Many companies are urging customers to switch from paper to digital with claims that it is “greener” and will “save trees”. Such claims ignore the growing environmental footprint of electronics and the unique sustainable features of print and paper.

Before we dive into the fun part (the infographic from TwoSides), here is a quick guide to help you spot Corporate Greenwashing.

  1. Look for The Truth: If you see a green ad, take a look at the company as a whole. Can you easily find more information about their sustainable business practices on their website? Do they have a comprehensive environmental story? Is there believable information to substantiate the green claims you saw in the ad? If not, buyer beware.
  2. The Whole Truth: Next, try this. Google the company name plus the word “environment” and see what pops up. This is far from scientific, but if consumers or environmental advocates have a beef with the company’s track record, something’s bound to pop up.
  3. And Nothing But the Truth:  If you spot a green ad, how does it strike your gut? Does it ring true and authentic, or is it obviously hype? Smart shoppers abound globally, and your own scrutiny of green marketing claims is one more item to throw into your shopping cart.

With these handy guides in mind, think about how companies are making their “green” claims and how they make you feel. In the meantime, also check out this fun infographic that highlights the sustainability and credibility of our favorite alternative to digital – print and paper!

(Click the image to enlarge.)