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April 2008

Backpacker’s Carbon-Neutral Project

Last fall, we showed you the many ways that climate change is altering the wild places we love. Now, a look at what BACKPACKER is doing to reduce the magazine's impact.

What We Did | What We Learned | What We’re Doing | Where We Stand | What You Can Do

What We Did
There’s no online calculator for carbon-footprinting a magazine. So we worked with our climate partner to invent a process and get it done.

In our Global Warming Issue last September, we promised to examine BACKPACKER’s climate impact and come back to you with a plan for reducing our footprint.

For help, we enlisted Cooler, an energy auditor (and more) whose methods are backed by decades of research–and by scientists at the National Wildlife Federation, NRDC, and Environmental Defense. Thus began an effort to document every facet of our printing, production, and distribution. Cooler made us count every pound of paper. Every trucking mile to 20,000 newsstands. Air travel for writers and sales reps. Therms of energy used to heat our offices. And so on until our calculators were smoking.

After months of digging, we turned over reams of never-before-compiled data. Then, led by Michel Gelobter, former director of Columbia University’s Environmental Policy Program, Cooler used its expertise in climate analysis to assign a specific carbon value to every part of our supply chain. The result is a detailed baseline of BACKPACKER’s energy use–and an initial road map for reducing our contribution to global warming.

What We Did | What We Learned | What We’re Doing | Where We Stand | What You Can Do

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