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Environmental Improvement Through Tree Planting and Naturalization: Offsetting CO 2 Emissions Version 1.0 Feb 8, 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Environmental Improvement Through Tree Planting and Naturalization: Offsetting CO 2 Emissions Version 1.0 Feb 8, 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Environmental Improvement Through Tree Planting and Naturalization: Offsetting CO 2 Emissions Version 1.0 Feb 8, 2005

2 The makers of TYLENOL* & MOTRIN* products. This educational CD is sponsored by… McNeil Consumer Healthcare (a division of Johnson & Johnson) and supported by: Trees For Guelph Trees For Guelph The City of Guelph The City of Guelph The Grand River Conservation Authority The Grand River Conservation Authority

3 The purpose of this CD is to provide the framework for educators, students, businesses and citizens to help to environmentally improve the communities in which we live and work through the Environmental Hierarchy Tools (Conserve, Prevent, Reduce, Replenish and Offset). TYLENOL* & MOTRIN* are trademarks of Johnson & Johnson. Purpose

4 Table of Contents Introduction: Learning ObjectivesLearning Objectives Module 1: Ecological FootprintingEcological Footprinting Module 2: Ecological Footprinting and Carbon Emissions: The ConnectionEcological Footprinting and Carbon Emissions: The Connection Module 3: Reducing our C0 2 EmissionsReducing our C0 2 Emissions Module 4: Tree Planting and Carbon SequestrationTree Planting and Carbon Sequestration Module 5: Trees For GuelphTrees For Guelph Module 6: McNeil Consumer Healthcare Case StudyMcNeil Consumer Healthcare Case Study Module 7: Partnering with Trees For GuelphPartnering with Trees For Guelph

5 Learning Objectives To understand the concepts of global warming, carbon offsetting, carbon calculators and ecological footprinting To understand the concepts of global warming, carbon offsetting, carbon calculators and ecological footprinting To recognize our individual and collective contribution to atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions and global warming, and to provide ways for users to quantify their contributions. To recognize our individual and collective contribution to atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions and global warming, and to provide ways for users to quantify their contributions. To foster in users a sense of caring and responsibility for the environment and to provide opportunities for area residents to make a difference through partnering with Trees For Guelph (TFG). To foster in users a sense of caring and responsibility for the environment and to provide opportunities for area residents to make a difference through partnering with Trees For Guelph (TFG).

6 Learning Objectives cont’d To present and promote the organization Trees For Guelph, and its programs. To present and promote the organization Trees For Guelph, and its programs. To encourage volunteering and community development among all residents of the City of Guelph. To encourage volunteering and community development among all residents of the City of Guelph. To highlight the McNeil Consumer Healthcare (MCH) case study as an example of what can be, and has been, done. To highlight the McNeil Consumer Healthcare (MCH) case study as an example of what can be, and has been, done. The modules in this CD include links to websites for additional information and exercises. TFG does not guarantee the accuracy of the information contained on these websites.

7 We’ve all heard the terms, but what do they really mean?... What is global warming? What is an ecological footprint? What are greenhouse gases? This CD will answer these questions and provide ways to do something about the problems with which they are associated What is the greenhouse effect? What can I do about these things?

8 ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINTING Module 1

9 Ecological Footprinting: What is it? Module 1 The concept of ecological footprinting was first developed by Dr. William Rees and Mathis Wackernagel of the University of British Columbia The concept of ecological footprinting was first developed by Dr. William Rees and Mathis Wackernagel of the University of British Columbia An ecological footprint (EF) is the area of land required to provide the resources that an individual or community consumes, and absorb the waste that is generated. It is a measurement of our use of nature. An ecological footprint (EF) is the area of land required to provide the resources that an individual or community consumes, and absorb the waste that is generated. It is a measurement of our use of nature.

10 Ecological Footprinting: What is it? Module 1 The concept of ecological footprinting considers your environmental impacts to land, water and air through waste, energy, goods, food, transportation and support services. The concept of ecological footprinting considers your environmental impacts to land, water and air through waste, energy, goods, food, transportation and support services. Understanding your impacts and measuring your results in areas of reducing, reusing, recycling, refusing, eliminating, conserving, offsetting, replenishing and sustaining are key elements in determining your footprint.

11 Actual: 0.8 hectares/person Available: 0.5 ha/person Deficit: 0.3 ha/person Ecological Footprint Averages from Around the World Module 1: Ecological Footprinting Actual: 3.8 ha/person Available: 2.2 ha/person Deficit: 1.6 ha/person Actual: 7.7 ha/person Available: 9.6 ha/person Ethiopia Spain Canada As you can see, some countries consume more ecological resources than they have available to them within their boundaries. This means that they run an ecological deficit and must either use the resources of another country or deplete their own stocks.

12 World Average Module 1: Ecological Footprinting Actual: 2.8 ha/person Available: 2.1 ha/person If everybody on Earth had a footprint the size of the average Canadian, we would need almost 4 Earths to supply us with everything we buy, use, or eat, and to take care of all of our waste. The world as a whole is running an ecological deficit. This means that, while Canada may not be consuming more resources than are available to it, we are still contributing to the overall deficit because our footprint is much higher than the world average. World

13 To see the footprints of most nations click on:

14 Module 1: Ecological Footprinting If you looked at the list of footprints of other nations consider these questions: How does Canada rank compared to other countries? How does Canada rank compared to other countries? Why do you think our footprint is so big? Why do you think our footprint is so big? Do you think it is okay for our footprint to be so big? Do you think it is okay for our footprint to be so big? Why does Canada have such a big footprint but still does not run a deficit? Why does Canada have such a big footprint but still does not run a deficit?

15 What is your personal ecological footprint? Module 1: Ecological Footprinting Earthday Network: Click on one of the following links to take a test that will determine the size of your ecological footprint. Compare it to the footprints provided earlier. City of Toronto: Stanley Park Ecology Society Calculator: American Forests Climate Change Calculator: /http://www.americanforests.org/resources/ccc / SafeClimate Calculator:

16 Module 1: Ecological Footprinting If you took a few different tests, were the outcomes different? Why do you think this might be so? What kinds of questions did each test ask you? Were some tests more comprehensive than others while others were more basic?

17 ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINTING AND CARBON EMISSIONS: Module 2 THE CONNECTION

18 Ecological Footprinting and Carbon Emissions: What is the connection? Module 2 To answer this question, let’s look at some definitions… Fossil fuels Coal, natural gas and oil are fossil fuels. They are called ‘fossil’ fuels because they were formed before the dinosaurs lived, and are actually composed of partially decayed animal and plant matter which contains carbon. Humans burn them for energy and they are non-renewable resources / html _coal_on_fire.jpg

19 Module 2: Ecological Footprinting and Carbon Emissions Renewable Resources Renewable resources are those that replenish or “renew” themselves and will therefore never run out. They include wind, sun and water. Definitions continued… Non-Renewable Resources Non renewable resources are those that have a finite supply and will someday run out. As you will remember from the previous slide, coal, oil and gas are all non-renewable.

20 Module 2: Ecological Footprinting and Carbon Emissions Greenhouse gasses Gasses in the atmosphere that trap heat close to the Earth and don’t let it escape are called greenhouse gasses. We need some greenhouse gasses to keep the Earth warm enough for life to survive, but, as you will see, too much is not a good thing. This is the Earth’s atmosphere, much of which is composed of greenhouse gases Solar radiation reaches the Earth’s surface Some radiation is reflected back The greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere reemit some of the reflected radiation back to Earth Definitions continued…

21 Module 2: Ecological Footprinting and Carbon Emissions Greenhouse effect The greenhouse effect is the natural warming of the Earth. You should remember from an earlier slide that it is caused by the trapping of heat close to the Earth’s surface by greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. It works just like a greenhouse in which we grow plants, hence the name. In a greenhouse the glass or plastic traps some of the heat in, just like the greenhouse gasses of the Earth’s atmosphere trap heat close to the Earth Sunlight is allowed to pass through the glass or plastic Some of the heat passes back out through the glass or plastic Definitions continued…

22 Module 2: Ecological Footprinting and Carbon Emissions Global warming Global warming is the increase of the Earth’s average temperature. The Earth has undergone periods of natural global warming and cooling since its creation, but scientists believe that the global warming that is occurring now is partly a result of human activity, and is happening too quickly and too intensely. It is leading to climatic change which can have serious consequences for all life on Earth. Global warming causes glaciers and icecaps to melt, which leads to higher ocean levels and coastal flooding Warming of the Earth’s temperatures also causes desertification, or the expansion of deserts, which are less productive for agriculture Hotter temperatures lead to natural disasters like forest fires, drought and heat waves Warmer temperatures will increase the range of disease carrying insects Definitions continued… IMAGES/Iran-DESERT%202.JPG

23 Module 2: Ecological Footprinting and Carbon Emissions Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) Carbon dioxide is an example of a greenhouse gas. It is important because human beings have significantly increased the amount of CO 2 in the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels, which releases stored up carbon. Some examples: Definitions continued… Driving, especially in vehicles that require a lot of gas to operate, contributes to C0 2 emissions Electricity is sometimes, but not always, produced by coal, gas or oil fired generating plants which burn fossil fuels and therefore emit CO 2.

24 Module 2: Ecological Footprinting and Carbon Emissions As you may have guessed or noticed from taking some of the tests, a person’s use of energy is part of their ecological footprint. This is the connection between EF’s and carbon emissions. Other ways that we directly or indirectly consume energy, and therefore contribute to CO 2 emissions: Eating food that was imported from far away Buying or using manufactured products

25 So, what can we do about it?

26 REDUCING CO 2 EMISSIONS Module 3

27 Reducing CO 2 Emissions Module 3 The most obvious thing we can do to help stop global warming is to decrease our greenhouse gas emissions. Since carbon dioxide is one of the worst greenhouse gasses, and since we produce so much of it, we can target it for reduction.

28 How can reduction be achieved? Module 3: Reducing CO 2 Emissions Make homes more energy efficient so they require less energy to heat and cool Drive less and take alternative modes of transportation Demand sources of renewable energy Demand and use better public transportation Some easy ways: /images/house.jpg vehicle/images/bike-cars-redsignal2.jpg

29 Once we have reduced our CO 2 emissions as much as possible, is there anything else we can do? Once we have reduced our CO 2 emissions as much as possible, is there anything else we can do? YES!...

30 … Module 4: Tree Planting and Carbon Sequestration

31 TREE PLANTING TREE PLANTING Module 4 CARBON SEQUESTRATION AND

32 What can we do about the problem? How does planting trees help? CO 2 Trees and other vegetation store carbon dioxide in their tissues, including the wood, leaves and roots, thereby removing it from the atmosphere As the roots of trees and other vegetation improve the soil around them, more carbon dioxide is stored in the soil as well Module 4: Tree Planting and Carbon Sequestration

33 How does planting trees help? This ability of trees to store carbon is called: and they do it through Module 4: Tree Planting and Carbon Sequestration

34 How does planting trees help? Carbon offsetting, in this context, is the term used to describe projects that attempt to displace carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by sequestering it in the tissues of trees. Carbon offsetting can be achieved simply by planting trees! Module 4: Tree Planting and Carbon Sequestration

35 How does planting trees help? This is an oversimplification but it gives you an idea of how planting trees can help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Module 4: Tree Planting and Carbon Sequestration Carbon Emissions ÷ Carbon Uptake per Tree = Number of Trees to Plant

36 Are trees the only plants that sequester CO 2 ? No, other kinds of plants can help sequester CO 2 as well. One group of plants that we should also think about planting is Module 4: Tree Planting and Carbon Sequestration

37 Not only do native meadow wildflowers sequester CO 2, but they provide wildlife habitat and are very beautiful additions to any garden, city boulevard, or park! Module 4: Tree Planting and Carbon Sequestration Echinacea-purpurea-close.JPG TuberosusThumb.jpg FreePhotos/WColumbine.htm

38 Native meadow wildflowers are so important that the City of Guelph, together with Trees For Guelph and local industry Blount Canada, are working to convert a 1 km long stretch of manicured grass to a naturalized meadow. Module 4: Tree Planting and Carbon Sequestration When the project is complete, an area that once required regular maintenance in the form of mowing, weed control and fertilizing, will take care of itself. This means cost savings for the City of Guelph. Photo by Heather Martin

39 Limitations of Tree Planting as a Way to Offset Carbon Emissions Unfortunately, humans produce so much carbon dioxide that it is not humanly possible to plant all the trees required to offset all our emissions. There is not enough land on Earth to accommodate all the trees, and even if there was, not all of Earth should be forested! We also need grasslands, wetlands, deserts, agricultural land etc. What this means is that we must… Module 4: Tree Planting and Carbon Sequestration

40 …REDUCE our carbon dioxide emissions in the first place! Module 4: Tree Planting and Carbon Sequestration

41 TREES FOR GUELPH Module 5

42 What is ? What is ? Non-profit community group that has been organizing environmental improvement projects in Guelph since Non-profit community group that has been organizing environmental improvement projects in Guelph since TFG’s mandate is to improve the quality of life in Guelph by enhancing the urban forest. TFG’s mandate is to improve the quality of life in Guelph by enhancing the urban forest. TFG works with volunteers including students, industry and other community groups to plant trees and shrubs around the city. TFG works with volunteers including students, industry and other community groups to plant trees and shrubs around the city. Module 5: Trees For Guelph

43 TFG Accomplishments Since 1991 thousands of volunteers have planted well over trees in Guelph Module 5: Trees For Guelph TFG photo

44 TFG Accomplishments Over 3500 elementary students have planted over 1200 trees and shrubs since 1991 in schoolyard naturalization projects Module 5: Trees For Guelph TFG photo

45 How Students Can Get Involved Module 5: Trees For Guelph If your class is interested in participating in a tree planting program with Trees For Guelph, we can help you get started. Just contact: Mr. Heiti Jaason President Trees For Guelph Home Phone:

46 Module 6 McNeil Consumer Healthcare Case Study

47 How Industry Can Get Involved To get an idea of how industry can get involved, let’s look at the case study of McNeil Consumer Healthcare in Guelph… Module 6: McNeil Consumer Healthcare Case Study

48 McNeil Consumer Healthcare Case Study In 1999 one Guelph industry and employer, McNeil Consumer Healthcare (MCH), a Johnson and Johnson Company, embarked on an ambitious, but totally attainable, multi-phase initiative that they called “Mapping our Environmental Footprint”. The goal was to reduce the company’s carbon dioxide emissions 7% below 1990 levels by 2010, a goal in line with the Kyoto Protocol’s targets. Module 6: McNeil Consumer Healthcare Case Study

49 The first phase of the program was to find ways to OFFSET the company’s CO 2 emissions resulting from the burning of fossil fuels such as natural gas and coal. In 1999 and 2000 MCH managed complete facility neutrality, or a 100% offset, and in 2001 they achieved a 51% offset. These offsets were achieved through an annual tree planting program which MCH undertook in partnership with Trees For Guelph. The company received the Dr. Peter N. Britton Award, one of the J&J Worldwide Environmental Awards for Excellence in Leadership, for the tree planting/carbon offset program. Module 6: McNeil Consumer Healthcare Case Study

50 In 2001 McNeil took steps to REDUCE its CO 2 emissions by making changes to their transportation program. As a result of a transportation census, all company fleet vehicles were converted to 10% ethanol-based fuels, and gas guzzling sport utility vehicles (SUVs) were eliminated. In 2002 it was recognized that employees driving to work also indirectly contributed to the company’s carbon emissions. An employee incentive and awareness program was undertaken to encourage employees to purchase ethanol-based fuels for their private vehicles. Module 6: McNeil Consumer Healthcare Case Study

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52 More statistics about McNeil Consumer Healthcare’s successes: Immediate 11.2% reduction in CO 2 emissions was achieved upon switching to ethanol-based fuels. This works out to pounds of CO 2 avoided in the first 3 months! pounds of CO 2 were avoided by eliminating SUV fleet vehicles! MCH achieved 25% REDUCTION in energy consumption and 42% REDUCTION in water usage BEFORE the carbon offset program was implemented! During the first 8 weeks of the employee incentive/awareness program, pounds of CO 2 emissions were avoided when 40% of employees participated! But, McNeil’s initiative to reduce CO 2 emissions didn’t just benefit the environment… Module 6: McNeil Consumer Healthcare Case Study

53 …it also benefited the shareholders! For every SUV that was eliminated and replaced with a smaller vehicle, $1800 was saved due to improved fuel efficiency! A one-time vehicle surcharge of $5200 was avoided! Studies have shown that many consumers, if given a choice, would prefer to buy products from a company that has demonstrated environmental responsibility. Attention to environmental performance can positively affect stock value. Module 6: McNeil Consumer Healthcare Case Study

54 But that’s not all McNeil did! Module 6: McNeil Consumer Healthcare Case Study Once McNeil Consumer Healthcare had figured out how they could reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible, they wanted to do something about the remaining emissions. So they…

55 … Module 6: McNeil Consumer Healthcare Case Study

56 Remember the simplified equation we used back in Module 4? Let’s say we have calculated that our carbon emissions are 2500 kg/year. If we know that the average tree planted in an urban environment sequesters 200 kg of carbon over its entire life (average 80 years), then we can calculate how many trees we need to plant to offset our emissions for that year: 2500 kg/yr 200 kg C/tree = 12.5 trees Module 6: McNeil Consumer Healthcare Case Study But how would an industry know how many kilograms or tonnes of carbon dioxide they are producing each year? They would need a calculator like the ones used in Module 1 to calculate a person’s ecological footprint.

57 Find out how much natural gas and electricity you are using and try the calculator McNeil used at the end of the slide show! Luckily there’s one available! Module 6: McNeil Consumer Healthcare Case Study McNeil Consumer Healthcare used a calculator that the Tree Canada Foundation developed to determine how much carbon dioxide they were producing.

58 Once McNeil Consumer Healthcare had calculated how much carbon dioxide they emitted, and how many trees they needed to plant to offset those emissions, they paid Trees For Guelph to plant them. Trees For Guelph then planted the trees with the help of thousands of primary and high school students from around the city. Some were planted on McNeil property but most were planted in schoolyards and parks around Guelph. Module 6: McNeil Consumer Healthcare Case Study

59 Module 7 PARTNERING WITH TREES FOR GUELPH

60 How you can get involved If your business or class is interested in initiating or participating in a program similar to the one that McNeil Consumer Healthcare undertook, just contact Trees for Guelph and we can help you get started. Contact Info: Module 7: Partnering with Trees For Guelph

61 How you can get involved Ideally the way it works is interested industries look at the carbon dioxide emissions from all sources (production and transportation) and do as much as they can to reduce their existing emissions first. Remember, offsetting emissions should only be the second priority, behind reduction. After reduction has been achieved, the number of trees needed to offset the remaining emissions is calculated. Then, the interested businesses pay for these trees to be planted. They could be planted on the business’ property or elsewhere. Ideally employees and managers of the business would participate in the planting, but school groups also do much of the planting. Module 7: Partnering with Trees For Guelph

62 Links and Resources For Educators More about urban and ecological footprints: For Families Challenge David Suzuki Foundation Nature Challenge For Community Groups Ontario Trillium Foundation provides grants to help build healthy, strong and economically viable communities:

63 Try the carbon calculator to see how many trees you should be planting! At the end of the show, scroll down to the last slide and double click on the spaces provided to enter the amount of natural gas and electricity consumed at your school, home or place of work.

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