Two Sides updates on global campaign success

Two Sides has so far challenged more than 2,650 organisations found to be communicating greenwashing messages to their customers since its inception, and over 1,180 have, so far, removed misleading anti-paper statements.

10 May 2024 | By PrintWeek Team

Instances of greenwash found can be sent to Two Sides

The print and paper advocacy group said economic pressures remain the driver for much of greenwashing, and that many organisations that have relied on paper to communicate with their customers are increasingly transitioning their customers from traditional paper-based services to digital platforms in a bid to reduce costs.

But it added the switch to digital is often justified by misleading and unsubstantiated environmental marketing messages such as ‘Go Green – Go Paperless’ or ‘Choose e-billing and help save a tree’, which it said are examples of greenwashing.

Consumer preferences are also being ignored in the digital switch, Two Sides added. Data from the 2023 Two Sides ‘Trend Tracker’ report found that 55% of European consumers believe environmental arguments from companies to switch to digital communications are misleading and are about reducing costs.

Additionally, 76% of respondents said they want the choice and do not want to be forced into digital communications.

With an increasing focus on corporate sustainability, Two Sides said other sectors – such as tissue and paper-based packaging – now experience greenwashing with misleading and unsubstantiated marketing of products which claim to be more sustainable for many reasons, including new and alternative sources of fibre.

Two Sides Europe managing director Jonathan Tame said: “These greenwash claims not only violate established environmental marketing regulations but they are hugely damaging for an industry known for its strong and consistently progressive environmental record.

“Far from ‘saving trees’, a healthy market for forest products such as paper encourages the long-term growth of forests through sustainable forest management. Many of the organisations we challenge are surprised to learn that European forests have actually been growing by 1,500 football pitches every day.”

In Europe, to date, 749 companies have removed unsubstantiated claims about paper, including AXA Insurance, Calor Gas, O2 Telefonica, Bredband2, and City Gross.

Tame added: “It remains vital that these misleading messages are challenged to ensure that the industry’s great environmental record is recognised and that the livelihoods of thousands of industry employees are not damaged by the spread of misleading and opportunistic greenwash marketing.”

Research conducted by Two Sides and Censuswide in 2021 found that in the European mailing and postal sector alone, greenwashing threatens the loss of Euros 337-m of value annually to the industry.

Two Sides said its anti-greenwash campaign continues to be a priority for the organisation, and it will continue to urge companies to reject the use of unsubstantiated and misleading environmental claims about going paperless in all of their communications.

The company has asked for any instances of greenwash found to be sent to

“We are grateful for the cooperation of the hundreds of organisations that have changed or eliminated greenwashing claims from their messaging, and we are also thankful for the many industry stakeholders and members of the public who send Two Sides examples of greenwash,” Tame further commented.


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