Just a quick scroll through your inbox and it won’t be long before your come across statements like “think before you print”; “please consider the environment – do you really need to print this e-mail?”; “go green – go paperless”; and “do your bit for the environment and choose e-billing”.
The misconceptions about print and paper are still a major issue for the industry.
As these messages are unsubstantiated, they are misleading and can have a lasting effect on consumer perceptions of print and paper.
The print and paper industry is a world leader when it comes to sustainably-managed materials, renewable energy and recycling.
Some of the most common myths surrounding paper are:
European forests are shrinking;
* Planted forests are bad for the environment;
* Paper is bad for the environment;
* Paper production is a major cause of global greenhouse gas emissions;
* Only recycled paper should be used;
* Print and Paper is a wasteful product;
* Electronic communication is more environmentally friendly than paper-based communication;
* Digital is always the preferred means of communication; and
* Packaging is wasteful and unnecessary.
Some key facts about print and paper’s sustainability:
* Between 2005 and 2015, European forests grew by an area the size of Switzerland – that’s 1 500 football pitches every day;
* Europe recycles 72% of its paper;
* 84% of the industry’s raw materials come from Europe;
* Between 2005 and 2013, the CO2 emissions of the European pulp and paper industry were reduced by 22%; and
* 56% of the industry’s total primary annual energy consumption is biomass-based.
TwoSides has created a new fact sheet, full of alternative e-mail sign-offs, to help encourage individuals and businesses to use fair, factual and honest statements in their e-mails.
The company has come up with a number of alternative footers for you to consider:
* Print and paper is renewable, sustainable and powerful. If you print, please recycle.
* Printed emails create a permanent and sustainable record but please ensure all waste paper is recycled.
* Responsibly Produced Print and Paper is Renewable, Recyclable, and Powerful. Visit www.twosides.info for more information.
* Responsibly produced paper has unique environmental features. It is highly recyclable and comes from a renewable resource. If you print, please recycle.
* Print on paper is a practical, attractive, and sustainable communications medium. If you print, please recycle.
* In Europe there is no shortage of trees. Responsibly produced paper is a renewable and recyclable product and can be an environmentally sustainable way to communicate. If you print, please recycle.
* If you print, please recycle. Ensure you choose paper from companies that source fibre from well-managed, certified forests.
* Yes, it’s OK to print your emails – but please recycle waste paper.
We shouldn’t have to feel guilty about printing our e-mails. Just ensure that you use paper from certified or sustainably-managed forests, print double-sided and always recycle.