Why buying carbon offsets isn’t enough and using carbon neutral paper is only part of the solution

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With the heightened conversation around carbon neutrality and the option to buy credits, consumers may think this is a viable solution to climate change and environmental impact. But carbon neutrality can be misleading.

With the heightened conversation around carbon neutrality and the option to buy credits, consumers may think this is a viable solution to climate change and environmental impact.

Carbon neutrality is achieved by offsetting emissions. The CO2 a company releases is calculated as a cost to the environment. That cost can then be offset by going outside the company and investing in environmental projects that reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by the same amount that’s released.

But carbon neutrality can be misleading

Nothing is neutral about carbon emissions. Manufacturing products creates emissions. The process requires raw materials to be extracted and transformed. This invariably requires energy and thus creates those emissions.

Some companies choose not to focus on reducing their amount of pollutants but then purchase a form of redemption with carbon credits. That’s like a car owner driving around all day but saying he’s achieved carbon neutrality because he bought a bike for his child and a bus pass for his niece. His car still emits the same amount of pollution. At the end of the day, he would make a more significant impact by buying a car with a smaller engine or switching to electric.

It’s all about solving the problem at its source

A long-term sustainability strategy is our priority as we define success not only by the quality of our products and our ability to meet our customers’ needs, but also by the effect our products and processes have on wildlife, people, and the planet. This also means taking a broader view by contributing to social and environmental initiatives and reinforcing the circular economy and creating a sustainable closed-loop future with minimal impact.

The circular economy is built on the notion that the life cycles of materials and resources that have already served a purpose for end users can be preserved and extended.
Rolland’s innovative manufacturing processes mine the “urban forest” with the least amount of impact to the environment and its natural resources. We source alternative recycled fibers and, in turn, lessen the burden on our forest while addressing the problem of landfills, pollution, and waste generated.

Rolland’s Enviro® product line, sustainable recycled paper, has less than half the environmental impact of the North American industry average for virgin and 100% recycled papers. It has a small environmental footprint, contributing to the reduction of the environmental impact within North America’s paper industry.

How we truly reduce our carbon footprint

At Rolland, we reduce our own greenhouse gases, generating as little pollution as possible. Rolland continuously achieves low carbon emission levels. And we’ve achieved this without purchasing offset credits. We’ve put into place a mix of renewable and local energy by employing biogas and hydroelectricity. Biogas serves as Rolland’s main source of energy and powers 93% percent of our energy needs. It also reduces our CO2 emissions by 70,000 tons – the equivalent of 23,400 compact cars every year!

Our production processes also focus on minimizing water usage. Rather than constantly using fresh water, our paper mill continuously recirculates water and uses six times less than the industry average. With less energy needed to heat fresh water, this closed-loop process contributes to our low environmental footprint. And our water treatment equipment ensures operations with clean water in, clean water out.

Let’s take the opportunity to reduce our emissions before going ahead and buying someone else’s work by choosing responsibly made recycled products direct from a sustainably manufacturing company, like Rolland.

We are a company that will keep working to lessen our impact, by reducing our emission levels at the source as we make sustainable paper to help you achieve your environmental goals and impact our world for good.

Source: Rolland