Since 2008, the Carbon Balanced Paper initiative has been responsible for balancing (i.e. offsetting) 190,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and preserving 19,000 acres of high-conservation-value land. Carbon Balanced Paper (CBP) initiatives in North America will be administered by the Sustainable Paper Group in partnership with international conservation charity World Land Trust (WLT). This is a well-established and successful program in Europe, with over 3,000 organizations taking positive action by choosing Carbon Balanced Paper. The launch in North America will enable brands and organizations in Canada and the U.S. to ‘carbon balance’ any paper product, helping them to meet growing commitments to carbon reduction and carbon neutrality and to simply, but effectively differentiate themselves, as market leaders in environmental responsibility.
The CBP program balances the carbon impact of paper by investing in WLT projects. Through land purchases of ecologically important standing forests under real and imminent threat of clearance, carbon is locked that would otherwise be released. These protected forests are then able to continue absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. The CBP program follows the principles of REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), now recognized as one of the most effective and fastest ways to stop the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide and global warming effects. Deforestation and forest degradation account for approximately 11% of carbon emissions – more than the entire global transportation sector and second only to the energy sector. Therefore, forest protection and restoration must play a central role in the fight against climate change. The North American CBP initiative is made widely available through a network of partners and distributors, including U.S.-based paper merchants Midland and WCP Solutions, and Canada-based merchant West World Paper.
When using Carbon Balanced Paper, a unique logo can be used on print projects serving as a high-visibility demonstration of a brand or organization’s commitment to the environment. Users can also receive a certificate from WLT that highlights the amount of carbon dioxide that’s been ‘balanced’ and the area of land preserved. “I’m very excited to be working with our partner merchants on this new sustainability initiative,” said Phil Riebel, President of the Sustainable Paper Group and former head of print and paper advocacy organization Two Sides North America. “We believe we have a great solution for the marketplace, given the urgency of addressing climate change and the increasing number of organizations making carbon reduction commitments. Our partnership with the World Land Trust is a key part of the credibility of this program. It has a global reach that protects some of the world’s most bio-diverse and endangered habitats.”
Dr. Gerard Bertrand, Honorary President of World Land Trust, added: “We are delighted this program is now being extended to North America and Canada. It’s a great opportunity for brands and organizations to support the work of World Land Trust, protecting land of high-conservation importance rich in its biodiversity. This is real action in real places.” Sir David Attenborough, Patron of WLT, said of the charity: “The money that’s given to the World Land Trust, in my estimation, has more effect on the wild world than almost anything I can think of.”