Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Anti-Greenwash Group To Challenge E-Billing Claims in the U.S.

U.S. companies now might want to think twice about promoting paperless billing by sending those "go green, go paperless" messages to their customers.

Two Sides, the industry-backed organization that has successfully challenged the truthfulness of such claims in the U.K. and Europe, announced the opening of a U.S. branch today.

The mission of Two Sides U.S. will be "to promote the sustainability of paper and print in the U.S. market," said Kevin Gammonley, CEO of NPTA Alliance, a trade association of paper merchants that is helping the U.S. branch get off the ground. "In our first phase of fundraising, we have received commitments from over 30 paper distributors who have decided to become early adopters of Two Sides in the U.S."

Before Two Sides revved up in the U.K., the Two Sides announcement said, "Research ... revealed that "43% of the major banks, 70% of telecoms and 30% of utilities were using misleading environmental statements to support their marketing messages, thereby conflicting with current advertising regulations which are in place in most countries."

"In 2010, Two Sides launched a campaign to target companies who claim that switching to online communication is better for the environment without verifiable supporting evidence," said Two Sides founder Martyn Eustace. "As a result, Two Sides has so far convinced 27 out of 33 major corporations to change their environmental claims or use wording that doesn’t include misleading or incorrect statements related to e-billing."

"We will be tailoring the campaign to the U.S. paper and print media market to ensure people understand that the responsible use of print and paper is a sustainable and effective way of communicating, said Phil Riebel, an environmental consultant and columnist who helped organize the U.S. branch. "A number of major pulp and paper producers and a large U.S. brand-name retailer" have joined the U.S. campaign.

For more information about how dead-tree (paper-based) communication stacks up environmentally against dead-dinosaur (electronic) methods, please see:

1 comment:

Papyrus said...

I'm all for accountability in marketing claims. And don't dispute the economic benefit for companies in moving customers, which likely leads to inflated claims.

I cringe at the reference to Two Sides as an "anti-greenwash" group when they are clearly astroturf for the paper and print industry. They are seeking to help increase sales of print and paper products by painting the status quo of the paper industry as wall to wall green. Seems to be there's a term for that I've heard before....hmmmm.