Industry must do more to educate against ‘e-greenwash’

By Hannah Jordan, Tuesday 10 April 2018

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Antalis is urging the print and paper industry to play a part in teaching consumers about sustainability in paper and not to be fooled by environmental claims around digital communication.

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Antalis wants to "bring balance to the conversation"

“People think if they see it on a computer then it happens instantly, there’s nothing physical to throw away,” said Antalis channel director for print, James Jarvis, “but in reality the huge network of centres that support that electronic sphere cost a lot to run and use a huge amount of energy,” he explained.  

“If you send 20 emails a day over a year, you are effectively generating enough CO2 into the environment as you would if you drove 1,000km. It’s a hidden cost; there are all sorts of other stats and studies that support this and we want to try to bring some balance to the conversation,” he added.

Jarvis said that the industry must come together, to spread the message of organisations such as paper and print advocacy group Two Sides, to give consumers and customers alike a more balanced view.

Pressure to be more environmentally responsible and aware are causing people to choose what they believe to be the best option, which often means choosing digital rather than paper communications, but Jarvis pointed out that with the huge sustainability projects that are already embedded around the world, digital doesn’t mean greener.

The paper merchant and manufacturer is now actively sharing literature and video links, from a range of sources, about recycled paper and sustainability and digital energy usage statistics with its customers in an effort to educate them and is asking them to share the message further.  

“We want to arm our customers with information so that they can share with their clients when they come up against some of the more uniformed arguments,” said Jarvis.

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