Promote the Sustainability of Print and Paper in Email Footers

Two Sides North America says that all too often people see email footers with negative and misleading messages about the environmental impacts of print and paper. Messages like “Think before you print – Our forests will thank you” and “Please consider the environment before printing this email” imply that electronic communication always has a lower environmental impact than printed materials.

But this conclusion is not supported by credible and reliable scientific evidence. Such claims not only fail to consider the growing environmental footprint of our electronic infrastructure, but also ignore the unique sustainable features of print and paper.

Paper is made from a natural, renewable resource (wood from trees grown in sustainably managed forests) and is one of the most recycled commodities in the world. Nearly two-thirds of the energy used to produce paper in North America comes from renewable, carbon-neutral biomass. When produced and used responsibly, print on paper is an environmentally sustainable way to communicate.

So, if you need a more convenient or permanent copy of your emails, don’t feel guilty about printing them! But be sure to recycle those you don’t need as a permanent record.

If you’d like to share the great sustainability story of print and paper in your email footer, here are a few alternatives to consider:

  • Responsibly produced paper has unique sustainable features. It comes from a renewable resource and is highly recyclable. If you print, please recycle.
  • The demand for sustainably produced paper supports sustainable forest management in North America. The income landowners receive for trees grown on their land encourages them to sustainably manage, renew and maintain this valuable resource.
  • Paper is one of the most recycled products in the world and is made from trees grown in sustainably managed North American forests – a natural and renewable resource.
  • Paper is based on a natural and renewable raw material – trees. Sustainably managed North American forests are good for the environment, providing clean air and water, wildlife habitat and carbon storage.
  • Print on paper is a practical, attractive, and sustainable communications medium. If you print, please recycle.

For an information sheet on alternative email footers, visit or