Making environmentally-friendly choices when it comes to your printed marketing can often be confusing. There are so many different terms used, all claiming similar things. But how do you know which one is going to make the most difference for you and the future of our planet?

aerial shot of a forestImage Credit

Let’s break it down. 

The Differences Between Zero, Balanced and Neutral

Zero Carbon

This is a case where no carbon is emitted from the outset, so no carbon needs to be captured or offset.

For example, an off-grid household or commercial building running entirely on solar and using zero fossil fuels can label its energy ‘zero carbon’.

Carbon Balancing

Put simply, Carbon Balancing is where the carbon impact of a product or service has been estimated. The equivalent amount of carbon dioxide is either prevented from being released or is absorbed into the atmosphere.

Carbon Neutral

Carbon neutrality, or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset.

How are they different? 

Carbon Balancing is delivered by World Land Trust (WLT) who protect the world’s most biologically important and threatened habitats. Their Carbon Balanced Programme offsets emissions through the purchase and preservation of high conservation value forests, whereas Carbon Neutral is usually achieved through buying carbon credits. 

Through Carbon Balancing, you’re supporting World Land Trust directly - saving real acres in real places. 

What is World Land Trust? 

World Land Trust is an international conservation charity that protects the world’s most biologically significant and threatened habitats - acre by acre.

WLT is instrumental in the purchase and protection of more than 700,000 acres of habitat in Africa, Asia, Central and South America and the UK to create reserves and give permanent protection to habitats and wildlife. 

Their work is actively supported by their passionate and dedicated patrons such as Sir David Attenborough, Steve Backshall, David Gower and Chris Packham. 

WTL quote Instagram

Making a REAL Difference? 

World Land Trust supports projects in Vietnam, one of the most biologically diverse countries on Earth and an area of international conservational importance. 

Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and this growth is putting immense pressure on its exceptional biodiversity.  

Currently, WLT is collaborating with the Viet Nature Conservation Centre. This is being done to protect the Khe Nuoc Trong Forest which as area that covers almost 50,000 acres. In doing this, around 50,000 tonnes of CO2 can be absorbed every year.

Khe Nuoc Trong is home to 41 threatened species listed on the IUCN Red List, eight of which are endangered and six are critically endangered. 

Quick Acre Comparison: An acre is a unit of area containing 4,840 square yards. It’s approximately the same size as one football pitch or 16 tennis courts. 

So that’s 800,000 tennis courts worth of Vietnamese forest, to help put it in perspective.

What’s a Carbon Credit? 

A carbon credit is a credit for greenhouse emissions, reduced or removed from the atmosphere from an emission reduction project. This can be used by governments, businesses or individuals to compensate for the emissions they’re generating. 

It’s rather ironic because giving (carbon) credit is largely overdue. You only need to look at the headlines to see time is quickly running out. It needs to be paid back as soon as possible for it to have any kind of positive effect on our environment.

How Will It Benefit Your Business? 

Carbon balancing your print will reduce your carbon impact and enhance your brand. 

Taking positive action with Carbon Balanced Print is one way to help combat global warming and deliver against your corporate social responsibility. 

You’ll be issued with a unique World Land Trust Carbon Balanced Print logo that you can use on your printed material. It demonstrates and communicates your commitment to reducing your carbon impact.

You’ll also receive a certificate to advise the amount of CO2 balanced and the area of land protected as a result of your positive action. You can have a yearly or quarterly certificate or a certificate for a specific project if necessary. 

Choosing to Carbon Balance your print is one step in the right direction. Thankfully, there are now many ways you can make your print process as environmentally friendly as possible.

The Next Steps to Eco-Friendly Print 

If you’re looking to ‘green up’ your print methods, download our Ethical Printing Checklist. It gives you great actionable advice on how you can alter your printed solutions to make them more eco-friendly and ethical. The more of the checklist you tick off, the greener your print will become.

Click the link below to download.

Download The Green Checklist

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Modern technology has made these kinds of items increasingly cheaper to produce and more visually appealing. They’re a great way of lowering your business’ environmental impact - but how exactly do you produce the best kind of print using these methods?

Our checklist will give you the best advice for creating an impactful sustainable print solution.