Two Sides reports anti-Greenwash success
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Press release from the issuing company
London, UK – Two Sides has achieved measurable success from its national campaign to educate major UK corporate companies such as Banks & Building Societies, Utilities and Telecoms about using misleading or factually incorrect environmental claims in their marketing message to promote lower cost electronic billing and services.
Two Sides targeted companies who claimed that switching to online communication was better for the environment without verifiable supporting evidence. Two Sides was increasingly worried that this was giving misleading information to consumers and encouraging them not to use paper when, in fact, it is one of the most sustainable ways of communicating. Greenwash of this nature is creating a false impression about the sustainability of print and paper and has a detrimental effect on the print and paper industry.
Out of a total of 33 major corporate companies contacted, including well known names such as EON Energy; Barclaycard and Vodafone, Two Sides has so far had a positive dialogue with 27 CEOs and staff from their legal departments. As a result those companies have changed their online environmental claims or are engaging with Two Sides to use different wording that doesn't include possibly misleading or factually incorrect environmental claims in online marketing information. Regarding the six companies that have not replied to any correspondence so far, Two Sides will continue to actively challenge them and if concerns are not addressed complaints will be lodged with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Two Sides Director Martyn Eustace comments on the success of the campaign: "While Two Sides welcomes an increased awareness of corporate responsibility and sustainability it is wrong to try and gain environmental credibility by making misleading "green" marketing to encourage customers to receive their bills or communications online. However, we have been extremely pleased with the positive feedback and successful outcome from many of the companies contacted." He concludes: "Two Sides sees this positive feedback as a vital step forward in achieving the correct messaging about paper and helping the environment. Although we have still some way to go in achieving full recognition of the sustainability of paper with major companies the success of our national campaign proves that it is possible to engage positively to achieve successful results for the future good of the paper and print industries. If a company wants to encourage customers to switch to e-billing because it is more efficient and offers lower cost for the sender then we have no quarrel with that. But we will continue to fight all way in the future to stop corporates from making a link between reducing the use of paper and helping the environment unless they have proof that this is so."
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