Five Tips to Avoid "Greenwashing" When Marketing Paper Products

Greenwashing: the practice of making an unsubstantiated or misleading claim about the environmental benefits of a product, service or technology.

. . . and why major corporations are now removing
"go green – go paperless" claims

By Phil Riebel, President, Two Sides North America

March 7, 2015 - “Greenwashing” is now a term most of us are familiar with. It means “the practice of making an unsubstantiated or misleading claim about the environmental benefits of a product, service or technology.” Terrachoice found that over 95% of "greener" products commit one or more of the seven "Sins of Greenwashing," so it’s a major problem in the marketplace. Paper products in particular seem to suffer from many unsubstantiated and vague claims, especially when it comes to corporations trying to promote electronic services over paper-based communications.

The bottom line is that corporate marketers need to follow certain specific guidelines for environmental marketing, such as those published by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and in Canada by the Competition Bureau of Canada. If they don't, their company could face corrective action by the FTC. The International Standardization Organization (ISO) also has a series of standards on environmental declarations (ISO 14020) and has classified environmental claims into three categories – Type I, Type II and Type III.

Tip #1: Aim for rigor and assurance of claims (ISO Type I claims)

Type I eco-labels (ISO 14024:1999) are independently verified by a third party and are typically based on the environmental impacts of a product or service (environmental performance according to predefined criteria and/or a set of environmental attributes). Familiar eco-labels with Type I features used in the paper industry include the following:

The following link will bring you to the full story on Two Sides' website: Five Tips to Avoid "Greenwashing" When Marketing Paper Products

Two Sides is an independent, non-profit organization created to promote the responsible production, use and sustainability of print and paper. Two Sides is active globally in North America, Europe, Australia, South Africa and Brazil. To learn more, please visit: www.twosides.us.

SOURCE: Two Sides