The International Day of Forests is March 21, 2019. While ideally that would entail a trek through a forest or an afternoon tree planting, many of us are stuck in the office and not so fortunate to have such an opportunity on an average work day.
Instead, companies should consider the International Day of Forests as an ideal opportunity to examine their own corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, particularly as it relates to saving trees and reducing carbon emissions.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
As website Investopedia defines it, “Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable—to itself, its stakeholders, and the public.”
Make no mistake. Your CSR initiatives matter to your customers and employees. According to the 2017 Cone Communications CSR Study, 87 percent of consumers say they would purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about, such as the environment. Another study found that three-quarters of millennials—the largest generation in the workforce today—would take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company.
One Key Way To Show Dedication to Corporate Social Responsibility
While displaying your socially responsible roots via grand gestures and splashy donations garners attention, the truth is that everyday actions are the ones that often make the biggest cumulative difference in reducing carbon emissions.
A vital way to help in your quest to save trees is by making wise choices in your office supply products. Many companies aspire to a paperless office. Yet most businesses find that goal impossible. The reality is that hard copies are still the gold standard for preserving “paper trails,” allowing easy reference during meetings and for proofreading, among other important functions.
That’s why we need to make intentional choices about the paper we use. That’s where a collaboration between the Office Depot and the Arbor Day Foundation can make a big difference, through a creative corporate social responsibility program called “TreeUp.”
When you join TreeUp, our proprietary “paper calculator” estimates the amount of wood used and carbon emissions created by your paper purchase. You can then choose how you want to counteract your environmental impact—by planting trees to support animal habitat and reforestation projects across the country or offsetting carbon. Our partner, the Arbor Day Foundation, will subsequently plant trees for $1 per tree or offset carbon at a rate of $7 per ton.
Quantify and Share Your Corporate Social Responsibility Commitment
Most companies want to highlight their efforts to save trees and reduce carbon emissions. As a TreeUp participant, you will receive a certificate highlighting your impact on the planet through tree planting and carbon offsets.
In addition, our calculator computes a lifecycle analysis for your copy paper usage, including wood, waste, energy, carbon and water and calculates how much you avoid by using recycled paper—another metric to share with your stakeholders.
As you contemplate the suitable way to observe International Day of Forests and improve your own corporate social responsibility efforts, you can introduce initiatives that will reduce your impact on the environment and meet sustainability goals.
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer covering business and consumer topics. She creates branded content for Fortune 500 companies, and her work has appeared in LearnVest, Costco Magazine, Forbes, TheGlassHammer.com and IDEA Fitness. Follow her @cathieericson.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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