Mid-Year Update: Protecting the Earth’s Ecosystems

How We’re Making a Difference Within and Beyond Our Borders

This year, we’ve extended our world view by embracing the circular economy – a concept that fits right in with the seventh principle of the EarthColor Sustainability Ecosystem: Beyond Our Borders.  Our focus and that of our ENGO* partners has always been to respect and protect the people, species and natural resources of our planet.  Now, world attention is shifting to a new sustainability paradigm that has at its core a commitment to renewing and regenerating our resources and systems to safeguard the Earth’s ecosystems for future generations.

Two of our partners in the ENGO community — Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey and Canopy – have been gaining momentum on several projects aimed at meeting those goals.

On a local level, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWFNJ) and EarthColor are working to save a tiny species of bat in New Jersey’s forests.  The Northern Long-Eared Bat, listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2015, is very close to disappearing from the state.  Why?  A cold-loving fungus (known as white nose syndrome) has been attacking them during their vulnerable winter hibernation months, leaving us with only 1-2% of their initial populate.

Over the last two summers, a successful state-wide mist netting and radio telemetry project shed light on the habitat needs of the bat community.  We tracked bats to nine new roost sites in different forested areas, deepening our understanding of bat life cycles and habitat requirements.  What we’re learning about one tiny bat will propel CWFNJ’s efforts to help other at-risk species throughout the state.

On a more global scale, EarthColor has been partnering with Canopy for more than 7 years, supporting their efforts to save endangered old growth forests in Canada and Indonesia, with increasing success.  This year, our joint focus has included two programs that will expand the use of agricultural residue fibers in place of wood and wood pulp: Second Harvest Paper Project and CanopyStyle.

Through our efforts, additional ag-res fiber resources for the paper market are about to become more attainable.  Over the next 18 months, several straw-pulp mills are scheduled to break ground in North America.  To help increase investor awareness to fund this effort, EarthColor CSO David Podmayersky teamed with Second Harvest Senior Corporate Campaigner, Neva Murtha, in an educational investment webinar.  Podmayersky explained to participants how agricultural residue pulp and papers are “the new wave of thinking about sustainable design in the circular economy.  They are financially viable and a great win-win story.  The environment wins, society wins, and the economic financial models are incredibly viable.”

On the fashion front, the CanopyStyle initiative is working with fashion leaders and entrepreneurs on new breakthrough environmental fabric technologies that will bypass the use of wood pulp to make viscose and other rayon-based fabrics and end the use of ancient and endangered forests in their supply chains.

For more information on our sustainability efforts contact us today.

 

*ENGO: Environmental non-governmental organization

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