Help us save 800 trees!
02 April 2019
By Hayley Carmichael
We need to print less at Sussex Partnership to reduce waste, save trees and money and declutter our work spaces.
Paper costs the earth…
While paper is made from wood, which is a renewable resource, the rate of paper use around the world has increased dramatically in the last 40 years (400% increase). Today a massive 35% of the global tree population is used to make paper.
At SPFT our paper use is contributing to this story, as a Trust our paper use each year averages 800 trees, which is almost 70 trees per month. Growing trees for paper reduces the natural biodiversity of woodlands, and impacts on the wider environment.
There’s more to it than trees…
You could argue that trees are good for the environment, and growing more is a good thing. While it does help to tackle carbon in our atmosphere, it also has some downsides. We’ve already mentioned the impact on biodiversity, but have you thought about the water needed to grow a seed into a sapling into a tree?
And the process of turning a tree into paper is highly water intensive although the industry is working hard to improve this it is impossible to make paper from trees without using water.
Paper production also uses chemicals that can be damaging to the environment, for example white paper requires the use of bleach. While companies have to meet environmental standards in the production of paper, the use of these chemicals is an additional pressure on an already overburdened environment.
There is a financial cost too, not just the cost of buying and printing, but the cost of storing and transporting all the paper we print.
“The estimated annual cost of paper storage is between £500,000 and £1million for each Trust – money which could be spent instead on more doctors and nurses.” NHS England
“One of my personal appraisal objectives is to reduce our paper usage by 10%. If we do this within the next 6 months, I will use the money that we save on staff led environmental initiatives.” Beth Lawton, Chief Digital & Information Officer Sussex Partnership
What you can do - #Papercut
As part of our ongoing Dare to Care programme which supports our work to deliver Care Without Carbon we are asking everyone at Sussex Partnership to sign up to our #papercut dare.
You can sign up here. It is a simple pledge to use less paper at work through printing less or printing double sided if you have to print.
We’ll also look for other ways to reduce our paper use through technology.
We’ll continue to measure our paper use in trees and we’ll update you in six months to see if we’ve managed to reduce the monthly tree count.