Two Sides exposes surge in greenwashing amid sustainability push

Two Sides reported a significant increase in greenwashing as organizations focus on sustainability. The organization has challenged over 2,650 companies for communicating misleading greenwashing messages to their customers, resulting in more than 1,180 organizations removing antipaper statements.
Economic pressures are a key driver of greenwashing, with many companies transitioning customers from paper-based to digital services to cut costs.

This shift is often justified with unsubstantiated environmental claims such as “Go Green – Go Paperless” and “Choose e-billing and help save a tree,” misleading consumers about the true environmental impact.

Greenwashing is also prevalent in other sectors like tissue and paper-based packaging, where products are marketed as more sustainable without sufficient evidence. These misleading claims violate environmental marketing regulations and harm the paper industry’s reputation. Contrary to the claims, a robust market for paper products supports sustainable forest management, contributing to the growth of
European forests by an area equivalent to 1,500 football pitches daily.

Globally, Two Sides has engaged over 2,650 organizations making misleading statements about paper. In Europe, 749 companies have removed unsubstantiated claims. The organization stresses the importance of challenging these misleading messages to uphold the paper industry’s environmental record and protect the livelihoods of over 640,000 employees in more than 112,000 European businesses.

The financial impact of greenwashing is also a global concern. Research by Two Sides and Censuswide in 2021 found that greenwashing in the European mailing and postal sector alone threatens the loss of €337 million annually. The Anti-greenwash campaign remains a priority for Two Sides, urging companies to avoid unsubstantiated environmental claims about going paperless in their communications.

Intergraf is actively combating false green claims within the print industry, also through its membership in Two Sides. By collaborating with Two Sides, Intergraf aims to challenge misconceptions and misleading statements about the environmental impact of paper and print products.
Source Interfraf June 2024