3 Ways You Can Save Forests this Earth Day
Protecting forests mitigates climate change
"Rainforests are a great blessing to humanity. They bring life, they provide habitat, clean air, clean water."
Andrew Steer, CEO, World Resources Institute
DocuSign is committed to acting responsibly to protect the worlds’ forests. Since 2003, we have not only helped businesses around the world save paper by adopting digital signature technology, we’ve established the DocuSign for Forests initiative, donating over $2.5 million to organizations doing critical work to preserve these precious resources. The first $1 million went to the Jane Goodall Legacy Foundation to support Dr. Goodall’s continuing fight to protect the planet’s resources. And as a company, we have committed to being carbon-neutral by 2022.
The Environmental Paper Network (EPN) is a global nonprofit whose mission is to promote more sustainable paper consumption and production. We use data from EPN to estimate how much paper our customers are potentially saving. Try the EPN’s Paper Calculator to see where your organization can reduce its environmental impact.
As of July 2020, using EPN feedback, we estimate our environmental impact to be:
- 20 billion sheets of paper saved
- 3 million trees saved
- 3 billion gallons of water saved
- 2.4 billion pounds of CO2 saved
- 1 billion pounds of wood saved
- 167 million pounds of waste saved
As Dr. Jane Goodall says: “Trees are like the Earth’s lungs”, because they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into the earth’s atmosphere. Forests both clean the air and provide us with the oxygen we breathe. In fact, more than 20 percent of the world’s breathable oxygen is produced in the Amazon rainforest alone.
The human race depends on rainforests for its very existence. More than 1.6 billion people around the world depend on forests for their livelihoods – not just for food but also for fuel, livestock grazing and medicine. But sadly, half of the world’s tropical forests have already been cleared. If we continue at this rate the world’s forests will be gone by the end of this century.
Commercial deforestation accounts for 15 percent of global warming. As the forces of that global warming really begin to manifest themselves – particularly with the increasing regularity of devastating natural disasters around the world – it becomes obvious why trees play a tremendous role in our environment and are one of nature’s most important resources.
“If we do protect the forests, it is the single quickest, biggest thing we can do to mitigate climate change.”
Helen Clark, former NZ PM and Administrator, United Nations Development Programme
3 things you can do to protect forests
One simple way we can all contribute to combating this problem and save dwindling forests is to reduce our paper usage. Everyday, people sign agreements – sales agreements, employee contracts, supplier contracts and so on. When contracts are signed electronically instead of on paper, it has a direct and positive impact on the environment.
So what will you do this Earth Day to help protect the world’s forests? You don’t have to donate a million dollars, or even plant a tree, but if you would agree to do these three things, you’d be doing your part:
Responsibly reduce your paper impact
Incorporate forest-friendly and recycled products into your daily life. Here are two useful links to help you get started:
Be smarter about your paper use
- Before printing, ask yourself whether it's really necessary
- If you print, use paper with high recycled content, labeled with a credible forestry certification
- Print double-sided and reduce margins and font size
- When you're discarding paper, recycle
- Sign documents electronically to save paper, wood and trees
Know your impact
Use the Paper Calculator to identify ways to reduce your environmental impact
“If we can protect the rainforests, we can protect the world.” Richard Branson, Chairman, Virgin United
DocuSign for Forests is not all we do to preserve the environment. Through the DocuSign IMPACT initiative, our employees volunteer thousands of hours at organizations promoting healthier forests, including urban forests, in the communities where we work and live. In celebration of Earth Day globally, DocuSign employees are supporting local environmental non-profits in our communities.
“If we can protect the rainforests, we can protect the world.”
Richard Branson, Chairman, Virgin United