The United Nations’ World Environment Day is the annual global focal point for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment.
Every year, Monday June 5 is World Environment Day, and in 2023 it reaches a particularly special landmark. It’s the 50th anniversary of its inception in 1973 as part of the then-newly formed World Environment Programme.
But while we celebrate this day and its global role in raising awareness of ecological issues, pride will be tempered by the ever-present realisation that so much more still needs to be done to steer our planet back on course towards a sustainable future.
Climate change remains an escalating problem and carbon emissions – a major cause of it – are getting worse. NASA recently reported that CO2 levels in the atmosphere are higher now than they have been for two million years, having risen to 420 PPM (parts per million) in 2023 compared to just 280 PPM before industrialisation. According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2021, the last decade was the hottest in 125,000 years.
But this is a process that’s not inevitable: If global net emissions were reduced to zero, global warming would start to reverse, along with many of its associated phenomena, from natural disasters to extreme weather events.
As World Environment Day continues to spread awareness of the importance of the environment and biodiversity, a major part of the solution is a more responsible and sustainable approach to printed materials and paper communications. That’s where Carbon Balanced Paper comes in.
Carbon Balanced Paper – much more than just offsetting
Among the initiatives and organisations making a difference is Carbon Balanced Paper. These materials are produced by ecologically responsible printers and paper producers as part of a wider quest to reduce their carbon footprint and create a positive impact on climate change.
As businesses and consumers look for better ways to minimise the impact they have on the planet, Carbon Balanced Paper not only offers a sustainable solution to paper and print, but also directly funds organisations working to slow and eventually reverse the ongoing harm being done in vulnerable areas of the globe.
Over the past decade, more than 5,000 brands have adopted Carbon Balanced Paper for their communications, including Unilever, Nat West Bank, Neals Yard, Anglian Water, Dulux and Specsavers, helping to protect land and forests that offset over 380,000 tonnes of CO2.
It’s also effective beyond carbon balancing, thanks to its link with World Land Trust.
Partnering with World Land Trust
Investing in Carbon Balanced Paper raises funds for the international conservation charity World Land Trust, which protects the world’s most biologically significant and threatened habitats. Since its foundation in 1989, WLT has conserved 2,350,000 acres of land across the world.
Among their aims is to protect carbon-rich habitats to prevent the release of stored carbon and enable the regeneration of degraded habitats, which gradually re-absorb atmospheric CO2 so these emissions are less harmful to the environment.
While many brands are rightly proud of their carbon offsetting programmes, choosing Carbon Balanced Paper is more proactive than carbon offsetting alone. The habitats World Land Trust protects are home to hundreds of threatened species and millions of acres of ecologically important habitats.
If you won’t take our word for it, you might consider those of Sir David Attenborough, a major WLT patron since 1989, who said, “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.” That positive impact can start with your choice of paper.