print advertising and statements from telcos, financial institutions, utilities and other corporates.

She says, “Of the companies we have contacted 67 per cent have altered their anti-print messaging and the remainder we continue to engage with.”

Greenwashing is the term given where organisations claim their actions or activities such as not sending out printed communications are based on a desire to be environmentally friendly when there is no evidence for that, and in most cases in fact it is a way of saving money.

[Related: Greenwashing]

Two Sides chairman Martyn Eustace says the lobbying has had a significant effect on some of the world’s most influential organisations, but there is still a lot to be done.

“There is no room for complacency, and there is still a great deal of work to do to tackle the remaining companies that continue to mislead their customers,” he says.

“It’s extremely frustrating and unacceptable. Marketers in some of the world’s most high profile corporations are resorting to unsubstantiated and misleading environmental claims to persuade consumers to switch from paper-based to electronic communication.”

Two Sides works to expose environmental misconceptions about using paper, with what they call a ‘ruthless determination’ to tackle greenwashing around the globe.

Eustace says consumers are being manipulated into thinking using paper is unsustainable, when in reality it is the best choice.

 “Many consumers still have a strong preference for paper but they are being manipulated by a lack of clear and accurate information when in fact paper, based on a natural, renewable and recyclable resource, should be considered as a highly sustainable way to communicate.”

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