By Kayleigh Kahlefeldt, Director of Content Marketing & PR, EMEA, DocuSign

“Rainforests are a great blessing to humanity. They bring life, they provide habitat, clean air, clean water.” Andrew Steer, CEO, World Resources Institute

DocuSign is committed to acting responsibly to protect the worlds’ forests. Since 2003, we’ve helped businesses around the world potentially save paper by adopting digital signature technology.

We use data from the Environmental Paper Network (EPN), a global nonprofit whose mission is to promote more sustainable paper consumption and production, to estimate how much paper our customers are potentially saving. See the EPN’s Paper Calculator.

As Dr. Jane Goodall says: “trees are like the Earth’s lungs”, because they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into the earth’s atmosphere. Forests both clean the air and provide us with the oxygen we breathe. In fact, more than 20 percent of the world’s breathable oxygen is produced in the Amazon rainforest alone.

The human race depends on rainforests for its very existence. More than 1.6 billion people around the world depend on forests for their livelihoods – not just for food but also for fuel, livestock grazing and medicine. But sadly, half of the world’s tropical forests have already been cleared. If we continue at  this rate the world’s forests will be gone by the end of this century. Commercial deforestation accounts for 15 percent of global warming. As the forces of that global warming really begin to manifest themselves – particularly in the increasing regularity of devastating natural disasters around the world – it becomes obvious why trees play such a tremendous role in our environment and are one of nature’s most important resources.

If we do protect the forests, it is the single quickest, biggest thing we can do to mitigate climate change.Helen Clark, former NZ PM and Administrator, United Nations Development Programme

One simple way we can all contribute to combating this problem and saving the forests is to reduce our paper usage. Everyday people sign agreements – sales agreements, employee contracts, supplier contracts and so on. We believe these contracts can be signed electronically instead of on paper.

Our estimated impact:

  • 20 billion – the number of sheets of paper DocuSign and its customers have saved since 2003
  • 2 million – gallons of water needed to make that much paper, in addition to  105 million pounds of waste
  • 1.6 million – pounds of additional CO2 spared as a result of the paper saved

Environmental impact estimates were made using the Environmental Paper Network Paper Calculator. For more information visit www.papercalculator.org.

That’s not all we do to preserve the environment. Through the DocuSign IMPACT initiative, our employees have volunteered thousands of hours at organizations  promoting healthier forests, including urban forests, in the communities  where we work and live. In celebration of Earth Day today globally, DocuSign employees are volunteering with local environmental non-profits in our communities.

And as part of our DocuSign for Forests initiative, we will donate $1.5 million in 2019 to organizations doing critical work to preserve the world’s forests. The first $1 million went  to the Jane Goodall Legacy Foundation to support Dr. Goodall’s continuing fight to protect the planet’s resources.

So what will you do on Earth Day this year to help protect the world’s forests? You don’t have to donate a million dollars, or even plant a tree – although it would be awesome if you did. But if you could just agree to do these three things, you’d be doing your part:

  1. Responsibly reduce your impact

To help you save even more, incorporate forest-friendly and recycled products into your daily life. Here are two useful links to help you get started:

    1. The Environmental Paper Network’s Paper Purchasing Guide  
    2. Paper Reduction Guide
  1. Be smarter about your paper use

Here’s how you can be smarter about your paper use:

  • Before printing, ask yourself whether it’s really necessary.
  • If you print, use paper with high recycled content and labeled with a credible forestry certification.
  • Print double-sided and reduce margins and font size.
  • When you’re discarding paper, recycle.
  • Use DocuSign, because signing electronically saves paper, which reduces the use of wood and trees.
  1. Know your impact

Find out how much paper and other resources can saved by using DocuSign. Try our impact calculator.

With DocuSign, everyday is Earth Day – you can join us, today.

If we can protect the rainforests, we can protect the world.” Richard Branson, Chairman, Virgin United