Our digital production print experts talk about what's important to you.

Two Sides: Why Print and Paper are Part of an
Eco-Friendly Future

Are you looking to increase your understanding of the benefits of print and paper? Or are you perhaps looking for information to help better inform your clients on why paper is, in fact, a valuable commodity? Our organization, Two Sides, can help with both those needs.

It might interest you to know that print and paper have been the primary tools used by our society to communicate (learning, creative, commercial) for well over 1,000 years. In other words, even back in the days of our great, great grandparents, print and paper were the go-to way people expressed themselves. But, in the past few decades, misconceptions of their sustainability have arisen, with many promoting the “going paperless” idea, putting what has been a mainstay of communications for many generations, at risk.

If you’re like many folks today, you’ve probably wondered: Isn’t digital more environmentally friendly than paper? Do I need to promote digital solutions alongside my paper ones to show my support for eco initiatives? Do I need to plan for a society that is using less paper? Interestingly enough, products and services that replace paper are not necessarily better for the environment.  According to IT energy scholars like Peter Arnfalk, an associate professor of the IIIEE, the direct impact to the environment of replacing paper with digital products and services is far from negligible. It depends on multiple conditions: use frequency, source of energy, end‐of‐life management of the products, etc…   Rather than asking which is better, paper or electronic communication, Two Sides believes we should be working to determine which combination of the two has the least impact on the environment while best meeting social and economic needs.

So how can we help you show your customers why print and paper are part of an eco-friendly future? Well, let’s take an example. One common myth is that creating paper is bad for the environment. The fact is that paper is recyclable and it is made from a natural resource that is renewable. And thanks to the U.S. paper industry’s advocacy of responsible forestry practices and certification, paper is one of the most sustainable products on earth.

This is where our organization, Two Sides, comes into the picture. We began with one goal in mind – to promote the sustainable future of print and paper – and give you a voice to promote the sustainable practices of print.  And today, we have more than 1,000 members globally and we are present in several countries that help work towards this goal every day.

We do the research for you providing the education tools needed to show others in your industry, regulatory bodies, and of course customers the environmental and social benefits to print media.  We do this while exposing the fact that the many misconceptions related to the sustainability of paper and print are just that:  misconceptions.  Our primary focus is to raise awareness about the life cycle of print and explain the real sustainability impact of the Graphic Communications Value Chain – looking at everything from forest management to paper mill production to the differences in carbon footprints between print and electronic communications.

Check us out at  to learn more about how we can work together to keep print communications thriving another 1000 plus years. If you are attending Graph Expo this September, come visit us at Booth #1074 in the GreenSpace and we can give you a live demonstration of what we offer print organizations like yours to address the ongoing challenge of validating print and paper in an ever increasing digital society.  Or if you’re not joining us in Second City, but will be in Brazil for ExpoPrint in July, come look us up at booth 94G – 20th street.

- Phil Riebel
President, Two Sides North America, Inc.

For more posts and information like this, visit Ricoh Production Print’s blog at
Guest Post from Phil Riebel, President, Two Sides North America, Inc.