Say Hello to Two Sides US

Submitted by: Joan MacKenzie 02/25/2012

Margie Dana from Print Buyers International introduces her network to Two Sides U.S. - the repository to visit and access all of the information available on the sustainability of print and paper.

February 2, 2012

Margie Dana

I want to introduce you to Two Sides. It is a nonprofit initiative, founded and established in the UK that wants to be a repository for all of the information about print and sustainability. The Two Sides US website launched recently. You must visit it at www.twosides.us.

While in Florida delivering a presentation to paper execs recently, I met Phil Riebel, President and COO of Two Sides US. In a follow-up phone call, he told me more about the initiative.

The first thing I needed to clear up was simply how Two Sides differs from other sustainability initiatives in the industry. His goal is to make this site the repository of the topic. If you check out their home page and click on the “Membership” tab, you’ll be able to find a page listing Two Sides’ members to date, including many paper manufacturers and merchants, a couple of printing companies, nearly 20 allied organizations – like PBI, PIA, Whattheythink, AF&PA, PSDA, and TAPPI – plus partner member Nima Hunter Inc.

One of my favorites destinations on the web site – and it should be yours, too – is the tab called “Myths & Facts.” This section gives us so much more than the average sound bite we’re used to seeing (or hearing). For example, click on the myth called “Electronic Communication Is More Environmentally Friendly Than Print and Paper.” Not only is there an easy-to-read explanation (or rebuttal) of why this is a myth, but one of the hallmarks of Two Sides is that they cite the research that goes into every myth-buster.

It gets better. For every Myth & Fact listed on the site, there’s a comprehensive, downloadable Fact Sheet for you to print off and/or share with others. Every Fact Sheet is complete with research and citations. This means you no longer have to worry, “Where’d they get this info??” You have the full facts to support what the site’s saying.

Another neat feature of the Two Sides site: every month they feature a member initiative. This month it’s Domtar and their “Paper Because” campaign (BTW, this Domtar site is one beautiful creature.).

Phil shared with me that the myth about electronic communications being more environmentally friendly than print is a current focus. The myth’s “out of control” right now, and they’re doing something about it.  Two Sides US has a list of 160 companies and what they’re saying on their web sites regarding this myth (primarily banks, utilities and telecommunications companies). This year, Two Sides will launch a letter writing campaign, followed up by emails and meetings, to convince these companies that they’re misleading people.  Phil said that they’ll measure their success rate and then report how many companies have changed their messaging.

There’s a ton of good stuff on this site, including videos, which are in a “Resources” tab that has Case Studies, a Toolbox, Recycling information, a section on the Lacey Act, and so much more.

Yesterday I signed up to get Phil Riebel’s blog, as I hope to get a constant “feed” of useful information on this topic. Click on the WordPress icon on the upper right of their home page to do the same.

If you want to hear more from Phil Riebel, I have the perfect opportunity – for I’ve already asked him to be a presenter at our 7th Annual PBI Print & Media Conference this October in Chicago. If you’re a Print Tips subscriber, you’ll get full details when they’re ready.

To reach Phil, email him at pnr@twosides.info. Do have a look at their site and share your comments.