Responding to misleading information and statements is important. Very often, in order to promote a cost saving initiative, organisations, particularly public utilities, will state that receiving information by non paper means is more environmentally friendly. This is often either incorrect or not backed by any evidence.
The following selection of letters and statements have been written to various organisations with the aim of setting out the facts:
Two Sides Response to EEPN Claims, 9th July 2013
It has come to the notice of Two Sides that the EEPN, the European Environmental Paper Network, “… a network of non-profit organisations working together to accelerate social and environmental transformation in the paper industry” is making claims about the sustainability of the paper and associated industries which either require substantiation or retraction. This document sets out our response to EEPN and furthermore we ask that EEPN ensure much greater care is taken in future to ensure the accuracy of information
Oce announced in August that they had joined the Paperless Project Coalition which seeks to promote the use of electronic storage and communication as a 'Green' opportunity for business. Two Sides wrote and presented some facts and information; requesting that Oce reconsider their membership of this organisation and use their influence to ensure that messages were factual.
International Hotels are encouraging the members of their Priority Club to help the environment with the phrase: 'Save Paper = More Points = Better Planet'.. Two Sides wrote and presented some facts and information; requesting that IHG reconsider this statement and visit the Two Sides website to get the true facts.
BT announced to their customers to ‘Do your bit for the environment’ and ‘Go paper-free’. Whilst the efficiency of electronic communication is clear and initiatives to reduce waste are to be encouraged, Two Sides was concerned that incorrect and damaging impressions are being given here and also seek to gain credibility by purporting to aid sustainability at the expense of the paper industry. Two Sides wrote to the head of BT to set out the facts and asked them to remove this misleading statement.
Bates and Doveys
Bates Office and Doveys Office were encouraging customers to switch from using both virgin and recycled paper to “100% Wood Free” paper on the basis of inaccurate and unsupported environmental claims. This document also claimed that “Tree Free Paper is a better choice for the planet” and provides several bullet points to suggest why, but again without any substantiated evidence to support it. Two Sides sent a letter asking that they reconsider their misleading environmental messages.
The BBC is encouraging customers to switch from a paper TV licence to an online e-TV licence on the basis of an unsupported environmental claim, which we believe cannot be reliably substantiated. Two sides asked the BBC to reconsider this message “Although TV Licensing uses sustainably sourced or recycled paper for all direct mail, the paper saved as a result of electronic communications accounts for around 1,600 trees across the UK”, and ensure that, in issuing electronic licences, they do not damage the Print and Paper industry, and jeopardise the livelihood of the many thousands of people employed therein with possibly misleading statements.