You're looking to scale your business using print-based marketing and to do so whilst benefitting our environment. But wait, does the common approach of planting trees to offset carbon emissions take too long?
In the battle against climate change, the focus on tree-planting initiatives has gained significant attention worldwide. While planting trees is undoubtedly beneficial for the environment, according to the World Land Trust, it takes about 20 years before a new tree will mature enough to begin sequestering carbon. That's 20 years before planting trees will have a truly positive impact!
Surely there's something we can do that has a positive impact right now?
Yes, there is! And that's what this page is all about! The clue is in the headline: don't just plant, protect.
So, let's delve into the remarkable benefits of safeguarding these unique ecosystems and shed light on why they deserve our utmost attention.
The Truth About Planting Trees
Before looking at protecting and preserving, let's touch on planting trees. Though it's not our recommended primary strategy, there's still so much to explore and so much good that comes from planting trees.
Propaganda has told us that our European forests are shrinking. Nothing could be further from the truth! Here's the reality:
"Between 2005 and 2020, European forests grew by 58,390 square kilometres – that's an area bigger than Switzerland and amounts to over 1,500 football pitches every day!" FAO data, 2005-2020
"Forests cover 40% of the European territory and are growing in both area and volume. Currently, the total volume is approximately 28 billion m3, which is growing by around 612 million m3 every year." Two Sides
Another misconception is that planted forests are bad for the environment. What??!! Here are the facts:
"Over the past four decades they (forests) have moderated global warming by absorbing around a quarter of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activities." Two Sides
"Forests cover 31% of the world's total land area and contain most of the world's terrestrial biodiversity. Forests provide habitats for 80% of amphibian, 75% of bird and 68% of mammal species." FAO and UNEP, The State of World's Forests, 2020
"Forests provide more than 86 million green jobs globally and support the livelihoods of many more people. They are vital for the conservation of biodiversity, energy supply, and soil and water protection." FAO and UNEP, The State of the World's Forests, 2020
Protecting and preserving
"Whenever there's a choice, we stress that halting deforestation and protecting remaining forests must be a priority." Prof Alexandre Antonelli, Director of Science at RGB Kew.
Ok, the juicy bit: protecting and preserving. As you can see from the quote above - protecting what we have must be a priority. But why?
"Trees are the ultimate carbon capture and storage machines. Like great carbon sinks, woods and forests absorb atmospheric carbon and lock it up for centuries. They do this through photosynthesis." World Land Trust
As newly planted trees take 20+ years on average to act as 'carbon capture storage machines', it's imperative to protect what we already have. Devastatingly, outside of Europe, deforestation is a mammoth problem:
"Since 1990, it is estimated that some 420 million hectares of forest have been lost—an area 17x greater than the United Kingdom." World Land Trust
So what can be done?
We must protect carbon-rich habitats to avoid the release of stored carbon and enable the regeneration of degraded habitats, which gradually re-absorb atmospheric CO2. These same habitats are home to hundreds of threatened species, meaning the benefits of choosing to protect exceed far beyond carbon offsetting alone.
It's here we introduce The World Land Trust.
The World Land Trust (WLT) is a force to be reckoned with—a global hero dedicated to protecting and restoring threatened habitats across the planet.
From lush rainforests to delicate ecosystems, the WLT stops at nothing to ensure the survival of our most precious natural treasures worldwide.
Through their innovative Carbon Balanced Programme, they work hand in hand with businesses to offset their carbon emissions and safeguard biodiversity-rich areas.
By partnering with the World Land Trust and becoming an accredited Carbon Balanced Printer, Greener Mail ensures that every print and packaging service we offer is carbon balanced.
This means that the environmental impact of your marketing materials is offset through the protection and restoration of endangered woodland and habitats.
Therefore, the more you print, the more direct mail, leaflet distributions, or pick-and-pack jobs you do with us, the more you protect and preserve our precious climate. Simple!
And surely you'd like to see your impact tangibly, right? Well, you can!
You receive certification, which calculates precisely how many kg of CO2 you've balanced (offset) and how many m2 of carbon-rich endangered woodland you've protected and restored.
To conclude then, while tree planting initiatives are necessary, we must recognise the invaluable benefits of protecting and preserving the world's most carbon-rich habitats.
By prioritising their preservation, you have the power to create an instant impact, mitigating climate change and ensuring the long-term well-being of our planet.