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Forest Positive: evolving print industry sustainability

Sustainability is often used as shorthand for environmentalism. But it’s more than that. Adopting the triple bottom line framework , sustainability is a system of multigenerational longevity for our society, economy, and environment.

Out of those three bottom lines, the environment is in the most immediate danger. And you can’t have a thriving society and economy without a thriving planet.

Climate change’s tipping point is looming . If fossil fuel emissions continue unchecked, the UN’s IPCC reports that global temperatures will likely rise by 1.5 degrees in the next two decades. You’ve heard about carbon-neutral and net-zero targets, but with the clock ticking on global warming, we, the world’s people and businesses need to do more.

This brings us to the next step in the sustainability evolution: the Forest Positive movement, which is transforming the print industry.

What is Forest Positive?

In news to nobody, global warming and climate change all start with greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions , and carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary human-contributed GhG. The pincer maneuver of global warming is that not only are humans contributing to elevated GhG emissions, but we’re also razing the world’s forests.

Trees play many parts in benefitting our climate and planet, but a key role is how they sink carbon. One mature tree absorbs more than 48 lbs of CO2 each year , so deforestation means we have fewer carbon warriors on the frontlines combatting climate change.

Reducing our carbon footprint is absolutely essential. But the planet needs more than a neutral approach. It needs an evergreen boost.

The Forest Positive movement is a targeted extension of sustainability. It looks beyond waste reduction and carbon-neutral targets.  Forest Positive initiatives directly benefit the trees and forests of the world, tipping the scales beyond neutral into an environmental surplus.

It’s a sustainability approach that offers more than balancing carbon footprints and greenwashing after the fact . It uplifts the environment with active and ongoing investment, preservation, and conservation of our natural ecosystem.

What is Forest Positive printing?

Of all the trees cut down, 30% are pulped into paper products. Print industry consumers feel this responsibility and are already voting green with their wallets. Quocirca reports that 50% of customers expect their print supplier to help them reduce their environmental impact. The print industry, therefore, needs to hold itself accountable for the part we play.

PaperCut is joining the ranks of organizations in the print world rising to the occasion. Our print management solutions have been helping 115 million users across 195 countries to reduce paper waste for 20 years and counting. To date, our solutions have saved 2.3B pages from being printed. That amounts to 280,451 trees saved.

This drive for waste reduction actually founded our company : a recycling bin of overflowing abandoned printouts led our current CEO, Chris, to write a bit of code with our other co-founder, Matt. Today we’re an industry leader in print management software.

But waste reduction is only half of the print equation. The other half is: after cutting down waste, how do we give back to the planet? We’ve been trying to answer that question for some time. And we have made some progress. Since 2020, for every license we’ve sold, Carbon Positive Australia has planted a tree in one of its reforestation projects. Now we’re doing more and we’re solving that elusive part of the printing problem. We’ve been saving trees, now we want to just as actively plant them with Forest Positive printing.

Forest Positive printing means your organization’s essential creativity and communication take an active part in waste reduction and restoring our planet’s natural resources. It’s achieved by managing print and planting more trees than used by your printing.

We now deliver Forest Positive printing with PaperCut Grows, a new sustainability program available with our flagship solutions PaperCut MF and PaperCut Hive .

Reduce waste + Plant trees = Forest Positive

Environmental action has been driving our company’s work since 1998. That’s when our co-founders Chris and Matt began coding “a little piece of software” to stop paper waste.

Sustainability is more than a company value of ours, it’s motivation. To this day our passion for creating a better future for our planet is the reason many individual PaperCutters join our business.

We’re not alone. Sustainability is bigger than us, it’s an upward trend in the print industry. Many dedicated organizations like Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) , HP , Konica Minolta , Kyocera , and  Ricoh , are doing amazing work in the sustainable print space.

Forest Positive is also a largescale movement outside of print with various organizations like WWF , IKEA , and the United Nations driving initiatives to combat climate change with direct ecological impact.

That’s all a way of saying that PaperCut just wants to do our bit. Forest Positive printing with PaperCut Grows is the next evolution in our sustainability story and was always the direction we were heading in.

We’re excited to be finally solving the second half of our print equation with Forest Positive printing and PaperCut Grows.

Find out more about Forest Positive printing.


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