The latest meeting for all partners of the Carbon Balanced Paper programme featured a fascinating presentation from World Land Trust that highlighted the results of the programme’s fundraising.
On March 22, 2023, representatives of all paper and print partners of the Carbon Balanced Paper programme gathered online to discover the latest updates on the programme, as well as listen to Emma Douglas, Director of Development at World Land Trust (WLT), and Richard Cuthbert, Director of Conservation at WLT, as they explained how the environmental charity uses funds raised by the Carbon Balanced Print and Paper programme to protect areas of threatened land all over the world.
Opening the meeting, Carbon Balanced Partnership Manager Paul Opie provided an overview of the programme and how much it’s grown in the past 12 months. Since the last meeting in 2022, the number of carbon balanced printers has increased to 55, while the number of brands the programme engages with has reached over 5,000.
“In addition,” Paul said. “The amount of paper carbon balanced by the programme has gone up by 20%, from 80,000 tonnes in 2021 to 95,000 tonnes in 2022.”
Carbon balanced printers are also receiving a large amount of attention from the industry for their environmental values, with the recent Printweek awards featuring many in their list of 2023 award nominees. “It’s really exciting that of the 17 different categories within the Printweek awards, 11 contained carbon balanced printer nominees,” explained Paul. “Two of them went on to be highly commended, while five were announced as winners, including Go Inspire, who won Environmental Company of the Year.”
World Land Trust’s Five-Year Strategy
Emma Douglas, Director of Development at WLT, then went on to provide an overview of the charity, introducing its work to new members and reminding more seasoned partners of its valuable work.
“In a nutshell, World Land Trust has a very simple premise, to save land so that we can save everything that depends on it,” she explained. “That includes the incredible biodiversity, the communities that rely on these landscapes for livelihoods and sustenance, and ultimately the climate by locking in the carbon from these vast forests.”
The charity has directly funded the protection of over a million hectares of land since its foundation over 30 years ago, but its current five-year strategy aims to protect a further million hectares and connect over two million hectares of habitats, collectively avoiding the emission of over 50m tCO2e by 2025.
“Our goal is to do as much in five years as we have done in our entire history,” said Emma. “The protection of land is the best mitigation we have against climate change, and at World Land Trust we have a proven method that works. We want to protect larger, more connected and climate resilient landscapes that contribute to both local and international biodiversity goals.”
Measuring The Impact Of Projects
Xilitla Carbon Measuring
Richard Cuthbert, Director of Conservation at WLT, then joined Emma to give more detail about how WLT measures the carbon reduction of its work, as well as the specific projects funded by the Carbon Balanced Print and Paper programme.
Each one of the many projects set up by WLT around the world follow principles developed by the climate community and biodiversity (CCB) standards. These standards state that a project must conform to a series of principles, including being effective, equitable, ethical, adaptive and permanent.
For tree-planting projects, WLT measures the area to be planted and uses data on the growth rate and carbon content of trees that the project will plant, while forest-protection projects use an assessment of the carbon stock within a forest area and the baseline rates of deforestation based upon historical forest loss analysis.
“With that information,” said Richard, “we can predict a project’s climate impact and set up a plan to measure those climate benefits, then keep doing that regularly.”
Carbon and Biodiversity Results
The result of WLT’s work, alongside its local partners who provide vital support in protecting the areas from deforestation and poaching, is not only the amount of carbon taken out of the atmosphere by the forests, but the preservation of threatened plant and animal species that depend on these habitats to thrive.
For example, the carbon balanced paper-funded project in the Khe Nouc Trong region of Vietnam is estimated to save over one million tonnes of CO2e over 20 years, as well as protect the endangered Red Shanked Douc monkey. Meanwhile, the protection of forests in the Xilitla area of Mexico is estimated to provide a carbon benefit of almost 70,000 tonnes of CO2e over five years and protect 552 species of plant and animal.
“These projects are enabling these forests to recover and restore, as well as accrue the carbon benefits,” said Richard. “All of our projects are funded through donations – we don’t receive any government support. So, it’s incredibly important that programmes such as Carbon Balanced Print and Paper continues their work to enable us to fund these incredible projects.”