Print and paper trade group Two Sides says it has convinced UK companies British Telecom, Barclaycard, Vodafone and EON Energy, among others, to withdraw their environmental claims about print and paper. Now the organization, whose 60 members include Eastman Kodak Company, Boise Inc. and Midland Paper, Packaging + Supplies, is targeting US companies in what it calls a nationwide initiative to help them in correcting “factually incorrect environmental claims” related to online billing and communication.
The trade group says its research on 94 leading companies found that 50 percent of them are using unsubstantiated environmental claims to encourage consumers to switch to lower-cost electronic billing and services. Two Sides, which represents companies across the graphic communications supply chain, says these claims damage the industry, which provides more than 8 million US jobs.
Two Sides conducted a similar UK marketing campaign, which it calls a “great success.” Two Sides says that more than 80 percent of the companies approached agreed to change or kill their messaging about the environmental costs of printing and paper.
Two Sides president and COO Phil Riebel says paper comes from a renewable resource — responsibly forested trees — and the volume of growing trees in US forests has increased about 50 percent over the last 50 years.
The campaign carries echoes of Toshiba America Business Solutions’ recent announcement that it will cancel its National No-Print Day campaign in response to protests from the commercial paper and print industries. Michael Makin, president and CEO of the Printing Industries of America, said Toshiba had assured him that it was taking the campaign back to the drawing board.
Printing Industries of America is a member of the Two Sides group.
Two Sides didn’t say which US companies it will target. But in recent years, many big names have encouraged growing numbers of customers to use online billing, and reduced internal paper use. In 2011, AT&T increased the number of its customers using paperless billing, from 14.4 million in 2010 to 17.2 million.
Four years ago, Verizon moved more than 3 million customers to paperless billing, saving $8 million in paper and administrative costs. It also saved another $2.7 million by moving its payroll, training and HR systems online.
And in 2010, Allstate cut its internal paper use 41 percent.