The scheme was designed to give customers the option of mitigating their CO2 emissions by purchasing products that donate part of their cost to the Woodland Trust in order to plant native woodland saplings across the UK.
The carbon capture charge is £8.50 per tonne equivalent to 2p per ream of A4 80gsm or 12p per ream of SRA2 100gsm, 100% of which goes to the Woodland Trust.
The £1m mark was passed this month and over its 11-year lifetime the programme has resulted in the planting of 240,000 native trees, created more than 1.5sqkm of new native British woodland and captured 60,000 tonnes of CO2.
Premier’s group marketing director, David Jones, said: “The most rewarding thing for me is that a seed of a simple idea that developed whilst walking in my local Woodland Trust woodland has now grown into the market leading environmental initiative positioning Premier as the Woodland Trust’s number one carbon partner.
“What is also very pleasing is that the number of customers signing up to Carbon Capture continues to grow so we have our eyes firmly fixed on our next milestone.”
Meanwhile, the paper merchant invited 300 of its customers and their clients to take part in an annual tree planting day at a Woodland Trust site in Heanor, Derbyshire on 21 November. The former opencast mine has been redeveloped into a nature site to encourage wildlife to thrive and for people to visit.
The Trust plans to expand the site to include The Young People’s Forest, described as a giant classroom for people aged 10-20 to learn about nature and plant trees.
During the day, Premier’s customers planted 13,000 native UK saplings, double the amount of the last planting effort, including maple, oak, silver birch, hawthorn and hazel.
The group was joined by television presenter Julia Bradbury who presented Jones with a commemorative plaque.
She said: “I am thrilled that the Premier Paper Group and their customers have raised over £1 million for the Woodland Trust through their Carbon Capture scheme.
"It was great to present Dave with an award for achieving that milestone and to spend the day in Derbyshire with everyone helping to plant 13,000 trees in Shipley Country Park.
Speaking at the event, Premier Paper's CSR marketing manager Hussein Ismail said: “The 13,000 trees planted today will provide cleaner air, safe habitats for wildlife and green spaces for people to enjoy for generations to come. Through our annual tree planting events, I think our customers plant a piece of themselves; Carbon Capture is their legacy.”