Two Sides

Two Sides is a not-for-profit initiative started by companies from the print supply chain, including forestry, pulp, paper, inks and chemicals, pre-press, press, finishing, publishing, printing, envelopes and postal operators. Intergraf is an active member of the Two Sides Steering Committee. Two Sides' common goal is to promote the sustainability of the print supply chain and dispel common environmental misconceptions by providing users with verifiable information on why print and paper is an attractive, practical and sustainable method of communication. One of Two Sides’ primary tools for doing this is the Myths & Facts booklet, which you can see here.

According to Two Sides, greenwashing is “the practice of making an unsubstantiated or misleading claim about the environmental benefits of a product, service, technology or company practice.” Due to popular misconceptions, it is common for companies and organisations to make unfounded environmental claims to promote digital products over paper. However, there are many reasons why digital communications are not always the “greener” option when the full lifecycle of these products is taken into account. Paper is a renewable and sustainable raw material. In Europe, forests are carefully controlled and wood is harvested in a structured, sustainable way. On the other hand, the ICT industry accounts for approximately 2% of global emissions, on par with emissions from the global aviation sector, e-waste is rapidly growing and large data centres storing all of our digital activity and cloud-based content have a large carbon footprint.

Digitisation is the inevitable direction in which Europe (and the world) is headed. It has had – and will continue to have – many positive effects on society which should be celebrated. However, consumers should be properly informed about the pros and cons of using both paper and digital products. As digital products are not tangible, like paper, the environmental problems stemming from this sector are easily overlooked. Importantly, most instances of greenwashing can be explained by common misconceptions about print and paper, rather than purposely misleading customers. It is the role of Two Sides to address these misconceptions and help to prevent greenwashing.

You can find our more from the website of Two Sides: www.twosides.info

Primary contact: Laetitia Reynaud

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