Why Going Paperless May Not Be Greener

For Earth Day on April 22, Two Sides North America is releasing a new infographic that explains why going paperless may not be greener.

The new infographic exposes misleading environmental claims such as “go green – go paperless” and busts key myths about the switch from paper to digital.

The infographic spotlights key facts, including:

  • U.S. forests grew by 5,800 NFL football fields per day between 2007 and 2012 due to sustainable forestry practices
  • 91% of U.S. consumers surveyed agree that print and paper can be a sustainable way to communicate when responsibly produced, used and recycled.
  • Paper is one of the most recycled products in North America with recovery rates of 66% and higher.
  • Electronic communications have a significant and growing environmental footprint that corporations cannot ignore.
  • 85% of U.S. consumers surveyed agree that “go green – go paperless” claims are designed to save costs.

“The objective of this new infographic is to make people realize that most environmental claims related to going paperless are based on marketing and cost reduction tactics rather than verifiable and specific scientific facts – a requirement of the Green Guides published by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission,” says Phil Riebel, President of Two Sides North America. “As a result, over 170 leading corporations across the globe, including many of the Fortune 100, have removed such claims.” Two Sides has run an anti-greenwash campaign since 2012.

Fact sheets, white papers, and other reports that document the claims made on the infographic can be found on the Two Sides website.

About Two Sides

Two Sides is an independent, non-profit organization created to promote the responsible production, use and sustainability of print and paper. Two Sides is active globally in North America, Europe, Australia, South Africa, Brazil and Colombia.Going Paperless Infographic

Alternative Email Footers

Some misleading claims about the environmental effects of printing can be found on emails that suggest the printing email kills trees. According to Two Sides North America, these types of claims ignore the unique sustainable features of print on paper as well as the growing environmental footprint of our electronic infrastructure.”

In a blog post entitled, “Print and Paper-Friendly Email Footers,” Two Sides North America suggests 15 alternative footers, including the following:

  • Print on paper is renewable, recyclable, and powerful. If you print, please recycle. Visit www.twosidesna.org for more information.
  • Printed emails create a permanent and durable record but please ensure all paper is recycled. Visit www.twosidesna.org for more information.
  • In North America we grow many more trees than are harvested every year. Responsibly produced paper can be an environmentally sustainable way to communicate. If you print, please recycle. Visit www.twosidesna.org for more information.
  • Unlike many products we use, responsibly produced paper comes from a natural, renewable resource. North American working forests are good for the environment, providing clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat, and carbon storage. If you print, please recycle. Visit www.twosidesna.org for more information.
  • Paper production helps maintain working forests. Thanks to sustainable forest management, the number of trees in the U.S. has increased by over 50% in the past 60 years. If you print, please recycle. Visit www.twosidesna.org for more information.

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