30 Companies Remove Claims of “Going Paperless” to Go Green
Two Sides North America recently announced that it has convinced more than 30 North American companies to remove claims of “going paperless to save trees” from their billing and communications.
Two Sides believes that these “anti-paper” claims are unnecessarily harmful to the paper, printing, and mail industries, and is challenging these companies for several reasons, including:
- “Anti-paper” claims do not meet the guidelines for environmental marketing, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Competition Bureau of Canada
- “Going paperless” is harmful to the U.S. economy – a total of 8.4 million American jobs (that’s $1.3 trillion in sales revenue) depends on the U.S. mailing industry, including paper production, printing production, graphic design, and the handling and distribution of mail
- Paper is a renewable resource – it is the most recycled commodity in the U.S., with recovery rates of 63% or higher
- More trees are grown than harvested in North America – in the last 60 years, the total net U.S. forest area has increased by over 3%, and the net volume of trees on timberland has increased 58%
The environmental claims associated with “going paperless” have not been properly investigated or proven as fact. These claims perpetuate the belief that a paperless environment is greener without adequately exploring the negative effects of increased energy use, the impact of the chosen energy source, or the proper disposal of e-waste.
Consumer surveys have also unearthed a common frustration felt amongst 50% of American respondents, who don’t believe or feel mislead by claims that going paperless saves trees. In fact, over 80% of respondents felt that these companies chose to go paperless to save money rather than reduce their carbon footprint.
Until the environmental benefits of going paperless are adequately studied and proven in comparison to the carbon footprint of electronic media and communications, there is room for both in the world of business.
For more information, please read this article by Alison Moodie.
Update – December 12, 2014
Phil Riebel, President of Two Sides North America, explains why going paperless is not the way to save American forests.