Major Brand-name Companies Remove Anti-paper Claims From Marketing Campaigns
By Elise Hacking Carr
Two Sides just scored another victory in its battle against greenwashing. Last week, the independent nonprofit organization confirmed that more than 65 leading North American companies, including several Fortune 100 companies serving the financial, telecom and utilities sectors, have removed inaccurate anti-paper claims after conversations with Two Sides representatives.
According to a press release, the companies modified their marketing messages to consider the social and environmental benefits of print and paper, as well as the lifecycle of sustainable forests and paper products.
“The ‘go green and save trees’ claims are misleading and false for many reasons, and they are a form of greenwashing that needs to be corrected,” Phil Riebel, president of Two Sides North America Inc., said in a statement. “The claims don’t consider the renewability of paper, or the numerous social, environmental and economic benefits of well-managed North American forests, which in the U.S. have grown by 58 percent in wood volume over the past 60 years.”
Two Sides also wants to set the record straight on deforestation. The organization pointed out that it is false to associate paper with deforestation in North America, and referenced the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. Via the release:
Deforestation is defined by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization as the conversion of forests to another land use or a permanent loss of forest cover. The U.N. definition specifically excludes sustainably managed forests where the forest is expected to regenerate naturally or via tree planting.
If recent studies are any indication, Two Sides’ argument appears to have been convincing. For instance, a June 2016 survey, conducted by Toluna, revealed that 85 percent of respondents believe “companies making negative green claims about paper are seeking to save costs.”
Here are two additional key findings:
Of those surveyed, 88 percent of respondents believed it is “environmentally friendly” to produce products, like wood for construction and paper for printing, if resources are responsibly managed.
An overwhelming 91 percent of respondents agreed that, when responsibly produced, used and recycled, print and paper can be “sustainable ways to communicate.”
To learn more about Two Sides’ campaign, visit www.twosidesna.org/Anti-Greenwash-Campaign#