PrintReleaf Communication & Claims Guidance
Last Updated: October 9th, 2020
"You print one. We’ll plant one."
 Tagline is the distilled version of expression, "You print one job consisting of 8,333 letter-size (8.5" x 11") pages of 20# woodfree paper, we’ll plant one standard tree". For detailed calculations, please view the PrintReleaf Standard located at https://printreleaf.com/standard.
The purpose of this document is to provide clear guidance for authorized communications and claims with respect to your partnership with PrintReleaf.
When making an environmental claim or communicating about your partnership with PrintReleaf, it’s very important to be clear and truthful about what exactly you are claiming or communicating. By being clear and truthful, you are adding to the strength and integrity of the PrintReleaf Certification system by removing any confusion about what the PrintReleaf Certification system represents, warrants, and also what it does not.
Outlined below are authorized claims and communications guidance statements as well as statements which are unauthorized or impermissible by PrintReleaf to claim or communicate to your stakeholders.
Authorized Claims and Communications
PrintReleaf issues a future biomass credit for paper measured. We plant trees in forests certified to our standard that will eventually mature to the equivalent amount of paper measured in terms of future fiber created.
It is permissible to claim that by applying PrintReleaf Certification you are eventually achieving a ‘tree neutral’ impact or outcome.
It is permissible to claim that by applying PrintReleaf Certification you are eventually achieving a ‘tree positive’ or ‘net-positive’ impact or outcome, IF you are sourcing paper that has recycled content or has chain of certification, for example Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC™), or Sustainable Forestry Initiative ® (SFI®).
It is permissible to claim that by subscribing to PrintReleaf or participating in the PrintReleaf program that your reforestation impact is contributing to the 1 trillion tree campaign for results accrued between 2021 and 2030.
Unauthorized Claims and Communications
While PrintReleaf plants trees and those trees are obviously sequestering carbon, we do not issue a carbon credit in connection with our biomass credit. Carbon credits are issued separately. That’s because in order to derive and claim a carbon credit from a forest, typically the forest must mature 8 years or more and be certified to a recognized standard (e.g., the Gold Standard, Verra, et al).
The majority of PrintReleaf’s forests are not yet 8 years old. Eventually the opportunity may exist to certify our forests to a recognized standard and derive carbon credits for market. Therefore, for now, it’s not permissible to make a claim that by applying PrintReleaf Certification you are achieving a ‘carbon neutral’ impact or outcome unless you are sourcing Verra certified carbon credits from PrintReleaf.
It’s also further impermissible to make a claim (or similar claim) you are achieving a ‘paper neutral’, ‘print neutral’ or ‘forest neutral’ impact or outcome.
There are a number of environmental attributes that factor into paper manufacturing, the print process, and forest management that are independent of PrintReleaf’s environmental delivery and value. Use of any of these terms may create or vague or incorrect perception of PrintReleaf’s actual value proposition.
If you have any questions about how to accurately make a claim or statement about communicating your application of PrintReleaf Certification or your partnership with our company, please error on the side of being accurate and contact us at email@example.com.
It is not permissible to claim your tree values prior to 2021 as contributing to the 1 trillion tree campaign. The 1 trillion tree campaign does not account for trees prior to 2021 nor after 2030.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is PrintReleaf and how do they calculate the number of trees to plant?
PrintReleaf is a platform designed to enable an automated certified reforestation or certified carbon offsetting process for the print industry players through integration with our API or by manual data entry that inform calculation of the number of trees required to produce paper or the emissions resulting from manufacturing paper - based on the Paper Calculator™ by the Environmental Paper Network.
2. Any number of trees is not a forest. Why does PrintReleaf refer to a calculated number of planted trees as reforestation?
PrintReleaf platform provides RaaS – reforestation as a service – through our software platform that automatically directs customer monetary contributions to our reforestation partners. We work with credible environmental organizations – recognized authorities in reforestation project development which we independently certify through SGS International to the minimum requirements of the PrintReleaf Standard - and rely on their expertise to ensure that the appropriate species are planted in the areas of the world where they are needed.
3. PrintReleaf helps its customers "to releaf" paper that they have consumed. Will this create an incentive for printers to disregard responsible sourcing of their paper?
Responsible sourcing of paper is important for the preservation of our planet’s forest resources and we fully support printing customers whose goals are centered on growing of recycled and chain-of-custody certified paper share of their portfolio. PrintReleaf is fully compatible with all leading schemes of certifications such as Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC™), Sustainable Forestry Initiative ®(SFI®) Chain-of Custody (COC).
PrintReleaf helps reduce the environmental impact of customers’ paper consumption when certified or recycled paper is not available, or when their operations are unable to support chain-of-custody requirements. By the same token, PrintReleaf is instrumental for customers who want to go beyond certified and recycled paper by reforesting as prioritized by recognized forest experts.
4. Some of PrintReleaf’s customers claim that they are "paper-neutral". What do they mean by that?
PrintReleaf certified organizations are independently responsible for their marketing messaging. Subscribing to PrintReleaf enables customers to claim that they have planted trees, or contributed to reforestation, in amounts that are informed by the number of pages they have printed within certain time period. Our calculation is based on numbers provided by the Environmental Paper Network. We recommend that organizations interested in claiming neutrality conduct Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of their printed products by appropriately accredited organizations in order to determine the path to neutrality.
5. EPN’s LCA is specific to North America. What methodology do you use to calculate the number of trees to be planted in other areas?
Per the PrintReleaf Standard we use the size of the tree species at maturity as published by i-Tree Database, Global Tree Search, Useful Tropical Plants Database, and other resources in combination with localized ground level intelligence provided by our certified reforestation partner organizations. We then normalize these trees to the average tree used in EPN’s calculations
6. Why do some PrintReleaf Certificates report fractional trees reforested, for example, 12.6 trees?
Our calculation is based on numbers provided by the Environmental Paper Network. Because we are using exact numbers to measure weighted paper consumption, it sometime results in a fractional number of trees reforested for a customer’s consumption as represented on PrintReleaf Certificates of Reforestation. In practice at the ground level, PrintReleaf is planting whole natural trees into reforestation projects that aggregate all customers’ consumption to roll up to a whole number of trees contributed and planted for a large mass of customers into a single project.
7. How do I know if my trees have been planted?
PrintReleaf plants trees on an ongoing regular basis through all our roster of reforestation projects to establish an inventory of trees. We then transfer trees from inventory and assign them to customers by issuing certificates of reforestation through our system for measuring a customer’s monthly paper footprint (for MPS customers) or a customer’s print job (for commercial print customers). In parallel, we work with SGS International to independently verify the performance of our reforestation projects to ensure that trees are planted and survived per the terms of the PrintReleaf Standard.