REI Co-op announced today it will complete a 14-year commitment to be carbon neutral in its operations in 2020 and launched an ambitious new climate platform that will see the co-op more than halve its carbon footprint over the next decade – even as the company anticipates future growth in size and revenue. “The climate crisis is the greatest threat to the future of life outdoors and to REI’s business. The science is clear about what we, as a society, need to do to change that future. The world must halve its greenhouse gasses emissions by 2030, so that’s where REI – and the broader outdoor community – must lead,” said REI Co-op President and CEO Eric Artz. “Going forward, we’re embedding the impact of doing business, and the cost, into our business model.”
The Atlantic Forest that hugs the coastal areas of Brazil is one of the country’s most environmentally threatened biomes. UPM Raflatac is pleased to announce it will be contributing to the protection of this vital ecosystem by partnering on a one-hectare reforestation project of the Jaguari River. UPM Raflatac has teamed up with the Prefeitura Municipal de Jaguariúna, Ambev, The Nature Conservancy, Associação Mata Ciliar, Embrapa-Meio Ambiente, Agência das Bacias PCJ and Agência Nacional de Águas (ANA) for this reforestation project along a Permanent Protection Area of the Jaguari River in the city of Jaguariúna, where UPM Raflatac Brazil is headquartered and operates a terminal supporting the South American market. The project will kick-off on Wednesday, October 5 with a special tree planting event to be attended by UPM Raflatac employees and local students.
Part of the city of Jaguariúna’s “Programa Bacias Jaguariúna,” which creates partnerships with companies located there, the Brazil Reforestation Project will create a riparian buffer zone along the Jaguari River, which supplies 95 percent of the water supply to the nearby city. Riparian buffers help improve water quality by preventing pollutants from reaching a river or stream, and by planting 1,666 native Mata Atlantic species trees, construction of fences along the recovered area, and continued maintenance, the river will flow cleaner than ever before. It is expected the project will last for two years, due to wildfire prevention, soil treatment, irrigation, and growth of the planted trees.
According to the Nature Conservancy, the Atlantic Forest is one of the most important forests on Earth, home to one in every 20 vertebrate species on the planet and some 20,000 different species of plants. Once occupying an area nearly twice the size of the U.S. state of Texas, today only 12 percent of the original Atlantic Forest remains as a result of urbanization, agriculture, cattle ranching, and illegal logging. Despite this dramatic diminishment over the years, it is still one of Earth’s largest tropical forests.
As part of UPM, the Biofore Company, UPM Raflatac aims to make a positive difference to the environment everywhere it operates. The company’s global biodiversity program has included the protection of water, natural forests, and native species as key focus areas for more than two decades. The UPM biodiversity program maintains and increases biodiversity in forests as well as promotes best practices in sustainable forestry and wood sourcing. In addition, the Brazil Reforestation Project supports the United Nations’ request for all countries to help with reforestation to help reduce the threat of global climate change.
“This project is an excellent opportunity for UPM Raflatac’s employees to engage and contribute to the sustainability of our local community here in Brazil,” says Maurício Médici, General Manager, UPM Raflatac Brazil. “The watershed of the Jaguari River is the lifeblood of the region, and it is our duty to protect it for the long term. Our thanks to our local partners for their cooperation on this important reforestation project.”