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Does going paperless mean going green?

abandon du papier

A short new animated video is tackling misleading environmental claims that “Going Paperless” means “Going Green.”

In it, Two Sides North America – an international network, which represents over 1,000 members of the Graphic Communications industry – points out that claims about saving trees are creating a false impression that our forests are being destroyed by people printing documents.

That is a myth that needs to be busted. As the Two Sides video explains, every year in North America, we grow more trees than we harvest.

What else should companies know about their customers’ communication preferences?

  • Given a choice, 81% of people surveyed indicated they prefer to read print on paper, compared to 39% and less for screens;
  • 64% of those surveyed say they would not choose a company that did not offer a paper bill option;
  • E-statements are often not paperless – 34% of respondents say they print out their e-statements;
  • People say that printed documents are easier to read (74%), are better for storage and archiving (56%), more secure (55%), and less likely to be lost (47%);
  • 15% of Americans do not use the internet, including 39% of seniors over 65 and 24% of people in rural areas;
  • People appreciate that in the U.S. and Canada, the paper-print-mail value chain supports over 8 million jobs with annual revenues of over $1.4 trillion.


The Two Sides myth-busting campaign is making a difference. Over 165 companies have now removed their “go paperless – go green” and “save trees” environmental claims from their customer communications. Global telecommunications company Sprint, for example, has changed its electronic media messaging to its customers, based on its work with Two Sides.

Check out the other side of the argument by clicking here to see the myth-busting video.

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