Two Sides Launches New Global Initiative to Stop the Use of Misleading ‘Go Green – Go Paperless’ Environmental Claims
New research, commissioned by the international non-profit organization Two Sides, has revealed that major global corporations are still using inaccurate and misleading environmental claims to encourage consumers to 'go paperless' and switch from paper-based to digital communication. This is despite legislation being introduced by advertising standards authorities to protect the consumer from being misled.
The survey, undertaken in February 2015, showed that in the U.K., there is still a significant proportion of banks, utilities and telecoms making false environmental claims. Research in the U.S. shows a similar picture with half of the leading Fortune 500 companies in the same sectors doing the same.
"This is extremely frustrating and unacceptable," said Martyn Eustace, founder of the Two Sides initiative. "The fact that marketers in some of the most high profile corporations in the world are still using unsubstantiated and misleading environmental claims to persuade consumers to switch from paper-based to cheaper electronic communication is outrageous. Many consumers want a paper option but they are being manipulated by a lack of clear and accurate information. Paper is based on a natural, highly renewable and recyclable resource and can be a sustainable way to communicate, especially when compared to electronic media.
"This behavior must be tackled and we are, therefore, going on the offensive once again to educate and inform those responsible of their misconduct and to ensure that such organizations don't continue to ignore the law and mislead their most important asset-their customers," he continued.
Two Sides will be engaging with companies in Europe, the U.S., Canada, South America, South Africa and Australia, who have either backed out of on undertakings to stop using misleading environmental claims or are now again claiming that switching to online billing and communication is better for the environment without supplying verifiable supporting evidence.