Greenwashers Beware: Two Sides Launches in the United States

Two Sides, an environmental advocacy group known for holding greenwashing marketers’ feet to the fire in the United Kingdom, has launched in the United States.

One of Two Sides’ successes in the U. K. has been its campaign to challenge what it calls “misleading messaging”  related to the supposed environmental benefits of electronic billing (as if there really were any — to see my coverage of this issue, click here.)

“Research carried out prior to the U.K. campaign launch revealed that 43% of the major banks, 70% of telecoms and 30% of utilities were using misleading environmental statements to support their marketing messages, thereby conflicting with current advertising regulations which are in place in most countries,” said the organization in a statement.

In the United States, the organization will be supported by the National Paper Trade Alliance (NPTA) and its member companies and will likely aim its focus on misleading claims (watch out, those promoting e-billing!) here, as well.

Personally, I’m glad to see some additional accountability coming to our shores. While some might argue that the organization has an agenda and therefore its results are biased, I believe that the proponents of e-media are just as biased and need to be countered. The argument that electronic media is more environmentally friendly than paper simply because it doesn’t result in a tangible end-of-life waste stream  is, in my opinion, irresponsible. Especially when you consider the industry’s massive and rocketing energy use, the source of its energy, recycling issues, and long-ranging impact of e-waste.

Two Sides is a non-profit organization which began in Europe in 2008. The organization is now present in 12 countries with links to similar projects in Australia and Japan.



Written by Heidi Tolliver-Walker

Heidi Tolliver-Walker has been a commercial and digital printing industry analyst, feature writer, columnist, editor, and author for nearly 20 years. She is known for her meticulous research and no-nonsense perspective. In addition to having written thousands of industry articles for top industry publications, she and Richard Romano have been the face of the well-respected industry research firm The Industry Measure (TrendWatch Graphic Arts) for many years. In her more than 13-year tenure with the firm, she has written countless reports on digital printing, 1:1 (personalized) printing, Web-to-print, personalized URLs, and other hot industry applications. She is also a long-time contributing editor and columnist for Printing News, for which she writes two monthly columns, including "Personal Effects," which features monthly analysis of 1:1 (personalized) printing case studies. She is also the author of three titles for the National Association of Printing Leadership: Designer's Printing Companion, Ink & Color: A Printer's Guide, and Diversifying Via Value-Added Services. As a small, niche publisher (Strong Tower Publishing), she is active in utilizing these technologies in her own business, as well.


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