Two Sides North America announced that it has registered a greenwashing complaint with GoPaperless Solutions for the use of unsubstantiated environmental marketing claims that Two Sides believes are misleading consumers about the environmental attributes of print and paper.
GoPaperless Solutions marketing messages urge consumers to switch to electronic services with the implication that this is more environmentally responsible than print and paper. The company’s message includes text such as:
“…a unique mobile computing solution allows businesses and individuals to be mobile, to be green and go paperless.”
“Our software solutions are environmentally friendly and eliminates the need for paper based solutions. This saves trees, protects our environment, and allows you to be more productive by saving time and money with every transaction executed.”
“…delivering the latest in total paper-free computing business solutions backed by leading edge service and support with our global ecosystem in mind.”
In addition, the company’s “Green Commitment” makes several claims about the environmental impacts of paper without considering the environmental impacts of switching to electronic communications, and without verifiable studies which are specific to their business.
Two Sides believes that, without sound scientific evidence to support these claims, GoPaperless Solutions is not following environmental marketing best practices as outlined in the US FTC Green Guides and the ISO 14021 standard.
“We understand this is a complicated issue and most companies aren’t aware of the actual facts about the sustainability of print and paper because so many myths exist,” says Phil Riebel, President of Two Sides North America. To help resolve this issue Two Sides launched a campaign in 2012 which encourages leading companies to use best practices when making environmental claims to promote electronic services and billing over paper based communications. To date, over 30 leading corporations, including several major banks, utilities and telecoms, have removed their “anti-paper” environmental claims as a result of discussions with Two Sides. Earlier this year, the campaign was featured in an article by The Guardian titled “Is Digital Greener than Paper?”