Carbon Balanced Printing making progress

The weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

An article from the Verdigris Project.

It’s been a long and slow slog, but for the Carbon Balanced Printing initiative introduced several years ago, the direction of travel is definitely forwards.

READ MORE: Carbon Balanced Printing in the Nordics

The scheme is a mechanism for offsetting annual carbon emissions via the World Land Trust (WLT), an organisation that has been around for some 25 years. Over those years WLT has overseen the protection of 2,351,275 Acres of rainforest and the planting of 2,357,675 trees through carbon offsetting arrangements with businesses. The working model is simple: a focus on conserving precious habitats through land purchases or leasing via partner organisations or communities in order to create nature reserves. The land is then evaluated for reforestation and restoration of degraded habitats, for instance by planting trees or allowing natural regeneration. The money comes from a small premium on work collected on behalf of the organisations involved.

Recently another five printing companies in the UK joined the Carbon Balanced Printing project and together these companies have so far balanced over 1270 tonnes of carbon to preserve 220+ acres of endangered forest. This brings to 23 the total number of printing companies in the UK certified as Carbon Balanced Print organisations.

Together with their print-buying customers these companies can cite the land purchases via the WLT to demonstrate their efforts to improve print’s environmental credentials. It might not sound much, but initiatives such as this can make a difference, particularly as their momentum and consumer awareness of them rises. Participants in the programme, including printers and print buyers, can use the World Land Trust logo and printers are also entitled to provide customers with certificates. These confirm the amount of carbon dioxide that has been balanced and the size of the protected land area, in line with the size of their investment into print.

Participating in programmes such as this is a simple way to demonstrate environmental commitment and to support the WLT whose patron and longtime supporter is Sir David Attenborough. The organisation is most recently working with Viet Nature, its local partner in Vietnam, to conserve local forests and to cut illegal hunting. Regeneration in the 52,210 acre Khe Nuoc Trong forest is underway thanks to this partnership. The WLT’s cooperation in VietNam is in addition to partnerships in other countries across the world from Argentina to Zambia. The small premium on printed jobs charged as part of the Carbon Balanced Printing model is trivial compared to the scope of what the WLT aims to achieve. And it will definitely help confirm print’s sustainability credentials.

– Laurel Brunner

This article was produced by the Verdigris Project, an industry initiative intended to raise awareness of print’s positive environmental impact. This weekly commentary helps printing companies keep up to date with environmental standards, and how environmentally friendly business management can help improve their bottom lines. Verdigris is  supported by the following companies: Agfa GraphicsEFIFespaFujifilmHPKodakMiraclonRicohSpindrift, Splash PRUnity Publishing and Xeikon.