Submitted by: The Two Sides Team December 2, 2019
BT is using unsubstantiated messages such as “help save the environment” and “help save trees’ to persuade its customers to accept online billing.
Far from “saving trees”, a healthy market for forest products, such as paper, encourages the long-term growth of forests through sustainable forest management.
Between 2005 and 2015, European forests, which provide 90% of the virgin wood fibre used by the European paper industry, grew by 44,000 km2 – an area bigger than Switzerland and amounts to over 1,500 football pitches of forest growth every day.1
72% of paper consumed in Europe is recycled and the majority of the fibre used by the European paper industry now comes from recovered paper.2
Electronic communication and the infrastructure which powers today’s digital world has a significant and growing carbon footprint.
The ICT industry accounts for around 2.5-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions and this is predicted to rise to 14% by 2040.3 In comparison, the print and forest products industry is one of the lowest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and accounts for only 1% of global CO2 emissions.4
Total emissions generated by emails worldwide is estimated to be 300 million tonnes of CO2 a year – equivalent to the annual emissions of 63 million cars.5
Two Sides has written to BT requesting they immediately stop using misleading environmental claims in its marketing communications.
If you are a customer of BT, you can also complain to BT directly:
Nearly 500 organisations have so far removed or changed misleading environmental statements about paper following engagement by Two Sides. If you see examples of greenwash, please send them to email@example.com
- United Nations FAO data, 2005 – 2015
- CEPI Statistics, 2018
- Belkhir L & Elmeligi A, Journal of Cleaner Production: Assessing ICT global emissions footprint: Trends to 2040 & recommendations, 2018
- Ecofys, 2017
- Research by Two Sides North America in 2018 based on statistics by Berners-Lee, M., 2010; Radicati Group, 2015; EPA, 2018