Zero Emissions Day raises awareness of the impact of our carbon emissions and encourages individuals and companies to always choose the option of lower emissions.

Taking place on September 21, Zero Emissions Day has a straightforward aim: to give the planet a break from CO2 and other greenhouse gases for 24 hours. It encourages individuals and companies to limit their use of energy generated by fossil fuels – so choosing to travel by bike rather than car, disconnecting electronic devices such as TVs and computers, conserving water, and thinking about food choices and how far it’s travelled.

Of course, 24 hours of zero emissions is going to be tough for most people – unless you live completely off the land then you will be responsible for a certain amount of emissions – but the day is designed to make people more aware of their responsibility to the environment and what they can do to slow down climate change.

A global movement

The idea behind Zero Emissions Day came from Canadian environmental activist Ken Wallace, who coined the phrase ‘Giving our Planet a day off a year’. Designed to highlight the importance of addressing climate change, the idea quickly evolved into a global movement, with events, seminars and school lessons built around it. The hope is that getting people to focus on their emissions for one day will instil long-term habits and attitudes that will reduce the amount of carbon emissions around the world.

Whether you’re an individual, a company or an entire country, achieving net zero is a complex challenge. It involves thinking deeply about everything you do and how you can do the same things more sustainably. For companies, it’s not just the energy use and environmental policies within their workplace, it’s also the policies and practices of their suppliers and partners.

Aware of their responsibility to their customers, employees and the planet, many companies will have robust environmental policies in place for their journey towards net zero, but there will always be a certain amount of emissions that need to be balanced when it comes to marketing and communications. This is where Carbon Balanced Paper comes in.

Carbon Balanced Paper

The Carbon Balanced Paper programme is a simple way for organisations to reduce the carbon impact of their paper and printed communications, enabling brands to demonstrate their commitment to the environment, while enabling partner suppliers and printers to carbon balance their paper and print services.

The funds raised by Carbon Balanced Paper go towards vital World Land Trust projects in Vietnam, Mexico, Ecuador and Guatemala. These projects involve the protection of land from deforestation and degradation, which not only preserves invaluable ecosystems that are home to some of the world’s most endangered species, but prevents the release of CO2 into the atmosphere. In the eight years it’s been running, the initiative has helped to protect land and forests that’s offset over 50,000 tonnes of CO2.

The journey to net zero is a long and difficult one, but initiatives such as Zero Emissions Day and Carbon Balanced Paper are definitely steps in the right direction.


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