13 December 2015 Paper

Carbon Balanced scheme returns under wider stewardship

Antalis, Fedrigoni and Denmaur are backing Carbon Balanced paper as a way to improve the environmental profile of print.

Eight months after the demise of Paperlinx, the Carbon Balanced printing programme that the paper merchant had delivered is being relaunched by the World Land Trust in partnership with paper companies Antalis, Denmaur and Fedrigoni.

The revamped and simplified scheme has been developed by Jonathan Tame, director of CarbonCo, a new business able to assess the carbon footprint of any UK business. While CarbonCo’s directors are Tame and Martyn Eustace, both involved with Two Sides and Print Power, this is a separate business engaged in helping any company assess and reduce its carbon impact.

Tame had previously developed the calculations used by Paperlinx involving separate figures for each of the papers covered calculated from the individual figures for carbon emissions at each mill. Now the revised calculator is using the Eurograph average of 670kg of carbon emissions per tonne of paper.

This makes the calculation much simpler and remains robust he explains. It also enables three paper providers to sign up and for World Land Trust to continue to endorse the validity of the system.

If a printer sources paper through one of the merchants involved in the system, the calculation will be automatically carried out and the sum needed to offset that amount automatically invoiced. A certificate can be issued for each job along with a trackable job number to be used with the World Land Trust logo. Certificates can be rolled up and issues to show how much carbon has been balanced over a longer period for any regular customer.

For printers wishing to go a step further, it is possible to become a certified Carbon Balanced publication printer where the carbon emissions created by that printer are offset by donations to the World Land Trust to enable it to buy and protect forest, or to help restore cleared land back to forest. “The best way to capture carbon is through existing forests,” says senior conservationist Roger Green.

The number of printers certified in this way peaked at 15, but had fallen as Paperlinx allowed the scheme to drift even before its administration. There are now 11 UK printers certified in this way.

Mark Thomas, carbon balanced expert at NB Colour on of those, says: “We have kept in touch with Jonathan Tame during this process. Carbon balanced is something that we are still engaged with and want to promote.

“It has been a bit flat this year because of the uncertainty, now we are hoping to push it again. It helps us engage with customers rather than just talking about costs.”

There will be no increase to the merchants that are now offering the Carbon Balanced paper scheme. It takes time to train sales staff to be able to explain the concept and the system says Tame “and we need to be able to support these companies”.

Antalis marketing director James Jarvis adds: “ At Antalis we were very struck by the effectiveness that WLT had with local people and that they were making an impact. Consequently we thought it was a good scheme to be involved with.

“We have a couple of hundred sales people dealing with customers every day who are able to tell printers why this is a good idea.”

However, it will still be possible for a printer to carbon balance the paper used in a job when the material is not sourced through these companies. In this case the company will visit the calculator on the carbonbalancedprinter.com website, enter the amount of paper being used and receive the information about payment to the World Land Trust.

It uses the funds to buy tracts of forest which would otherwise be cleared for cattle grazing or to become palm oil plantations. It has projects around the globe, including the latest in the Khe Nuoc Trong forest in Vietnam where efforts are underway to secure 50,000 of lowland forest which is home to 20 species on the Red Book list of endangered animals including half a dozen at critical risk of extinction.

Under Paperlinx, the WLT benefited from £120,000 of donations to help purchase and manage otherwise threatened forests. It had involved more than 350 printers registering 12,000 carbon balanced jobs on behalf of 2,500 brands and organisations. Each time a job is carbon balanced, a logo can be applied to the job, Carbon Balanced printers can use a different logo to show that all their work has been offset in this way.

Gareth Ward

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WLT in Vietnam

WLT in Vietnam

Funds raised through the Carbon Balanced paper scheme will help protect forests in Vietnam that are home to many endangered species, some on the verge of extinction as well as sequestrating the amount of carbon emissions generated during the paper making process.

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