On Paper, Population Growth Threatens Biodiversity & Life on Earth
The Australian Conservation Foundation says human population growth threatens Australia’s biodiversity, making it harder for us to reduce greenhouse pollution, protect natural habitats and ensure a good quality of life for all, while Australian Paper says the seven new grades of carbon neutral paper will create a tonne of sustainable value by helping government and listed companies hit carbon reduction targets and improve triple bottom line reporting figures.
Media Release (23 March 2010):
The Australian Conservation Foundation has nominated human population growth as a “key threatening process” to Australia’s biodiversity under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act).
“The bigger our population gets, the harder it is for us to reduce greenhouse pollution, protect natural habitats near urban and coastal areas and ensure a good quality of life for all Australians,” said ACF’s director of strategic ideas, Charles Berger.
“More people means more roads, more urban sprawl, more dams, more transmission lines, more energy and water use, more pollutants in our air and natural environment and more pressure on Australia’s animals, plants, rivers, reefs and bushland.
“We need to improve urban and coastal planning and management of environmental issues, but we can’t rely on better planning alone to protect our environment. Rapid population growth makes sustainable planning nearly impossible, so stabilising Australia’s population by mid-century should be a national policy goal.”
The EPBC Act nomination cites many government reports that acknowledge the direct link between population growth and environmental degradation.
The nomination looks at four specific areas where human population growth is directly affecting native species and ecological communities – the coastal wetlands of South East Queensland, Mornington Peninsula and Westernport Bay in Victoria, the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia and the Swan Coastal Plain in Western Australia.
ACF is calling on the Government to set a population policy that will:
• Stabilise Australia’s population by mid-century.
• Increase humanitarian migration and continue to support family reunions, but substantially reduce skilled migration.
• Return Australia’s overall migration to 1990s levels.
• Adequately fund strategies to minimise the environmental impact of population growth.
In response to overwhelming customer demand, Australian Paper, the nation’s only carbon neutral paper producer, today announced the introduction of seven new carbon neutral grades that will be widely available through a range of new distribution partnerships.
Paul Allen, Australian Paper GM Marketing, said the carbon neutral stock will create a tonne of sustainable value by helping government and listed companies hit carbon reduction targets and improve triple bottom line reporting figures.
“With Australian Paper’s new range of Australian owned and made carbon neutral paper, we are giving procurement and production departments a choice they can be proud of.
“We are helping government and big business walk the talk on sustainability,” Mr Allen said.
“Our new grades will nullify more than 15,000 tonnes of harmful greenhouse emissions in 2010, so something as simple as the choice of paper can have a huge impact on environmental performance.
The stock has independently certified metrics as to the amount of CO2 avoided through the use of the grade; metrics that will improve their ‘People, Planet and Profits’ reporting.”
In 2008, Australian Paper was the first to market with carbon neutral paper with the ENVI range. To date, they have offset over 80,000 tonnes of carbon – the equivalent of neutralising over 16,000 cars for one year1.
The seven new carbon neutral stocks, which range from virgin paper to 100% recycled, are supplied as completely carbon neutral and are certified under the Federal Department of Climate Change Greenhouse Friendly program. All carbon emissions from production, manufacture, transport and disposal have been measured, reduced and offset to make the paper truly carbon neutral, with the ISO methodology and numbers to back it up.
Australian Paper is currently helping an number of Australian government and corporate clients reduce their carbon footprint, including Australia Post, Australian Passports, Hungry Jacks, Computershare, Dolly Magazine, AGL Energy, The University of Adelaide, Stikki Notes, Foxtel and MP Sid Sidebottom.
Dave Hynes, Chairman of Computershare Communication Services which specialises in the delivery of investor service communications for some of the largest financial, utility, telecommunications and insurance corporations in Australia, said the company’s association with Australian Paper was an important element of Computershare’s environmental commitment.
“At Computershare, we want to help our stakeholders to effect positive change that improves the quality and sustainability of our environment, workplace, community and marketplace.
“One of the key ways we can provide sustainable communication solutions to our clients is by influencing their choice of paper; giving them the option of a carbon neutral paper solution. In the past two years, by using Australian Paper’s carbon neutral ENVI range we have helped clients collectively save 790 tonnes of harmful greenhouse gas emissions through their communications alone,” said Mr Hynes.
“With this expanded variety of carbon neutral stocks, we will be able to provide a greater range of services, such as brochures and inserts, to help our stakeholders complete the ‘sustainable package’ and reduce emissions even further.”
In a recent survey, 90% of Australians said business has a responsibility beyond increasing shareholder value to that of caring for communities and the environment and 84% said that if a company can demonstrate an active involvement in minimising environmental and community impacts, they would be more likely to choose their products.
Mr Allen said that, as an Australian manufacturer, this made sustainability a business imperative for Australian Paper.
“We want to give production and procurement departments access to the most sustainable paper in the world to help them meet these expectations. Our goal over the next two years is to achieve a 15% level of all paper specification in Australia for a real impact on carbon footprints and triple bottom lines.”
Mr Allen said that by specifying Australian Paper’s carbon neutral range, businesses can help Australian manufacting as well as the environment.
“Australian Paper employs approximately 1,200 Australians, mostly in Gippsland and Shoalhaven.
Being a manufacturer in Australia isn’t a particularly sexy thing to be, but we have a broad economic impact in these communities. People in these areas are hungry for business growth, and while manufacturing has been down in Australia, the sustainability cause is creating new opportunities.
“As the relaunched “Australian Made Campaign” shows, Australian made needs to matter, especially in the face of increased foreign imports. To this end, Australian Paper is proud to be doing its bit to help Australian manufacturing.”
ENVI, the first carbon neutral paper in Australia, is still available, in uncoated form only.