Two Sides tells 320 companies to stop greenwashing

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In the last year, global print advocacy group Two Sides engaged 320 organisations who its says were making misleading statements about paper, with 134 of them so far removing such statements from their communications.

TRMC CEO: Kellie Northwood
Engaging: Kellie Northwood

Two Sides Australia and New Zealand engaged with 67 organisations. Kellie Northwood, CEO, said, "We are seeing good success with the anti-greenwashing campaign. We engage on the basis of science, which we communicate clearly, and which is clear - printed products are not detrimental to the environment, in fact they are the most recyclable, renewable, sustainable form of communication there is."

The big number in the last year, which includes Europe, North and South America, and South Africa, brings the total to 710 companies that have removed misleading greenwashing statements since the Two Sides campaign began in 2010. The 67 ANZ organisations represent a cross section of the corprate world. Northwood says, "Some respond directly to us, some just quietly change their websites following our engagement. We monitor their comms following our initial engagement. Sometimes things change quickly, sometimes it takes time."

Two Sides ANZ will typically contact the marketing department, the sustainability head, and the legal counsel of the organisation. Northwood said, "The ACCC have made it clear in the last year that greenwashing will not be tolerated."

The global initiative is lead by Two Sides managing director Jonathan Tame. He said, “Not only are these greenwash claims in breach of established environmental marketing rules, but they are hugely damaging to an industry which has a solid and continually improving 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 engage are always surprised to learn that in Europe alone forests have actually been growing by 1500 football pitches every day.”

treesGreenwashing: wrongly blaming print for forest destruction

“Greenwashing is a serious issue for our sector, and we have seen a worrying increase driven by current economic pressures”, says, Tame, “Because of the huge reach of some of these greenwashing organisations, their unsubstantiated claims have a damaging effect on consumer perceptions of paper.

“This is why the Anti-greenwash Campaign continues to be a priority for Two Sides, and we will continue to urge companies to reject the use of unsubstantiated and misleading environmental claims about going paperless in all of their communications.

“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 concludes.

Two Sides continues to actively challenge major organisations found to be misleading consumers by using environmental claims about the use of paper. Please send any instances of greenwash to

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