Southeast Green | TreeZero Partners with Wildlife Works to Protect Threatened Forests in Africa

Partnership Expands Commitment to Innovation and Sustainability

A version of this article appeared in Southeast Green.

TreeZero, a sustainable paper company, has announced a partnership with Wildlife Works to support the preservation of threatened forests in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Additionally, the partnership has enabled TreeZero to become carbon neutral and offset its product carbon emissions.

“Our partnership with Wildlife Works joins two organizations focused on innovative solutions to conserve the world’s biodiversity,” said Mike Nilan, CEO of TreeZero. “We care about the world we live in, and we have products made in a way that positively impacts the environment today – and for generations to come.”

TreeZero’s premium, multipurpose paper is made from sugarcane fiber waste that is 100 percent tree free. The company achieved carbon neutrality for its paper by offsetting the carbon emissions generated from producing and processing the sugarcane, and manufacturing, distributing and recycling the paper. TreeZero has retroactively purchased verified emission reductions (VERs), also known as carbon offsets, for every single ream of paper produced and sold since the inception of the company – and has made the commitment to continue to purchase carbon offsets for future sales.

Wildlife Works is the world’s leading REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) project development and management company. REDD+ is a climate change mitigation strategy envisioned by The United Nations to stop the deforestation responsible for pumping more than 7 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere each year and accounting for 15 percent of global annual greenhouse gas emissions – more than the entire worldwide transportation sector.

“By creating value for standing trees through partnerships with organizations such as TreeZero, we’re able to fund our conservation efforts in Africa to protect forests and the wildlife that live in them,” said Mike Korchinsky, founder and president of Wildlife Works. “With TreeZero and other progressive corporations, we’re protecting 1.2 million acres of forests and preventing more than 5.4M tonnes of C02 emissions from being released each year for the 30-year life of the project. We’re also bringing sustainable development benefits to more than 200,000 local people who live in the forest area, in addition to protecting habitat for more than 300 species of wildlife.”

Approximately 300 million tons of paper is consumed worldwide each year.[1] According to the World Resources Institute, more than 80 percent of the Earth’s natural forests have been destroyed with 40 percent of deforestation driven by the paper industry.

“TreeZero is providing an alternative to paper production for those who want top quality paper and have a desire to move the needle on deforestation,’” said Nilan. “At the same time, we challenge others to go beyond conventional thinking to create solutions that further the circular economy.”

Nilan and Korchinsky are on the “Business for Sustainable Solutions” panel at The Rethinking Animals Summit in New York, May 6 and 7. They will discuss the TreeZero and Wildlife Works partnership and illustrate ways businesses can be profitable while protecting the environment and biodiversity.