Find out the latest Two Sides activity and campaign results plus the thoughts of guest speaker Andrea Boltho, Director of Oxford Economics.
The Two Sides Partners Webinar is a regular chance for members and partners to catch up with the organisation and discover exactly what the global membership organisation has been doing for the past 12 months alongside its plans for 2024.
As well as bringing the online audience up to speed with Two Sides activity, the webinar usually features a guest speaker with a unique insight into the industry and the wider economic picture – something Andrea Boltho, Director of Oxford Economics, has decades of experience in.
Scores On The Doors
The headline figures for Two Sides are that the organisation added 32 new UK Members in 2023, with a further 5 joining in the first month of 2024. Two Sides are also delighted to welcome two new Central Members, Koehler Paper SE and Lenzing Papier GmbH.
One of the largest pieces of research for Two Sides is the Trend Tracker report. Updated every two years, the global report explores consumer preferences, perceptions and attitudes towards print, paper and paper-based packaging. What it found was that while consumer reading preferences for paper have improved post-Covid, consumers still believe European forests are shrinking.
“For Two Sides, this report about understanding what consumers think about our products and our impact,” explained Jonathan Tame, Managing Director Europe of Two Sides. “As well as the perception that forests are shrinking, there is still a significant gap in understanding our very high recycling rate. However, paper is definitely the preferred environmental choice when it comes to different material choices for packaging. Consumers definitely prefer paper.”
Key Campaign Activity
Two Sides runs two campaigns: Anti-Greenwashing and Love Paper. The first tackles negative – and often false – statements about paper and paper packaging, while the second aims to improve the public perception of paper through advertising, online content and social media.
The Anti-Greenwashing campaign has been particularly busy of late, Huge brands such as British Gas and EDF have been making misleading statements about print and paper in their marketing communications, encouraging their customers to move online with lines such as “Help us help the planet with paperless bills” and “By going paperless, every year you’re helping us save 2,040 trees”.
Not only do these statements ignore the high levels of sustainability in the paper industry, but they encourage the use of digital media, which has a substantial carbon footprint. “These headline messages are hugely damaging for our industry,” said Jonathan. “They’re not borne out by fact, they’re not underpinned by scientific research, and they are hugely damaging.”
Two Sides’ Love Paper campaign has the purpose of repairing some of this damage to the perception of paper and paper-based packaging. Love Paper adverts are placed in some of the world’s leading newspapers and magazines, reaching over 240 million consumers every year. This is supplemented by a wide range of social media and online content that reaches over 25 million people.
The Certainty Of Uncertainty
While there is a high level of certainty about the sustainability of paper and paper-based packaging, there’s significantly less about the economy. This was the central message of guest speaker Andrea Boltho, Director of Oxford Economics. As a regular speaker at Two Sides events, Andrea can be relied upon to give a clear overview of the global situation – and the news isn’t great.
“2023 was probably the worst year from a geopolitical and economic point of view that I’ve experienced,” he began. “I don’t think we’ve had a year as bad as last year since 1945, and I don’t think this year will be much better.”
Detailing the three economic shocks of the past two years – Covid, inflation, war – Andrea went on to explain the effects of the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, as well as the longer-term demands such as ageing, defence and climate change. Amid the doom and gloom, one bright spot is technology, with a number of new technologies driving the economy.
“Much of the world’s economic growth since the 50s has been delivered by new technology,” he said. “There are lots of new technologies, such as biotechnology, nanotechnology and nuclear fusion for renewable energy and the environment. Add to that artificial intelligence, which looks extremely promising. Let’s hope there is some potential in technology that could lead us into a better world than the one that I’ve described.”
Show Your Support
Following a barrage of questions for Andrea, the webinar moved on to a more hopeful future for paper, with details of how members can get involved in Two Sides’ work. The first is by using the Love Paper logo on their communications to show their support for the campaign and explain the sustainable nature of paper. The second is to attend the 2024 Two Sides Packaging Webinar on February 15th and the Power of Print seminar on November 5th.
“Finally, I’d like to my thanks to our members,” Jonathan concluded, “and remind you all that it’s only together that we can tell the great story of print, paper and paper-based packaging.”
To watch the webinar recording and to download the presentations, go to: 2024-two-sides-partners-meeting