Dropbox slammed for ‘misleading claims’ about paper

Dropbox has caused industry outrage after it sent out a greenwashing promo email encouraging people to use its services and stating, misleadingly, that Less paper = more trees.

15 Jun 2022 | By Rahul Kumar

Dropbox has more than 700-m users worldwide

US-headquartered Dropbox offers file sharing and cloud hosting services. It has more than 700-m users worldwide, and nearly 17-m paying customers. Its turnover was USD 2.16-bn last year. 

Two Sides has written to Dropbox co-founder and CEO Drew Houston urging the company to stop using deceptive environmental claims about paper. 

“Dropbox’s misleading claims are damaging consumer and business decision-maker perceptions of paper’s environmental sustainability and threatening the livelihoods of millions of people in the global paper, printing and mail sector,” Two Sides stated. 

It is asking its members, and the wider print and paper industry to amplify the message by contacting Houston, explaining the harm this type of messaging can do to businesses large and small. 

The Dropbox promotion related to Dropbox Backup, Dropbox eSignatures, and, ironically, ‘Dropbox Paper’ an online co-editing tool. 

The email had the subject line, Be-leaf it or not, we can all save more paper.

The greenwashing wording in the promo included: save the trees; learn three ways you can use Dropbox to do your part for the planet by cutting down on paper waste; secure your data and the future of forests; saving trees is our signature move and paper doesn’t grow on trees.

The vast majority of Dropbox’s own greenhouse gas emissions – around 55,000-metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent – are related to its data centres, according to the firm’s 2019-2020 ESG fact sheet, the most recent available. Its data centres accounted for most of its 182,486 MWh of energy use. 

Two Sides has created a sample letter that can be adapted by companies and individuals who wish to add their weight to the campaign. 

“Because we are advocating the use of print on paper, sending your letter by mail will have more impact, but we ask you to email a copy in the first instance and leave it to your discretion if you want to send the letter,” explained membership and anti-greenwash coordinator Gina Smith. 

Since the Two Sides campaign began in 2010, it has successfully challenged more than 880 organisations globally about greenwashing messages. 

(Courtesy PrintWeek.com)

Tags : Dropbox,Two Sides;