Go Greener, Go Paperless Messaging is Misleading


SG World have a wide range of safety and compliance solutions, some are paper based and some are software because different approaches work for different customers. As such we understand that going green does not necessarily mean going paperless. 

Many leading organisations, including banks, utility companies and telecommunications providers, urge their customers to go paperless with claims that paperless bills, statements and other electronic communications save trees, are “greener” and better for the environment. This is greenwashing i.e. not specific, not supported by reliable scientific evidence or relevant life cycle analysis. Marketers must ensure claims that are based on only part of the advertised product’s life cycle do not mislead consumers about the product’s total environmental impact. Paper is actually one of the most recycled materials on the planet and it's production encourages the long term growth of sustainable forests.

Greenwashing contravenes advertising regulations in most European countries. Two Sides, a not-for-profit, global initiative promoting the unique sustainable and attractive attributes of print, paper and paper packaging, actively engages organisations found to be using unsubstantiated environmental claims about the use of paper. To date, over 70% of companies engaged by Two Sides have changed or removed misleading messages. For further information visit www.twosides.info/anti-greenwash.

There isn't a simple answer to which is environmentally best – paper or digital? Both have impacts, and it is not possible to easily determine whether one is better than the other.

"Our customers take into account many factors when looking for safety solutions including their budget, their working environment and culture," commented Russell Barnard, SG World Product Manager. 

If they are also looking for an environmentally friendly option we try to give them unbiased feedback which cuts through all the misinformation out there." 


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