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Rakuten Kobo offsets carbon emissions while supporting local First Nations in community-led sustainable forest and marine management

April 22, 2022

Toronto, ON – April 22, 2022: Leading digital bookseller Rakuten Kobo proudly announces its partnership with the Great Bear Forest Carbon Project, to support First Nations communities in British Columbia while confronting the urgent issue of climate change.

Through the Great Bear Forest Carbon Project, Rakuten Kobo will offset 100 per cent of the carbon emissions associated with direct shipments of its Kobo eReaders in 2021. Revenue from offsets is in turn invested in local First Nation communities and improved forest and marine management practices.

The Great Bear Forest Carbon Project protects more than 14 million acres in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest (GBR), one of the largest remaining temperate rainforest in the world. The forest is the habitat of many species that cannot be found anywhere else on the planet, such as the Kermode or spirit bear—fully white bears that hold a prominent place in the oral histories of the people who live in the project area.

Offsets are used to protect the rainforest from logging; revenues are in turn being used to support stewardship efforts throughout the region, such as the Marine Plan Partnership for the North Pacific Coast (MaPP), which develops marine use plans for B.C.’s North Pacific Coast using the best available science, local and traditional knowledge.  

How it Works

By creating a conservation economy that puts a dollar value on carbon absorption, the GBR Carbon Project offers revenue streams for First Nations, the original stewards of this land. Returning forest and marine management to the Coastal First Nations communities also provides employment opportunities for community members. Communities are able to sell offsets rather than rely on unsustainable logging for livelihoods, thus preserving local forests and investing in other priority areas, including creating jobs around ocean cleanup. Through MaPP, the Great Bear Forest Carbon Project has helped employ over 140 First Nation employees across 8 nations and 9 communities to date.

“Climate change is a wide-reaching issue, and that’s why programs like the Great Bear Forest Carbon Project are so critical because they multiply positive impact,” said Ramesh Mantha, Vice President of Product–Devices and a leader of Kobo’s sustainability initiatives. “It shows how even one small effort, when thoughtfully placed, can result in positive change. And while it’s still early days in our sustainability efforts, we’re proud to invest in this project that not only protects our rainforests and oceans, but also supports the traditional livelihood among Canadian Indigenous communities.”

“The Great Bear Forest Carbon Project is the largest First Nations-led, forest-based carbon offset project in Canada,” said Christine Smith-Martin, CEO of Coastal First Nations. “The sale of carbon credits provides revenue to support social development and sustainable economic initiatives within our communities, while helping to conserve the largest and most ecologically significant temperate rainforest in the world.”

The carbon reductions funded through this partnership are equivalent to taking 1,630 cars off the road for a year. The partnership is made possible by Bluesource, North America’s leading provider of verified nature-based emissions reductions. Bluesource is a full-service climate and energy action partner that advises organizations how to focus and achieve their climate and environmental goals.


About Rakuten Kobo Inc.

Rakuten Kobo Inc. is the world’s digital bookseller created by and for booklovers. Owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten Group, Inc. and headquartered in Toronto, Rakuten Kobo’s millions of worldwide users can read anytime, anywhere, and on any device. With a mission to make reading lives better for all, Rakuten Kobo connects readers to stories using thoughtful and personalized curation of eBooks and audiobooks, and the best dedicated eReaders and apps for reading. With the singular focus of making reading lives the best they can be, Kobo’s open platform allows people to fit reading into more moments in their busy lives.

To learn more about Rakuten Kobo, visit

About Coastal First Nations-Great Bear Initiative (CFN-GBI)

CFN-GBI is an alliance of Indigenous Nations on the North Pacific Coast of British Columbia—a region known throughout the world as the Great Bear Rainforest. The alliance includes the Wuikinuxv, Haida, Heiltsuk, Kitasoo Xaix’ais, Nuxalk, Gitga’at, Metlakatla and Gitxaala First Nations.

About the Great Bear Forest Carbon Project

The Great Bear Carbon Credit Corporation was established in 2011 to manage the carbon offsets resulting from the creation of conservancies through Land Use Objectives with First Nations and the Province of British Columbia, which were finalized in 2016 in the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement. The corporation manages the Great Bear Forest Carbon Project, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by preserving forests in First Nation Traditional Territories, and manages the sales of the GREAT BEARTM,OM Carbon Credits generated by that conservation.

About Bluesource

In February of 2022, Bluesource merged with Element Markets. Together, Element Markets and Bluesource will create the largest marketer and originator of carbon and environmental credits in North America and one of the largest in the world, backed by TPG Rise. The combination brings together Element Markets’ leading position in low carbon fuels and greenhouse gas markets with Bluesource’s expertise in nature-based solutions, project development, capital formation and advisory services to create a vertically integrated climate-focused company that serves all sectors and geographies to accelerate the fight against climate change and environmental degradation.

Media Contact

Victoria Cacioppo

Senior Manager, Communications

[email protected]

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