Two Sides Program to Focus on Corporate America

CHICAGO—Two Sides, a non-profit industry advocate, has launched a nationwide initiative to assist major U.S. companies in developing and implementing best practices related to environmental marketing claims for print and paper. According to Two Sides research on 94 leading companies, 50 percent of them are using unsubstantiated environmental claims to encourage consumers to switch to lower-cost electronic billing and services.

“The objective of our new program is to offer our expertise at no cost to U.S. corporations who currently make environmental claims about print and paper relative to online billing and communication,” says Two Sides President and COO Phil Riebel. “Our research has shown that many companies are using negative claims that are not verifiable or factual related to the environmental impacts of print and paper, and as a result do not meet best practice guidelines for environmental marketing.

“Two Sides and our 60 member companies are committed to sharing our collective expertise on the life-cycle and environmental impacts of print and paper. Our discussions to date have been very productive and the end result has been more accurate claims that are not damaging to the paper, printing and mailing sectors that provide over eight million U.S. jobs.”

Two Sides, which represents companies across the graphic communications supply chain, will assist companies to develop and follow best practices for environmental marketing, including the use of science-based and verifiable information. The non-profit conducted a similar campaign in the United Kingdom with great success. More than 80 percent of the U.K. companies approached—including well-known names like British Telecom, Barclaycard, Vodafone and EON Energy—agreed to change their messaging to eliminate misleading or factually incorrect environmental claims about the use of print and paper.

“The fact is, print and paper products made in the United States have a great environmental story to tell,” Riebel says. “Paper comes from a renewable resource—trees grown in responsibly managed forests—and it’s recycled more than any other commodity, including plastics, metals and glass. The continuing demand for sustainably sourced paper gives U.S. landowners and families a financial incentive to continue managing their lands responsibly and keep them forested rather than selling them for development or other non-forest uses.

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