NEWS: Marketers making 'unsustainable & misleading' environmental claims

Worldwide paper lobbying organisation Two Sides has launched a global initiative to stop businesses using misleading environmental claims that encourage customers to switch from paper-based to digital communication.

The organisation will be engaging with companies in Europe, the USA, Canada, South America, South Africa and Australia, who have either reneged 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.

According to recent research by Two Sides, 19 per cent of financial service organisations, energy, gas and water suppliers and telecom businesses are still making false environmental claims in the UK.

The worst culprits came from the utilities sector, with 27 per cent of businesses making misleading claims, followed by banks and building societies with 15 per cent. 

Original research in 2012 showed that up to 70 per cent of telecom businesses, 43 per cent of major banks and 30 per cent of utility companies were making inaccurate claims about the environmental benefits of switching from paper to digital communication.

Martyn Eustace, chairman of the Two Sides, said: “This is extremely frustrating and unacceptable. 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."