Messages such as “Go Green, Go Paperless” are misleading. Two Sides’ new information sheet explains why.
Common inaccuracies about print and paper are still a major issue for the industry. These misconceptions are further reinforced by financial organisations, utility companies and many other service providers, as they increasingly encourage their customers to switch to electronic bills and statements. But instead of focusing on the potential cost savings of digital, often the incentive to switch is based on unfounded environmental claims such as “Go Green – Go Paperless” and “Choose e-billing and help save a tree”. These messages are unsubstantiated, misleading and can have a lasting effect on consumer perceptions of paper. Many leading organisations, including banks, utility companies and telecommunications providers, urge their customers to go paperless with claims that paperless bills, statements and other electronic communications save trees, are “greener” and better for the environment. These statements are greenwashing. These statements are not specific, not supported by reliable scientific evidence or relevant life cycle analyses and are misleading. Without evidence to support the claim being made such communication is Greenwashing and contravenes advertising regulations in most European countries.