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TWOSIDES_1©Matthew HamsIn 2013, 72% of Americans surveyed said that print and paper can be a sustainable way to communicate when produced and used responsibly (Toluna and Two Sides, 2013). This was great news and indicated that many people understand the sustainable nature of paper.

Have you ever thought about what defines a sustainable product? A bit of research on this topic shows that the key features include:

  • made from a renewable resource
  • re-usable and recyclable
  • made using renewable energy

…the exact features of forest products, like wood and paper! Here are key points to remind us of the great features of print and paper:

1- Paper supports sustainable forest management. The North American paper industry promotes sustainable forestry and depends on sustainable forest growth to provide a reliable supply of wood fiber. Paper manufacturers do this by encouraging forest sustainability through their purchase and use of certified wood fiber and by promoting sustainable forest management policies and practices. By providing a dependable market for responsibly grown fiber, the industry also encourages landowners to continue managing their forestland instead of selling it for development or other non-forest uses. Read more.

2- Sustainable forest management benefits people and the planet. Collecting used paper and recycling it into new products is good for the environment. However, the wood fibers in paper can be recycled only about five times before they get too weak and break down. That’s why we need fresh fiber harvested from responsibly managed forests, too. Using fresh fiber creates a sustainable cycle of high-quality recyclable material to continually replenish recycled fiber. Without fresh wood fiber, recycled fiber would quickly run out and most paper production would cease within months. Read more.

TWOSIDES_3©Matthew Hams3- Paper is one of the most recycled products in the world. Paper is the most recycled product in the world. Since we began tracking how much paper gets recycled back in 1990, the recovery rate for used paper has increased dramatically. We’re not only recovering more, but we now know how to get the most environmental and economic benefits from using recycled paper in new products. Read more.

4- Much of the energy used in pulp and papermaking is renewable. Nearly two-thirds of the energy used by U.S. pulp and paper mills is self-generated using renewable, carbon-neutral biomass in high-efficiency combined heat and power (CHP) systems.   In fact, the U.S. paper and forest products industry produces and uses more renewable energy than all other industrial sectors combined. Read more.

5- The carbon footprint of paper is not as high as you think. For paper products, the carbon footprint includes all greenhouse gas emissions from harvesting trees through the manufacturing process to use and disposal or recycling. A look across this entire life cycle shows that paper’s carbon footprint can be divided into three basic elements: greenhouse gas emissions, carbon sequestration and avoided emissions.   Each of these elements is influenced by important characteristics that make paper’s carbon footprint smaller than might be expected:   it’s made from a renewable resource that stores carbon, it’s manufactured using mostly renewable energy and it’s recyclable. Read more.

6- Electronic media also has environmental impacts that cannot be ignored. Rather than asking which is better, paper or electronic communication, we should be working to determine which combination of the two has the least impact on the environment while best meeting social and economic needs.   As the population and resulting demand on resources continues to grow, a sustainable future will necessarily depend more heavily on the use of renewable and recyclable products and less on non-renewable materials and the use of fossil fuel energy. Read more.

7- “Go Green – Go Paperless” messages can be misleading and may not meet best practices for environmental marketing. Many leading U.S. companies are urging their customers to go paperless with claims that paperless bills, statements and other electronic communications save trees, are “greener” or otherwise protect the environment. Beyond the fact that “go paperless” marketing messages ignore the highly sustainable nature of print on paper – it comes from a renewable resource, is recyclable and recycled more than any other commodity in the U.S. and has great carbon characteristics – these claims fail to meet the most basic tests for acceptable environmental marketing as outlined by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and others. Read more.

8- Paper is one of the few truly sustainable products. Paper is made from a natural resource that is renewable, recyclable and compostable. These features, combined with the paper industry’s advocacy of responsible forestry practices and certification, use of renewable, carbon-neutral biofuels and advances in efficient papermaking technology, make paper a product with inherent and unique sustainable features. Read more.

There you have it. Each one of the above paragraphs links to our more detailed fact sheets packed with great information and backed-up with verifiable evidence and scientific reports.

Happy Earth Day!

Phil Riebel
President, Two Sides North America

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fsjpegWhen it comes to the sustainability of the Graphic Communications Value Chain, it’s important to separate verifiable facts from opinions and misleading information. Fortunately, Two Sides (www.twosides.us) has the resources that can help.

Two Sides has posted nine new 2-page Fact Sheets related to the sustainability of print and paper. Written in clear, easy-to-understand language and including citations to verifiable sources, these Fact Sheets make it easy to understand that print, paper, and packaging have a great environmental story to tell.

Below you’ll find a quick summary of each of the nine new Fact Sheets, plus a link leading to the fact sheet itself.  Please feel free to share these valuable resources with colleagues, customers, students and local media. You can be part of Two Sides’ efforts to end the harmful practice of “greenwashing” (using inflated, inaccurate, or misleading data to misrepresent environmental performance).  Check out the facts, then click through for the downloadable Fact Sheets:

FACT: “Go Green – Go Paperless” and “Save-a-Tree” claims are misleading and may not meet best practices for environmental marketing.  These marketing messages ignore the highly sustainable nature of print on paper – it comes from a renewable resource, is recyclable and recycled more than any other commodity in the U.S. and has great carbon characteristics. Learn More

FACT: Anti-paper environmental claims are often inaccurate and should be challenged. After research showed that more than half of America’s leading banks, utilities and telecommunications companies are using misleading anti-paper environmental marketing claims, Two Sides began its “myth-busting” campaign. To date, more than 40% of those contacted have eliminated unsubstantiated anti-paper claims from their marketing. Learn More

FACT: E-Media also have environmental impacts. A recent study estimates that developing countries will produce at least twice as much electronic waste (e-waste) as developed countries within the next six to eight years. Uncontrolled toxic emissions can result from the informal recycling practices often used in the developing world; these emissions can include dioxins, furans, and cyanide. Learn More

FACT: The carbon footprint of paper is not as high as you may think. The U.S. 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. Learn More

FACT: Sustainable forest management benefits people and the planet. In addition to replenishing the supply of recycled fiber, the U.S. paper industry’s perpetual use of trees harvested from responsibly managed forests has a host of economic, social and environmental benefits. Learn More

FACT: Paper is one of the most recycled products in the world. In 2012, nearly 51 million tons or 65.1% of the paper used in the United States was recovered for recycling, up 76% since 1990. The industry’s new recovery goal is to exceed 70% by 2020. Learn More

FACT: Most of the energy used to make pulp and paper is renewable. The print and paper industry accounts for only 1% of global carbon dioxide emissions; at a global level, the greenhouse gas emissions from the forest products industry value chain are largely offset by sequestration in forests and forest products. Learn More

FACT: Paper is one of the few truly sustainable products. Paper is made from a natural resource that is renewable, recyclable and compostable; in the United States, paper is recycled more than any other commodity in the municipal solid waste stream, including plastics, glass and metals. Learn More

FACT: Paper supports sustainable forest management. The income U.S. landowners receive for products grown on their land—including wood for papermaking—encourages them to maintain, renew and manage this valuable resource sustainably, instead of converting forestland to non-forest uses. Learn More

Led by sustainable and responsible forestry, paper production and printing, the U.S. Graphic Communications Value Chain is working to ensure that, in a world of scarce resources, print and paper’s unique recyclable and renewable qualities can be enjoyed for generations to come. By sharing these Fact Sheets, you can help Two Sides U.S. and its member companies strengthen the paper, packaging, print, and related industries—and make an important contribution to real environmental sustainability. Find more resources, plus information on how to become a member company, at www.twosides.us.

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Any first-year marketing undergrad can tell you that successful selling comes from building trust and listening to customers.  So, why are many U.S. banks, telecom companies and utilities turning a deaf ear to the majority of consumers who say getting paper bills and statements is important to them?

Just about anybody can tell you that the push to go paperless is really about cost savings. In fact, 84% of people in a recent Two Sides survey agreed that paperless bills and statements are being promoted to reduce costs.  But how much does cost cutting benefit the bottom line if companies are losing customers as a result?  In that same survey, 64% of consumers said that when they’re shopping for a new service provider, they would skip companies that don’t offer the option of a paper bill.   Nearly six in 10 also said they would refuse to switch to e-bills and statements or would not take any action if asked to do so.

Most consumers aren’t buying the companies’ “go paperless, go green” marketing claims either.  According to the survey, half of consumers do not believe, feel misled by or question the validity of such claims.   Nearly three quarters, 72%, believe that when print on paper is responsibly produced, used and recycled, it can be an environmentally sustainable way to communicate.   The survey also found that about a third of people who receive electronic bills and statements print them out at home, so the claim that e-billing is paperless isn’t really true in many cases.

Some may believe that a single survey doesn’t provide enough evidence to make the case for any particular point of view, but even the most skeptical observer can’t deny the growing body of research that shows consumers want a choice when it comes to paper versus electronic billing.  In a national survey conducted by Consumers for Paper Options, 80% of consumers said it’s not okay for companies to force electronic-only bills and statements on their customers.  87% agree the main reason companies want to shift customers to electronic delivery formats is to save money, not to be environmentally responsible.  Similar sentiments were expressed by Britons in surveys conducted by Two Sides U.K. and Keep Me Posted, a broad-based coalition of organizations whose members depend on postal mail.

To me, the decision to continue offering free, paper-based billing options is a no-brainer, especially in industries like telecommunications and banking where competition is fierce.  Consumers have made it pretty clear that paper bills and statements are an important option they want to keep.   When the research data show that even a majority of technology savvy under-25 year olds share the belief that paper options should be preserved, billing companies must ask themselves three important questions:

  1. Can we truly afford to ignore the majority of our customers?
  2. What will be the long-term reputational (and potential legal) implications if we willfully disenfranchise the nearly 30% of American households that don’t have regular internet access, including 45% of seniors who don’t own computers (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2011)? and,
  3. How long will it be before the U.S. Federal Trade Commission takes notice of the vague, unsubstantiated environmental claims we’re using to disguise our cost-saving efforts?

I’m certainly not suggesting that e-billing is a bad thing – it has a lot of positive benefits, including convenience.    But most consumers want and many need paper options.   Companies that dismiss this fact risk losing business.  And those that continue to use unverifiable claims like “go paperless, save trees” as a green cloak for cost cutting risk greater scrutiny by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Kathi Rowzie is a Two Sides guest blogger and a sustainability communications consultant with The Gagliardi Group in Memphis, Tennessee.

For information on the successful Two Sides educational campaign that is helping leading U.S. companies change their messaging to meet best practices for environmental marketing as outlined in the U.S. FTC Green Guides, click here.

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Infotrends study commissioned by Consumer for Paper Options

Infotrends study commissioned by Consumer for Paper Options

As banks, utilities and other types of companies push paperless bills saying electronic communications are “greener” and “protect the environment,” results of a new nationwide poll  show consumers just don’t buy those claims.  In fact, an overwhelming majority — 87% — believe the main reason companies want to shift customers to electronic delivery formats is to save money, not to be environmentally responsible.

The poll, conducted for Consumers for Paper Options (CPO) to determine American attitudes toward government mandates and private sector programs that require electronic-only communications, also found that 84% of consumers think companies should not be able to force the shift to electronic bills, statements and other documents.   (The Executive Summary of the poll, Access for All: American Attitudes Regarding Paper & Digital Information, is available here.)

It’s clear that just about everybody thinks “go paperless, go green” marketing is ultimately about cost savings – a perfectly legitimate corporate goal – so why not just say that?   Does is make good business sense to continue making unfounded claims about the sustainability of paper (aka greenwashing) if most consumers don’t believe them? 

Companies that continue to use unsubstantiated environmental marketing claims about print and paper not only risk eroding trust in their brands, but also may invite attention from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  The FTC’s Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, better known as the Green Guides,  are very clear that environmental claims should be based on “competent and reliable scientific evidence” which they further define as “tests, analyses, research, or studies that have been conducted and evaluated in an objective manner by qualified persons and are generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results.”

But even without the full scientific scrutiny of a complete life-cycle assessment, three basic comparisons of print on paper vs. pixels serve up a pretty compelling case for paper’s environmental sustainability and for keeping it as a communications option for consumers. 

  1. Paper is made from a renewable resource, wood fiber from trees. Computers and the data center infrastructure that supports them are made primarily from finite resources – petroleum-based plastics, metals and rare earth minerals.
  2. More than 65% of the energy used to manufacture paper in the United States comes from renewable, carbon-neutral biomass.  With very few exceptions, the growing infrastructure of the U.S. information and communications technology sector is powered by electricity generated from fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases and contribute to climate change. 
  3. In 2012, 65.1% of paper produced in the United States was recovered for recycling (AF&PA) compared to only 38% of computers in 2009 (the most recent figure available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), and e-waste is the fastest growing municipal waste stream in the United States.  

Whether or not they always follow through, I think most people want to be environmentally responsible in their choice of products and services.   Companies that play fast and loose with environmental marketing claims like “go paperless, go green” only serve to make it more difficult for people to make valid choices and to erode trust in all green marketing claims – including those that represent real environmental value.

It’s time to wise up corporate America!  Show your customers a little respect and pull back the green veil that covers the real intent of your anti-paper marketing messages.   They’ll appreciate your honesty … and so will the FTC.

Kathi Rowzie is a Two Sides guest blogger and a sustainability communications consultant with The Gagliardi Group in Memphis, Tennessee.

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The topic of using recycled fiber in printing papers is being discussed more actively within the Two Sides network these days due to the notion that “more recycled content in printing papers is better for the environment”.

I would add: “it depends on the situation”.  I say this because generalizing the benefits of recycled fiber use can be misleading due to the many environmental and economic factors at play in the life cycle of paper products.  In other words, wood-based paper grades can be equally or more sustainable if they are being produced responsibly.

We do need to talk about sustainability in this case because buying paper to make printed products involves both economic and environmental considerations. (1)

Recovering and recycling paper products is a good thing.  It reduces waste to landfill and extends the use of a valuable raw material.  In turn, recovered paper should be re-used as a raw material in products in the most sustainable way possible.  That may or may not include high-end printing papers (ex: catalogs and magazines).

There are industry arguments on both sides of the coin.  There are many who say that one of the most sustainable ways to use recovered paper is in lower quality grades of paper (ex: carton board, paperboard) where less processing and no de-inking is needed.  This typically also means less cost and less environmental concerns.  Others point out that high quality recovered paper (if available) should be re-used to make printing papers due to its high content of long (Kraft) fibers.  In either situation, the right conditions must be in place to make it environmentally and economically sustainable.

The environmental footprint of a grade of printing paper depends entirely on its specific life cycle (forestry practices, environmental performance of pulp and paper mills and suppliers, transportation, etc.).  In our industry, many of the environmental indicators associated with this life cycle are measured and reported in terms of emissions to air, water, soil and solid waste to landfill, among many others.  For companies committed to sustainability, tracking these indicators and improving performance is a key method used to reduce the overall environmental footprint of their paper products.

The environmental performance of the pulp and paper industry varies widely between countries, between companies and between manufacturing facilities.  This is because environmental performance depends on the use of best available technology and the commitment to sustainability of a given company or facility.

Each product life cycle is also associated with other elements such as forest biodiversity and the ecosystem services of a well-managed forest (water filtration, air purification and carbon sequestration), recreational benefits, jobs created and community spin-offs from forestry and manufacturing, the cost of de-inked pulp, paper quality considerations, the distance needed to transport recovered paper and de-inked pulp for processing, and more.

Although Life-cycle Assessment (LCA) studies can be useful tools to help understand the environmental footprint of paper products, they have limitations and they cannot consider many of the environmental and economic considerations listed above.  Results should be communicated with caution across product categories and they should not be seen as an indication of overall “sustainability”.

The two graphs below show the variability in solid waste generation from two different types of integrated printing paper mills: ones using wood-based mechanical pulp (left) and ones using de-inked pulp (right).  Each data point (squares and circles) represents a pulp and paper mill site.

rcf

The range, from low to high, is similar in both cases and it is very possible to have an integrated mechanical pulp and paper mill site with better performance than an integrated recycled mill site.  Based on industry benchmarking studies I have participated in, the same is true for other environmental indicators as well.

Another example would be an increased carbon footprint of an office paper grade due to switching from a low-carbon Kraft pulp supply to a de-inked recycled pulp supplier that relies heavily on fossil fuels.  Kraft pulp can have a relatively low carbon footprint due to low reliance on fossil fuels and use of renewable, carbon-neutral energy (biomass and black liquor).  Sappi’s most recent eQ Journal, Rethinking Recycling, also discusses this topic.

The above examples illustrate the potential risks of generalizing the benefits of using recycled fiber without looking into the environmental performance of specific paper products and manufacturers. For certain grades of paper, it can lead to over-stating the environmental benefits of one raw material (recycled fiber) over another (wood fiber) and this appears to contravene the US Federal Trade Commission Green Guides.

My point is that wood-based paper grades can have a lower environmental footprint than grades containing recycled content just because of the specific situation and life cycle that surrounds each paper grade, and vice-versa. One can also be more economical to produce than the other depending on the situation (ex: proximity and cost of fiber).

Recycled fiber and wood fiber from well-managed forests can be equally sustainable raw materials for papermaking.  If we want to evaluate environmental performance, we should be spending less time debating about which fiber type to use and more time measuring real product-specific environmental performance indicators.  Several tools, such as environmental scorecards and declarations, are available to collect specific data on companies, mill sites and paper grades (ex: Environmental Paper Assessment Tool, Paper Profile, WWF Paper Scorecard or customized scorecards).

(1) Sustainability involves three pillars: economic, environmental and social demands.  The simple definition is: “sustainability is improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems” (Wikipedia).

Additional recommended reading:

Phil Riebel
President and COO
Two Sides US, Inc.

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The following open letter has been sent to Mr. Eric Schmidt of Google and highlights Two Sides’ concerns that Google and others are trying to promote their services as environmentally preferable to print and paper whereas there is significant evidence that electronic communication, and Google’s activities in particular, carry a significant and increasing environmental footprint.

Mr. Eric Schmidt
Chairman of the Board
Google Inc.
Mountain View, CA
USA   94043

Dear Mr Schmidt,

We read with some incredulity the news of Google’s encouragement to consumers to ‘Go Paperless in 2013’. This initiative is accompanied by pictures of trees and US recycling data that presumably is intended to highlight the environmental benefits that will arise from ‘going paperless’. http://www.paperless2013.org/.

Google is joined in the project by US based organizations HelloFax, an online fax service; Manilla, an online bill management service; HelloSign, an e-signature service; Expensify, an online expense reporting service; Xero, an online business accounting service; and Fujitsu, which makes the ScanSnap scanner.

While the products and services delivered by Google are to be admired, this new initiative is clearly another example of a self-interested organization using an environmentally focused marketing campaign to promote its services while ignoring its own impact upon the environment.

Let’s consider the facts:

Google’s own environmental impact is astounding (1).

  •  Google uses 2.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year. This would power 207,000 US homes for one year, or about 41 Empire State Buildings.
  • Data centre power use accounts for roughly 2 per cent of the US’s annual electricity consumption.
  • For every kilowatt-hour used for computing in a typical data centre, nearly a whole additional kilowatt-hour is used for running cooling and heating systems.
  • 100 searches on Google is equivalent to burning a 60 watt light bulb for 20 minutes, using 0.03Kwh electricity and 20 gms of carbon dioxide.
  • 100 minutes of YouTube video is equivalent to burning a 60 watt light bulb for 13 minutes, using 0.02 Kwh of electricity and 13 gms of carbon dioxide.
  • Every gmail user uses 2.2Kwh energy every year and generates 1.2kg of carbon dioxide.

Greenpeace (2) highlights that E-waste is now the fastest growing component of the municipal solid waste stream. In Europe e-waste is increasing at three to five percent a year, almost three times faster than the total waste stream. The amount of electronic products discarded globally has skyrocketed recently, with 20-50 million tonnes generated every year. Electronic waste (e-waste) now makes up five percent of all municipal solid waste worldwide.

Studies (3) have reached the conclusion that document reading, if intended to be read more than once or by several people, may be more environmentally friendly if printed.

A New York Times recent article (4) revealed the extraordinary impact electronic communication is having on the environment.

In the United States, more trees are grown than are harvested and the volume of trees growing on US forestland has increased 49% over the last 50 years (5).  The amount of US forestland has remained essentially the same for the last 100 years at about 750 million acres, even though the US population tripled during the same period (6). Forest cover in Europe is now 30% larger than in 1950 and has been increasing by 1.5 million soccer fields every year.

Let’s remember that paper is made from wood, a sustainable and renewable product that is an increasingly valuable resource for the creation of a vast range of sustainable products.  Responsibly managed forests are a critical resource that benefit the environment and also provide wood and wood by-products that are now seen as a preferred material as society tries to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. It takes energy to produce paper but most of it is renewable and, as an example, over 65% of the energy used to make pulp and paper in the US, and 54% in Europe, originates from renewable biomass (7, 8).

So, before encouraging people to go paperless, and particularly inferring that electronic  services are better for the environment,  Google and others need to examine their own impacts and perhaps might reflect that, on balance, print and paper can be a sustainable way to communicate.

In reality we live in an increasingly digital world and electronic and paper based communication coexist. Each has environmental impacts and it would be helpful, and more honest with consumers, if organizations would not try to differentiate their products and services on the basis of spurious and unattributed environmental claims.  Such Greenwash marketing is not only damaging to corporate reputations but also increasingly, we consider, in flagrant disregard of advertising standards such as those of the U.S Federal Trade Commission and DEFRA (UK) (9, 10).

We hope that Google reconsiders its participation in this campaign.

Yours sincerely,

Martyn Eustace                                                      Phil Riebel

Director, Two Sides UK                                       President, Two Sides U.S., Inc.


Sources:

  1.  Google/Associated Press, Sep 8, 2011, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_platform
  2. Greenpeace, The e-waste problem.  http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/toxics/electronics/the-e-waste-problem/
  3. Energy Use of Print vs. Electronic Media, Tejo Pydipati October 24, 2010. http://www.twosides.info:8080/content/rsPDF_288.pdf
  4. The Cloud Factories, Power, Pollution and the Internet.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/technology/data-centers-waste-vast-amounts-of-energy-belying-industry-image.html?_r=1&,
  5. Society of American Foresters, 2007. http://www.twosides.info/Content/rsPDF_86.pdf
  6. USDA Forest Service, 2010. http://www.twosides.info/Content/rsPDF_84.pdf
  7. 2012 AF&PA Sustainability Report.  http://www.twosides.info:8080/content/rsPDF_255.pdf
  8. Two Sides/CEPI.   http://www.twosides.org.au/The-European-paper-industry-is-one-of-Europes-biggest-producers-of-biomass-energy
  9. U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Environmental Claims – Summary of the Green Guides. http://www.twosides.info:8080/content/rsPDF_267.pdf
  10. DEFRA’s Quick Guide to Making a Good Environmental Claim, UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.  Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. http://www.twosides.info:8080/content/rsPDF_279.pdf

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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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