Update: Toshiba pulled the plug on its campaign the day after this article appeared. See 9 Lessons from Toshiba's No-Print Day Debacle for the full story.
Toshiba's misleading "No-Print Day" campaign may be an attempt to distract us from the company's dismal environmental record.
Greenpeace ranks the company tied for #13, out of 15 major manufacturers, in the latest edition of its annual Guide to Greener Electronics.
Toshiba's score of only 2.8 on a scale of 10 is actually an improvement over the previous year, when Greenpeace penalized it for backtracking on a previous commitment to remove certain hazardous materials from its PCs -- and lying about it.
But here's the kicker: The Greenpeace report says Toshiba "fails to score on paper sourcing as it does not have a paper procurement policy which excludes suppliers that are involved in deforestation and illegal logging."
So the company that wants to lecture us about the environmental impact of print and paper doesn't seem to be doing anything to reduce its own impact.
Toshiba Group's sustainability report says it uses 85,000 tons of packaging materials a year, almost all of it cardboard and other forest products. But nowhere is there a reference to policies on paper purchasing. Nothing about recycled fiber, supporting sustainable forestry, or avoiding purchases from companies that are destroying the Indonesian rainforests.
That raises a question: Which is better for the environment: Going without printing for one day? Or refusing to do business with a major company that fails to take a leadership role on responsible paper purchasing and tries to cover its tracks with blatant greenwashing?
For more on Toshiba's ill-considered effort to make Oct. 23 "National No-Print Day", see:
- 10 Questions About Toshiba's No-Print Day: The article that apparently started stirring up the printing industry a couple of weeks ago about how one of its suppliers was trying to demonize printing.
- Toshiba's No-Print Day As Popular As a Turd in the Punchbowl: Leading thinkers in the printing industry react to Toshiba's blatant greenwashing effort.
- Calling all Print-Archists: Take a REAL STAND Against Toshiba’s No-Print Day!: PrintMediaCentr suggests some creative guerrilla tactics to use against Toshiba's "marketing scam".