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Working together towards a sustainable world

Sustainability and the printing industry. Not exactly two terms that you would link to each other. This is the exact reason why there is a huge responsibility in our industry, to become more sustainable. Helloprint has a large production network and therefore we can encourage our clients, as well as our partners, to act more sustainable. We can use our network in a smarter way, develop greener production ways en actively offset and reduce our CO2 emissions. Find out more below about how we are contributing our bit to work on climate problems.

Impact Nation

As part of our ambition to become more sustainable, we took part in a 100-days pilot program with Impact Nation. Impact Nation is an initiative by ABN AMRO, TWN and Impact Hub Amsterdam, an accelerator that supports companies with the practical side of making their business more sustainable and integrating sustainability into their business model. As part of the program, we have started our collaboration with EcoCart to give our customers the possibility to neutralize their carbon footprint.
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Partnership with EcoCart

Our collaboration with Ecocart marked an important step in our journey towards sustainability. EcoCart is a company specialized in assessing the carbon footprint of different processes and calculating the costs to compensate for these emissions. EcoCart offers an algorithm that determines the carbon emissions from the manufacturing and shipping of each order by looking at factors such as raw materials, manufacturing and production processes, transport, product weight, shipping distance and more. The partnership with EcoCart has made it possible for us to offer carbon footprint compensation for a wide range of products on our platform. This way, with every order that has been offset by our customers, the full amount is donated to a verified and internationally recognized environmental project, which has been scientifically proven to successfully compensate for greenhouse gas emissions. We have chosen to support the Purus Project, a rainforest conservation and restoration project in Brazil, because we operate in the printing industry and rely on natural resources such as paper. Paper comes from trees, this is why we want to support a project that compensates for the trees being used for print.
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The Purus Project - An Amazon Rainforest Conservation Project

The Amazon rainforest is the world’s most biodiverse habitat and home to at least 10% of the planet’s plant and animal species. Currently, rates of deforestation pose an extreme threat to the entire rainforest ecosystem and risks losses of biodiversity, animal habitat degradation and contributes to climate change. The Purus Project is a forest conservation project in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest that is involved in the active preservation and restoration of the Amazon rainforest. The project works together with local communities and groups to protect the ecosystem.

The activities of this project:

  • Educate local communities about improved agricultural techniques to increase yield of their grown food. This way, less land is needed for agricultural practices which saves trees from being cut down for agriculture.
  • Providing alternative models of economic development to avoid destruction of the forest.
  • Protect endangered animal species through forest conservation and restoration.
The Purus Project is certified with the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB) which verifies that the project achieves a net positive impact on environment, biodiversity and community. See full documentation.
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is CO2 compensation?

Whenever we drive a car, take a plane or order flyers, we generate greenhouse gas emissions, such as CO2, that get released into our atmosphere and heat up the planet. These emissions are very damaging to our environment. CO2 compensation is a way that we can balance out our negative impact by compensating for the greenhouse gas emissions we generated. Usually, this works by investing in environmental projects that balance out the emissions we produced, by supporting foundations that protect and plant trees.

Why is CO2 compensation necessary?

The increase in CO2 emissions has a very negative impact on the environment and contributes strongly to climate change. CO2 compensation is a strategy to mitigate the risks of climate change and increase awareness of our impact on the planet.

How does compensating CO2 emissions work?

Let’s take an example. You place an order of 100 flyers, which equals 250 grams of CO2. Via the price of a ton of CO2, we convert this into a monetary price, let's say 5 euro. We offer the opportunity to compensate for the 250 grams of CO2. The money will be invested in reforestation and conservation projects in the Amazon. This includes planting new trees but also preserving existing forests. They help local communities to work more efficiently and less pollutive. The compensation works as follows. After quite some years, a tree starts capturing CO2 out of the air. It filters out the CO2. So, you pay a specific amount of money to compensate your carbon emissions over the lifespan of the tree.

How do we calculate the carbon footprint?

We work together with EcoCart, a company specialised in assessing and calculating the carbon footprint of product. Together, we make sure that the calculations are based on real data and information from surveys and studies published by peer-reviewed academic journals or databases. The detailed descriptions and emission calculations are available upon request.

What are the main drivers of my carbon foorprint?

Many factors play an important role in driving the carbon footprint when making your order. Shipping and transportation is a big driver when looking at the carbon emissions, this of course is also taken into account when you place your order. Besides shipping, the production and the manufacturing of the product have a big impact on the carbon footprint. Often however, it is impossible for e-commerce platforms to track the origins of the products offered on their website and therefore neglected. We have managed to gather reliable information of the emissions generated from our products and taken into account many factors besides shipping and transportation. Here, we have taken into account the material, product weight, percentage of ink usage, size and source (recycled vs non-recycled). This is why when offsetting your order, you offset not only the shipping and transportation emissions but also product based emissions, thereby making the impact more effective.

How do we know that our calculations are correct?

Our partner EcoCart specializes in assessing and calculating the carbon footprint of products. The full calculations used for assessing the carbon footprint are available upon request.

How does CO2 compensation work over time?

Carbon offsets work in a very interesting way. Certified carbon offsets projects receive carbon credits that they can make available for sale to companies or individuals in order to let them offset their emissions. These carbon credits demonstrate that the activities of the project have led to actively reducing or preventing CO2 emissions, which would have not been reduced without the project’s interference. So this means that often, when you offset your order or when companies buy carbon credits to compensate for their emissions, the positive impact and CO2 reduction has already happened. This makes sure that by offsetting, you have indeed neutralized your order and offset your emissions at the precise moment and not only in an indeterminate amount of time. This way, you can make sure that you are making a direct contribution to climate protection and that the positive impact achieved has been made possible as a direct consequence of the project’s activities, that would have not happened if the CO2 was not offset.

Why is offsetting so cheap?

Many people are confused about the low prices of carbon offsets. It can seem confusing that a small amount of money can result in a very big impact such as saving 1 entire tree. The reason for this is that carbon offsetting is in general very cheap. Essentially, there are many inexpensive ways of reducing emissions. For example, one small low-energy light bulb can in six years save 250 kg of CO2 which is equivalent to a short flight. Offset schemes vary a lot in cost depending on the supported project type, size, location and the value it delivers. In general, smaller scale projects are more costly because they are often more expensive to implement and produce less compensation per ton of CO2. In general however, it is true that offset projects in undeveloped countries are cheaper. This is because programs in developed countries are higher in cost and that local initiatives are highly sought after, increasing the price.

Why do you invest in forest conservation projects and not in reforestation?

Sometimes it is better to invest in the protection of trees than reforestation alone. This has multiple reasons. Newly planted trees take a long time to grow and it takes them around 10 years to reach their maximum carbon sequestration rate. In general, new trees require a lot of resources before they can begin to have positive economic and environmental impacts back to nature and communities. Mature forests however, are already full of strong trees that have reached their maximum carbon sequestration rate and provide support for biodiversity, endangered species and wildlife habitats. However, this does not mean that we shouldn’t plant trees, we should just focus first on protecting the trees in the forests that we already have.

How can I preserve trees by offsetting my order?

When choosing to offset your order, the total amount will be donated to a forest conservation and restoration project in the Amazon rainforest. The activities you support with offsetting your order ensure that the necessary actions are taken to conserve and restore the trees, so that they continue capturing CO2 at their full potential. The supported project with your carbon offset is among others involved in engaging communities to reduce their dependence on forest resources by providing different alternatives of income. Additionally, local communities are being trained as patrols to monitor deforestation to provide early detection of illegal deforestation and implement appropriate actions to mitigate such deforestation. All these activities have been verified to have a net positive effect on forest conservation. With supporting these activities, you make sure that by offsetting your order, you actively contribute to preserve trees in the Amazon rainforest.

How do you calculate how many trees are saved with each offset?

To calculate the number of trees saved for each offset several factors are taken into account. When you make an order, this will produce a specific amount in carbon emissions. These emissions are quantified in terms of CO2 weight. When offsetting your carbon footprint, your kg CO2 footprint is compensated by supporting activities of a specific project that has proven to result in CO2 reduction. The activities you support to reduce the carbon footprint are often translated into ‘trees saved’ as a way to illustrate the impact in a more tangible way. Here, the amount of kg CO2 and the activities supported will be transformed into an approximate number of trees that can be conserved with the supported activities and the kg of CO2 compensated.

How can I make sure that I support a legitimate project?

There are many dubious offsetting projects out there that have not been proven to actually make a positive impact and compensate for carbon emissions. In order to make sure that we support a legitimate project, our partners at EcoCart have triple-verified the chosen project by confirming that the project’s financials, management team, project site and carbon reduction methods are carefully inspected and credited with internationally recognized certifications such as the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB) and Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). This means that the supported project is proven to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and have a net positive impact. We have available all the necessary documentation that proves the legitimacy of this project. This is available upon request.

Why don’t you just stop printing, so you don’t have to cut trees?

Unfortunately, this will not solve the problem. As a platform, we have the possibility to create a huge impact and motivate our suppliers and clients to make sustainable choices. We want to make it possible for you to order our products in the most sustainable way. The first step is to offset ypur carbon emissions that are created when ordering our products. Next to that, we also strive to continuously add a wider range of sustainable products to our current range. The second step we want to take is to recommend the most sustainable option to the customer, in the long-term. To achieve this, we have to assess about 300+ partners and 10 million product combinations. These estimations are costly, time-consuming and complex, so while we start on that, we want to offer offsetting carbon emissions now. We are one of the first printing companies to provide the possibility to offset your emissions. This way, we can accelerate the sustainable transition within the printing industry.

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