Two Sides to Sustainability

Phil has over 28 years of international experience related to sustainability and the forest products industry. He currently leads Two Sides North America, a non-profit that promotes the unique sustainable features of print and paper, as well as their responsible production and use. Two Sides operates globally in five continents with members that span the entire graphic communication value chain. Phil has written extensively on sustainability and environmental topics related to the forest products sector. He received his Bachelor and Master's of Science degrees from McGill University in Montreal. He is a private forest owner and sustainably manages over 200 acres of forestland for both recreational and economic benefits.

Every day we send email, navigate the Web and store our videos, photos or music in the Cloud. We often have the impression that the whole process is trivial and nearly free, but this is not at all the case. A recent Guide, La Face Cachée de Numérique, (The Hidden Face of Digital), reveals the widespread environmental impacts of the growing number of digital devices (increasing energy consumption, use of primary minerals, pollution and waste production) and how to reduce them. 

In 2017, Two Sides North America is redoubling its commitment to holding companies to accurate and verifiable claims regarding the environmental footprint or “greenness” of paper-based versus electronic communications. As you know, we’ve already had tremendous success by working with leading Fortune 100 corporations to remove or change misleading anti-paper marketing messages, and avoid greenwashing consumers. As part of our renewed commitment we’re going to start highlighting the “Top Five Greenwashers” in this blog space.

Establishing the exact amount of the CO2 produced by sending an email includes many variables: the energy it takes to move the email across the Internet, process it, view it, store it, reread it and, after some time, delete it. One email may indeed produce an insignificant amount of CO2 but when all those tiny footprints are measured at a global scale, the footprint becomes astonishing in size.

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