Archive for November, 2012

This week we posted our new resource page on Environmental Marketing Best Practices for Print and Paper.

The objective of this page is to provide marketers with some guidelines, tools and advice on how to promote the environmental benefits of print and paper products, and avoid “greenwashing” (the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service – see Terrachoice).  This resource page also supports our current nationwide educational campaign to help companies better understand the sustainability of print and paper and to create greater awareness of best practices for environmental marketing.

As part of this effort, Two Sides has compiled a detailed FAQ sheet to answer the most frequently asked questions about environmental marketing best practices and a list of resources to help companies navigate green marketing do’s and don’ts.

To access a PowerPoint (PDF) version of “Self-declared Environmental Marketing Do’s and Don’ts”, click here.

The U.S. FTC Summary of the Green Guides is a must read and can be found here.  It outlines the key highlights of the new FTC guide for environmental marketing.

To date, one of the best tools I have found for applying proper sustainable marketing is a series of checklists developed by CSR Europe.  The basics of proper environmental marketing are similar throughout the world and I recommend this tool for anyone who wants to follow best practices.

Below are a few key facts to consider:

  • Marketers should not make broad, unqualified general environmental benefit claims like “green” or “eco-friendly”.  Broad claims are difficult to substantiate, if not impossible.
  • Claiming “green, made with recycled content” may be deceptive if the environmental costs of using recycled  content outweigh the environmental benefits of using it.”

              Summary of the Green Guides – U.S. FTC

  • A self-declared environmental claim shall be: accurate and not misleading; substantiated and verified;  relevant to that particular product, and used only in an appropriate context or setting; presented in a manner that clearly indicates whether the claim applies to the complete product, or only to a component part or packaging, or to an element of a service.

              Self-declared environmental claims  (ISO 14021:1999)

  • The most common of the Seven Sins of Greenwashing is the “sin of no proof,” which is defined as an environmental claim that cannot be substantiated by easily accessible supporting information or by a reliable third-party certification.

              The Seven Sins of Greenwashing 2010, Terra Choice

I hope you find our new resource useful and I always appreciate feedback of any kind.

Phil Riebel
President and COO
Two Sides U.S., Inc.

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We have recently updated the following fact sheets related to our Myths and Facts about Print and Paper:

Many of the updates are a result of AF&PA’s most recent industry sustainability report.  Here are a few highlights:

  •  The forest products industry is the largest producer of renewable biomass energy in the United States, generating 77% of the nation’s industrial biomass energy.  Additionally, the renewable energy generated by the forest products industry exceeds all of the nation’s solar, wind and geothermal energy generation combined.
  • The forest products industry is a leader in the production of renewable energy, with more than 65% of the on-site energy needed to produce paper products derived from carbon-neutral biomass.
  • GHG emissions intensity [for the U.S. forest products industry] in 2010 was 10.5% lower than in baseline year 2005.

We invite all our readers to use this information to promote the positive environmental message behind print and paper products.  The fact sheets are intended to make credible facts available to all, and also provide the sources of information.  The system has three levels for each of our seven Myths and Facts – let’s use one Myth and Fact as an example:

  1. Paper Supports Sustainable Forest Management.  Just go to the main web page for a quick overview of the facts.
  2. Then click on the Full Fact Sheet Link at the bottom of the page.
  3. Once you are in the Fact Sheet, you can access all the source documents (citations are hyperlinked to the source documents which are downloadable from our website).  Only public documents are available.

As always…any feedback is welcome.

We are currently putting the finishing touches on a new webpage on Environmental Marketing Best Practices for Print and Paper Products, version 2 of our Myths and Facts brochure,  as well as a new consumer facing website and ad campaign.  More to come on this soon!

Phil Riebel
President and COO
Two Sides U.S., Inc.


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