Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Greenpeace Sticks It To Toshiba: Company Has No Paper Policy

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:

1 comment:

James Matthews-Paul said...

Great information and well linked. Toshiba has scored a massive own goal on this one, and I am really delighted that the print blogosphere has animated itself suitably to defend itself. However, even though Toshiba was making the wrong point, there are steps we need to take as a sector to ensure that misinformation like this is never even considered proper in the first place.

Great work. Keep it up! -J.