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Port Glasgow-based McLaren Packaging, a specialist supplier to the Scotch Whisky industry, has invested £150,000 in a carbon offsetting project in Argyllshire as part of its aim to deliver a sustainable business that has minimal impact on the environment and a positive impact on the communities within which it operates.
Managed by Forest Carbon, the new mixed woodland planting project at Millhouse will create a productive, predominately native, woodland of 68,000 trees over 34.5 hectares. Comprising such species as sycamore, willow, oak, aspen, beech, cherry, Norway spruce and Scots pine, the woodland will capture some 9,500 tonnes of CO2 over the life of the project.
Michael McLaren, Sales and Marketing Managing Director, said: “We have invested significant time and resource into measuring our environmental impact and how to reduce it. Carbon removal offsets play an important role within our overall strategy.
“Having signed up to the United Nations Race to Zero campaign ahead of the recent COP26 climate change conference, we are committed to halving our emissions before 2030 and achieving net zero before 2050.
“The Millhouse project allows us to offset operational emissions, such as from the use of natural gas for heating and diesel for transport as well as emissions from our employees’ commutes to work and business travel, which are difficult to avoid today.
“We believe emissions should be sequestered where they are created, via a verified nature-based scheme, which is why we have invested in woodland creation in Argyll & Bute, less than 25 miles from our production sites in Port Glasgow. Not only will this help minimise our carbon footprint, it will also help our customers achieve the same.”
Stephen Prior, Director at Forest Carbon, added: “Through the planting of over 15 million new trees since 2006, our partners’ projects are removing nearly four million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere. Projects such as the one supported by McLaren helps us provide a host of other benefits to society, including flood mitigation, enhanced biodiversity and increased investment in the UK forestry sector.”
McLaren Packaging’s Millhouse project adheres to the Woodland Carbon Code, the quality assurance standard for woodland creation projects in the UK generating independently verified carbon units.
Backed by the UK Government, the forest industry and carbon market experts, the Code is unique in providing woodland carbon units in the UK.
The UK needs to plant 32,200 hectares of new woodland every year (roughly 53.2 million trees) for the next 30 years (equating to 1.5 billion) to meet Net Zero aspirations by 2050. The Scottish Government aims to plant 18,000 hectares per year (30 million trees) by 2024 with a target to have trees covering 21% of land compared to 19% currently.