Submitted by: Two Sides Australia 24/07/2016
Results of a new survey conducted by Toluna Inc. show that a majority of Australians want to retain a choice for paper options rather than be forced into “digital-only” communications.
Citing environmental concerns, corporations and governments are increasingly driving communications online and making paper more difficult, and costly, to access. A new survey provides valuable insights into how consumers view this trend, and how they perceive and use paper in their daily lives.
Carried out by international research company Toluna in June 2016, the survey questioned more than 7000 consumers worldwide (532 of them in Australia). Among its findings, the survey reveals that many consumers want to retain the choice of using print and paper, at no additional cost, and that many question or feel misled by “go paperless – go green” and similar “greenwash” claims – believing cost savings to be the primary driver for organisations looking to phase out paper-based communications.
Despite some concern over environmental impacts, many respondents preferred paper-based communications to digital alternatives, with ease of reading and a lack of internet access among the many reasons given.
A lack of awareness around the industry’s positive environmental activities (especially sustainable forest management and recycling) persists. Despite Australian forests growing in size by 308,000 hectares in the last 5 years, consumers are concerned about the effect on forests by the production of print and paper. “Educating consumers on practices within the paper industry is required, as consumers are unaware that 82% of paper consumed is from planted forests,” says Kellie Northwood, Executive Director of Two Sides Australia. The majority of respondents were also unaware that paper is one of the most recycled products with recovery rates of 87% in Australia.
“Although further education on the positive environmental credentials of print and paper is required, the survey findings highlight a notable preference for print on paper over digital in all age groups, with consumers appreciating the tactile and engaging nature of paper. Findings also suggest that overall, consumers fundamentally believe that when sourced from sustainably managed forests, print and paper is a sustainable way to communicate,” says Northwood.
“Go Paperless-Go Green” claims are questioned by many
Many people need a paper option and don’t want to be forced into “digital only”
Consumers see print and paper as sustainable – but concerns about forestry persist
The great recycling story of print and paper is not well known
For a full version of the report, please view here