WWF creates PDF that can’t be printed “to save trees”

The “green file format” – called a ‘WWF’ file – was launched in a bid to “stop unnecessary printing and encourage a new awareness about the use of paper”.

The WWF (World Wide Fund For Nature) urged the public to “Save as WWF, Save a Tree”. The move is in direct opposition to the work the industry-wide ‘Paper – part of every day’ campaign has been doing to try to clear up misinformation about the sustainability of print on paper.

The WWF website promoting the new file format
said it wants to “create a new awareness about the use of paper” and make it “easy for everyone to contribute to saving our forests”.

Tim Woods, spokesperson for the ‘Paper – part of every day’ campaign, called it a “cunning” ploy.

“Most people in our industry would expect a more intelligent response from WWF than to suggest the paper industry is responsible for deforestation,” he told ProPrint.

“But we shouldn’t kid ourselves. This is not just another example of a clueless approach from an environmental organisation. WWF’s suggestion we should send documents in a format so they cannot be printed is commercially focussed and cunning.

“It plays on the incorrect perception that paper and print are an environmental problem and that electronic communications come without an environmental footprint. It might seem a stupid comment, but really it is yet another example of an environmental group reading the perceptions of our products better than we read them,” he said.

Woods stressed that facts showed the paper industry was actually responsible for expanding the planet’s tree cover, and that reading a printed document used less energy than reading for hours on a computer, as well as being recyclable.

“Our industry is a global leader in product certification and we might all have thought the WWF understands and supports that through its close relationship with the FSC.

“But the perception of our industry is such that even though they make money from certifying our products, WWF now feels comfortable opposing paper and print so directly and publicly,” added Woods.

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