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Local councils “greenwashing” e-billing claims

A staggering 42% of local councils were found to be perpetuating false claims about printed communications, an investigation by Two Sides has found.

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Local councils are coming under scrutiny for using false claims about e-billing

The organisation decided to investigate local councils at a broader level following several reports of greenwashing. Statements made by councils suggest that paper billing is damaging to the environment, and that going paperless will be a more environmentally friendly way of receiving bills.

Two Sides works on behalf of the industry and its members to bust the myth that print and paper has a negative effect on the environment. So many businesses and organisations continue to use paper as a vital part of their operations, but a significant number are not aware of the environmental attributes of paper.

Jonathan Tame, managing director of Two Sides, says: “Two Sides, on behalf of the print and paper industry, has been successfully challenging misleading, anti-paper claims for over 10 years. Working with some of the UK’s biggest brands, we are proud to have changed or removed over 70% of the claims that we have encountered. 

We are looking forward to having an open and honest discussion with government representatives in our efforts to remove these claims

“Paper still has an important place in today’s digital world. Not just for bills and statements, but in schools, universities, offices, the media and almost every environment where the unique tangible nature of paper improves learning, understanding and productivity.”

Birmingham, Liverpool and Cardiff councils were all found to have been making unsubstantiated claims about paperless billing on their websites. As a result of the investigation, Two Sides has requested to meet with council officials at both a local and national level to resolve this issue.

Tame adds: “We are looking forward to having an open and honest discussion with government representatives in our efforts to remove these claims from all council websites.”

Forest areas in Europe, where the majority of the European paper industry sources from, grew by an area the size of Switzerland between 2005 and 2015 and the European paper industry continues to be the single user and producer of renewable energy in Europe.

Whilst electronic communications may seem guilt-free in their use, the ICT industry accounts for around 3% of greenhouse gasses globally and is predicated to rise to 14% by 2040.

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