Rolling Stone magazine becomes the first mass-marketed publication to publish on carbon neutral paper.
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Beginning with the June 28, 2007 issue, Rolling Stone magazine became the first mass-marketed magazine to print on carbon neutral paper. The special June issue of the magazine included a series of features devoted to the climate change issue, including a broad-based interview with former Vice President Al Gore, and an in-depth report on global warming solutions by environmental advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Rolling Stone magazine has been able to tangibly reduce its environmental footprint, while sustaining its position as the \"go to\" publication.
How Did Rolling Stone Magazine Become Carbon Neutral?
Studies have demonstrated that paper manufacturing accounts for the majority of a publication's total carbon footprint. Rolling Stone prints on Catalyst Cooled paper, an Electracote™ lightweight coated paper, manufactured in Port Alberni, British Columbia. Catalyst Cooled paper adds no net carbon dioxide to the environment.
How is this accomplished? Well before the climate change issue had captured the public's attention, Catalyst Paper undertook a thorough review of its operations, with an eye to identifying emissions reductions opportunities. As a result, the company was able to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 70 percent compared to the 1990 Kyoto Protocol baseline year, equivalent to taking 250,000 cars off the road every year. These direct greenhouse reductions were accomplished through a range of measures, including energy efficiency, and replacing a significant portion of fossil energy use with biofuels.
To address the residual greenhouse emissions footprint for the paper produced for Rolling Stone magazine, Catalyst engaged ERA Ecosystem Restoration Associates Inc. (ERA), a recognized pioneer in community-based climate mitigation programming. ERA, whose community-based programming is directed toward restoring forest ecosystems, offset the remaining direct greenhouse emissions associated with paper production through a carefully chosen forest ecosystem restoration project in the District of Maple Ridge, British Columbia. ERA is also exploring and developing opportunities for ecosystem restoration and avoided deforestation projects in South America and Africa.
In addition to the positive impacts this programming has on atmospheric carbon, ecosystem restorations offer a range of environmental co-benefits, including: improved storm-water management, fish and wildlife habitat enhancement, native biodiversity restoration, and endangered species refuges.
Catalyst Paper is among a handful of global companies that are recognized as early reducers of greenhouse gas emissions. Initiatives like the ones Rolling Stone magazine and Catalyst Paper are taking are a great step forward in tackling climate change and connecting with consumers in a commercially viable way.
Socio-economic co-benefits include local employment, a boost to local economies supporting the restorations, and education.
What Has Been the Response?
While some organizations resist the concept of offsetting, informed individuals and established commentators realize that offsetting, while not the entire solution, represents an essential element of sustainability and climate mitigation. Furthermore, as in the case of Catalyst Paper, offsetting generally follows voluntary efforts by companies and organizations to reduce their environmental footprints. In practice, offsetting companies are usually already at the top of the list of environmental performers.
The leadership and ingenuity of forward-thinking companies like Catalyst Paper, ERA, and other leaders in the space, are providing focus and substance to advancing sustainability in business and communities. Rolling Stone magazine, while the first, will certainly not be the last major publication, or business, to face head-on the challenges of climate change and sustainability. In becoming an "early reducer," Rolling Stone magazine has been able to tangibly reduce its environmental footprint, while sustaining its position as the "go to" publication for the latest in music reviews, in-depth interviews, respected political commentary, and award-winning investigative journalism.
Key steps to recover and enhance a forest's ability to remove vast tonnages of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
Establishing long-term agreements with local municipalities to ensure the restored forest ecosystems are fully protected
Undertaking biometrics studies to determine potential site productivity and carbon removal potential
Implementing the restoration, including the removal of invasive plant species
Commissioning "third-party" planting audits
Undertaking validations and verifications of the methodologies and carbon removals to the international standard ISO14064-2
Lyn Brown, vice president, Corporate Affairs and Social Responsibility joined Catalyst Paper in January 2004, bringing 20 years of wide-ranging business experience in stakeholder relations, public policy development, customer service and reputation management. Prior to joining Catalyst Paper, she served in leadership roles with Aquila Networks Canada (2000-2003) and TELUS (1989-1999).
Lyn holds an MBA from Royal Roads University (2002), a BA from the University of Alberta (1994) and a journalism diploma from Grant MacEwan College (1980). In her view, sustainability is central to business, social and environmental wellbeing in the 21st century.