A Canadian architecture studio’s decision to become carbon neutral has resulted in the preservation of more than 705 acres of endangered forest in the Maritimes, a legacy set to grow.
In 2011, DIALOG became one of the first companies in Canada to offset carbon using forest renewal and restoration. The architecture studio now looks to expand its legacy by offsetting its 2017-2020 emissions, partnering with Community Forests International (Forests Intl.) to conserve an additional 400 acres of rich, diverse Acadian Forest in New Brunswick.
The partners began working together to explore carbon offsetting in 2010, when Forests Intl. received an unexpected phone call from Craig Applegath, Founding Principal at DIALOG. “What do you know about carbon?” asked Applegath. The non-profit organization was then only three years old, focusing its energy on international reforestation efforts. With the support of responsible businesses like DIALOG, Forests Intl. began to prototype carbon forests offsets.
Forests Intl. and DIALOG worked together to determine the studio’s annual greenhouse gas emissions, including those from electricity, server loads, natural gas, flights, paper use and staff commuting. Once emissions were calculated, the studio put in place a range of cost-saving reduction strategies. After reducing emissions as much as possible, DIALOG took responsibility for the remaining carbon emissions produced by its operations and offset those emissions through the Whaelghinbran Forest Carbon Project.
Clark Phillips and Susan Tyler had been practicing organic agriculture and restoration forestry for 40 years in the Caledonia Foothills near Fundy National Park. Advanced in their years, Clark and Sue could no longer work the land and needed to sell their property to retire. Other properties in the area were being bought and clear-cut, a reality no one wanted to face.
By preserving the forest, DIALOG has kept more than 18,000 tonnes of carbon out of the atmosphere that would have been released if it were clear-cut. Forest Intl. continues to carefully monitor and manage the forest; stored carbon and forest health is measured, and ongoing restoration activities are carried out to ensure that old trees at the end of their lives are replaced with young, vigorously growing trees. In this way, Forests Intl. ensures that DIALOG’s stored carbon will be kept on the land and out of the atmosphere for decades to come.
DIALOG’s decision to become carbon neutral across all of their operations has demonstrated how the private sector can take a leadership role in the fight against climate change. That decision has directly preserved 705 acres of endangered Acadian Forest, and DIALOG has shown how real climate action can have a meaningful, measurable impact on our forests and the people that care for them. Now, continued commitment to climate action is expanding both DIALOG’s positive impact and the footprint of its growing climate forest.
In 2018, Forests Intl. will preserve an additional 400 acres of forest to capture and hold DIALOG’s 2017-2020 carbon emissions. This new project is located in the historic Saint John River Valley and is rich in unique tree species known only to grow in that region. By continuing a 5-year track-record of carbon neutrality and by partnering with Forests Intl. to conserve an endangered forest, DIALOG will expand its positive footprint to a new region with new ecological and social impact.