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Expose Greenwashing: Standing Up Against Misleading Claims!

Expose Greenwashing: Standing Up Against Misleading Claims!

What is Greenwashing?

Greenwashing - ever heard of it?

"Greenwashing is the practice of making an unsubstantiated or misleading claim about the environmental benefits of a product, service, technology or company practice." Two Sides

It's a big problem in the print and paper industry. But fear not because we're here to take a stand and shed some light on the truth!
You see, many financial organisations, utility companies, and service providers are encouraging customers to go digital with promises of being "greener" and saving trees.
But here's the issue: these claims are often baseless, misleading and can seriously influence how people perceive paper. So it's time to set the record straight and uncover the impact of greenwashing.

Messages such as "Go Green, Go Paperless" are misleading

The consequences of greenwashing are far-reaching. From banks to utility companies, the urging to go paperless without scientific evidence or reliable life cycle analyses is downright deceptive.
This practice misleads consumers and harms an industry that employs over 116,000 people in the UK alone (1,096,000 EU) across more than 8,400 businesses (115,700 EU).

Greenwashing can save costs, but not our climate

Let's remember that the primary motivation behind this push for digital communication is often cost reduction, not environmental concern.
This greenwashing game costs the printing and postal industries an estimated £10 million annually. It's time to end these misleading messages once and for all!
"Greenwashing is a severe danger for our industry which, if left unchallenged, threatens the loss of £22.4 million of value annually for the paper, print and mailing industry in the UK (€337 million in Europe)."Two Sides

Greener Mail taking action with Two Sides 

Here at Greener Mail, we have joined forces with Two Sides to combat greenwashing. Through Two Sides' relentless anti-greenwash campaign, they're actively challenging and engaging with companies that use dubious environmental claims about paper usage.
And guess what? Their efforts are paying off! Over 70% of the companies they've confronted have revised or removed their misleading messages. It's a victory for transparency and truth!

The Advertising Standards Authority fights Greenwashing

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) sets clear rules for making environmental claims. According to them, marketers must be clear, truthful, accurate, and not misleading regarding environmental statements.
Claims should be based on the entire life cycle of the product, and marketers must make clear any limitations. Let's hold companies accountable for their claims and demand integrity in their marketing practices.

How do consumers perceive environmental claims?

But what do consumers actually think? Surprisingly, many consumers value paper-based communication and believe they should have the right to choose how they receive information from their service providers. In fact, a whopping 74% of respondents in a survey conducted by Two Sides agreed with this sentiment.
A further 54% believe they should not be charged more for choosing paper bills or statements, and 49% agree that when a service provider asks them to switch to electronic bills/statements, and they say it's better for the environment, it's really about reducing costs.
And let's not forget the 7 million people in the UK who can't even access the internet due to factors like poverty, disability, and rural living.
In addition, over 10.5 million people lack the confidence to use the Internet for transactions. Together that is nearly 1 in 5 of the British population. So we must ensure that everyone has a voice and isn't left behind in this digital age.

Anti-Greenwash Success Stories

Two Sides actively engages organisations found to be using unsubstantiated environmental claims about the use of paper. To date, over 70% of companies engaged by Two Sides have changed or removed misleading messages.

An example of one of Two Sides' biggest wins, which the Advertising Ethics Jury (JDP) agreed with Two Sides on and released a statement, was against DocuSign. You can read more about it here!

"We are conscious of our overall environmental impact and want to support our customers reduce their impact and want to support our customers reduce their impact too. We do, however, appreciate the environmental impact is complex, and definitely don't want our communications to be misleading." – Severn Trent

"For all customer-facing copy, it is important to avoid making any unsubstantiated claims regarding switching from paper to electronic formats."– Brendan McNamara, Head of NGO Engagement, HSBC

So, what can you do to fight against greenwashing? 

Be an eagle-eyed supporter! Keep your eyes peeled for any instances of greenwashing, and report them to Two Sides Together, we can expose the truth and put an end to misleading claims.

At Greener Mail, we are committed to transparency and honesty. We understand the complexities of environmental impact and strive to support our customers in reducing their own carbon footprint. 

We won't resort to misleading communications. Instead, we believe in empowering you with the facts and helping you make informed choices for a greener future.

Join us in this battle against greenwashing. Let's demand honesty, protect our environment, and ensure a future where truth prevails. Together, we can make a difference.

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