Left side advert image
Right side advert image
Super banner advert image
Subscribe to Print Monthly's RSS feed

Enter your email address here to sign up for our weekly newsletter

Environment

Do not let apathy cost us the earth

Following the decision by Print Monthly to join the Carbon Balanced Paper scheme, Brendan Perring investigates how you can protect the planet and your bottom line at the same time

Article picture

Khe Noc Trong in Vietnam’s Annamite mountains is one of the world’s richest areas of bio-diversity and Print Monthly we estimate will help preserve more than 20,000sq m of it through offsetting 29,000kg CO2e

These are facts. As a planet we are experiencing between 1,000 and 10,000 times the natural rate of species extinction, depending on the region. Despite all the big oil funded naysayers, and those with their heads buried in the sand, we are seeing the dramatic effects of radically accelerated climate change around the world—from unprecedented back-to-back hurricanes destroying communities in the Caribbean and coastal USA, through to rising sea levels and chronic drought in East Africa. But this is also a fact. You can do something about it, now. Not just for very little cost, but you can do something about it and see your print business increase its revenue as a result.

This has been made possible by the work of the World Land Trust, which for our industry operates the Carbon Balanced Paper scheme administered by Carbon Co. Following an invest-igation into the amazing work being done by this global organisation, Print Monthly has opted in to the scheme. And as a result, it will help to preserve more than 20,000sq m of virgin forest in the Khe Noc Trong region of the  Annamite mountains in Vietnam—on of the World’s riches areas of bio-diversity. This is through the offsetting of 29,000kg CO2e created through the manufacture of the paper the magazine will use over twelve months.

The money that is given to the World Land Trust, in my estimation, has more effect on the wild world than almost anything I can think of

The decision was not taken lightly, but to give you a picture of why we chose this scheme, it is perhaps worth handing over to one of its patrons, Sir David Attenborough, who described it in these terms: “The money that is given to the World Land Trust, in my estimation, has more effect on the wild world than almost anything I can think of.”


Critical to consider


Carbon Balanced Paper was launched in May 2010. However, paper is only one element in the total carbon impacts of a finished document or publication.  Importantly, it does not include the carbon emissions resulting from the manufacturing and finishing impacts of the producer. So, a sister scheme, Carbon Balanced Publication can aid printers in offsetting the entire footprint of a print product’s manufacture. 

A group of Hatinh Langurs chill out on a rock face xxxxxxxxxxx
above a Red-shanked Douc in Khe Noc Trong, both
are under immediate threat of extinction, with their
last line of defence being the World Land Trust working
in partnership with the area’s local population and
environmental groups

What is critical to understand is that, such is the stringent demands on thousands of the UK’s print buyers around corporate social responsibility, that stating you can offer them Carbon Balancing of their entire print project from paper to printing offers a real competitive advantage.

Natalie Singleton, conservation programme coordinator, World Land Trust, explains further: “When we talk about ‘Carbon Balanced’ it is a euphemism for offsetting. And by this we mean taking the volume of emissions you have produced through a print run, or the production of paper in the case of Print Monthly, and we avoid emissions being released elsewhere or encourage the absorption of carbon dioxide and green-house gas emissions elsewhere.

“We called the scheme Carbon Balanced because it is also about a balanced approach. First of all, we measure the level of emissions in a business, and then we encourage them to reduce them. This is a crucial step. Offsetting alone cannot tackle climate change, we need to make reductions at source. So, when we have helped a business reduce emissions where they feasibly can, then the next step is we balance the remaining footprint.”

Dan Bradbury, director of communications and development, World Land Trust, weighs in on this point, explains how vital this type of scheme is for its work: “We put this land into the ownership of local organisations on the ground. To do that we need funds and that can come from individual donors through to around 45 percent of our income coming through businesses. The Carbon Balanced scheme has been running for ten years is one of the mechanisms that can help us facilitate businesses doing a lot of good for the planet through them funding the protection of virgin habitat, and in doing so lowering or neutralising their own carbon footprint.


We are a very well-respected organisation, and that is backed by our patrons being highly-respected environmentalists such as Sir David Attenborough, explorer Steve Backshall, and Chris Packham

“We are a very well-respected organisation, and that is backed by our patrons being highly-respected environmentalists such as Sir David Attenborough, explorer Steve Backshall, and Chris Packham. These are people who believe in what we do and pro-actively support what we do.”

Singleton continues: “The way the World Land Trust does that is through our conservation programmes. Called Red Plus, it is about reducing emissions through avoided deforestation and forest degradation.

“The way we do that is we take a piece of forest that is in imminent threat of complete destruction, or degradation through local logging or pollution—which may release thousands of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere—and we stop that from happening and so we create an offset. Where an area is already degraded, we work to conserve it through supporting the local population to divert from damaging it further through logging or pollution. The Carbon Balanced Paper scheme specifically is helping support our Red Plus conservation efforts in Vietnam.

“Another vital thing to understand is that it is far more effective to focus efforts on preserving established virgin forest and habitat, than tree planting. The latter is very important to try and regenerate land that has already been destroyed, but it is of course far better to prevent this from happening in the first place and losing all the bio-diversity and high levels of carbon storage that go with it.”

Khe Noc Trong in Vietnam is a stunning area of natural beauty, but the encroachment of development, logging operations, and pollution are threatening this island of intense bio-diversity


Worth your time


Since its foundation in 1989 as the World Wide Land Conservation Trust, the World Land Trust has been working to preserve the world’s most biologically important and threatened lands, and has helped purchase and protect over 540,000 acres of habitats rich in wildlife in Asia, Central and South America, and the UK.

In Khe Noc Trong alone, five large mammal species have been discovered in the last 25 years.  On the other side of the coin though it is home to 45 critically endangered species. The Red-shanked Douc is a key example, and is considered one of the most beautiful primates in the world with its striking fur colouration—but its future as a species remains in the balance.


The cost of Carbon Balancing paper or print is not prohibitive at all, and yet the story it allows you to tell your customers, the good you will do for the planet, and being able to harness that good will to benefit your business commercially is very powerful

Bradbury: “Another key factor to understand is the affordable cost of offsetting. For example, a 1,000 mile journey in your car would cost around £5 to offset. The cost of Carbon Balancing paper or print is not prohibitive at all, and yet the story it allows you to tell your customers, the good you will do for the planet, and being able to harness that good will to benefit your business commercially is very powerful.” 


The Red-shanked Douc is one of five large mammal species that have been discovered in the Khe Noc Trong region of Vietnam in the last 25 years. It is considered one of the most beautiful primates in the world with its striking colouration, but its future as a species remains in the balance


You can Carbon Balance any paper, and to find out more you can contact one of the key partners involved with the scheme which are Denmaur, Antalis or Fedrigoni. Alternatively, you can simply contact info@carbonbalancedpaper.com for more information on the scheme or how to fully Carbon Balance any entire print item or your print business. In the next issue of Print Monthly we will explore the challenges facing the World Land Trust, a case study of the positive impact the scheme has had on one of its UK certified printers, and the positive effect its work is having in Khe Noc Trong.



If you have an interesting story or a view on this news, then please e-mail news@printmonthly.co.uk

Follow Brendan on:
Brendan Perring's Twitter Profile
Print printer-friendly version Printable version Send to a friend Contact us

No comments found!  

Sign in:

Email 

or create your very own Print Monthly account  to join in with the conversation.


Top Right advert image
Top Right advert image

Poll Vote

What will be your next business investment?

Top Right advert image