“Greenwashing is the practice of making an unsubstantiated or misleading claim about the environmental benefits of a product, service, technology or company practice”.
Emails, text notifications, online downloads are all digital methods of communicating with customers that have replaced the more traditional form of communicating with paper.
Communications such as invoices, statements, newsletters, cheques and appointment reminders are examples of paper you may have received in your mailbox in the past but now pop up in your smartphone inbox.
Many companies position this transition to digital as paperless and further, that they are acting in an environmentally friendly way. On the surface this may seem accurate, but the folks over at “Two Sides North America”, a non-profit organization of graphic communications industry members, take issue with this corporate Greenwashing.
In most cases, company claims of going paperless and saving the environment are all unsubstantiated. Two Sides North America would prefer that companies be forthcoming with their claims – by indicating that digital communications are more convenient and more efficient – and that they drop the “save the environment – go paperless” claim.
(Read more about the Two Sides anti-greenwashing campaign).
Greenwashing can make a company appear to be more environmentally-friendly than it really is. It can also be used (improperly) to differentiate a company’s products or services from its competitors by promising more efficient use of power or by being more cost-effective over time.
We get to work on a wide variety of both digital and print-based communications for our clients. Some of these communications are more suited to print and others work better in a digital format. Some clients are interested in using both forms of communication to increase the possibility for success of their results-driven campaigns.
Regardless of which path is taken, we use a strategy first approach with all of our projects, and that process would never consider/use a solution that incorporates greenwash-messaging of any kind.