Paper industry environmental war is a foolish move

A non-profit organization in the United States has vowed to correct the use by business of “unsubstantiated environmental claims to encourage consumers to switch to lower-cost electronic billing and services”. The organization, Two Sides U.S., Inc. , was founded “to promote the responsible production and use of print and paper, improve sustainability standards and practices, share experiences and maximize customer confidence in our products”. However, its real purpose appears to be to fight such notices as “save paper by switching to electronic billing”.  Two Sides has already pressured Toshiba into cancelling its National No-Print Day, which most environmentally oriented consumers would place on the same level as Car-Free day.

The problem is that Two Sides is not a neutral commentator and many of its claims are as environmentally irrelevant as some of the claims that it criticizes. Two Sides is supported by the forestry, pulp, paper, inks and chemicals, pre-press, press, finishing, publishing and printing industries and it has a website containing information much of which is either unfounded or irrelevant to the environmental debate over reducing use of paper products. Two Sides seems to justify its claims as much  on “why print on paper is an attractive, practical and sustainable communications medium” as on whether global demand for forest products is or is not outstripping supply, something that in GallonDaily’s opinion is undeniable and in the environmentally wrong direction.

Fortunately Two Sides has not yet entered the Canadian market. Hopefully, Canadian industry has more sense than to invite in an organization which will only contribute to more polarization between an industry sector and its critics, a polarization which industry almost never wins.

The Two Sides announcement of its US market entry can be found at

The Two Sides web page is at

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