How a social business is tackling climate change with its digital platform
Neo-Ecology has been the up and coming mega trend for a few years now. Generation Greta is on everyone's agenda; Fridays for Future and the Swedish teenager helped bring environmental activism to the forefront of public attention, creating a movement that spans all ages and countries. Communities, organisations and governments are striving to create a more sustainable future, searching for solutions to fight climate change.
ETH Zurich has recently published research which emphasises that reforestation would have a large positive impact on our climate. According to the study, there is space worldwide to plant enough trees to compensate for around two thirds of all carbon that has been released into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution. But trees can do much more than offset carbon emissions.
Planted correctly, trees offer a number of ecological, social and even economic advantages. Trees can play an important role in the preservation of biodiversity, they combat soil erosion and desertification and can support the fight against poverty and strengthen social infrastructure.
Combatting desertification is especially important at the moment, being one of the largest problems the world is currently facing. Due to anthropogenic desertification, the earth is losing about 12 hectares of fertile ground - equivalent to the entire farmland of Germany. The main contributors to this crisis are the cutting down of trees, the overuse and the abuse of land. Reforestation and a more sustainable and holistic approach to farming are key in preventing further desertification.
Planting trees in the 21st century
Although there are many organisations that are specialised in planting trees, Treedom has a different approach.
The digital platform enables users to follow their trees online, with a unique landing page, a photograph and the exact coordinates of each individual tree. The goal is to bring the topic of climate change and sustainability to consumers in a playful, fun manner that is fully transparent and therefore up to speed with modern consumer demands.
Every tree is planted by smallholder farmers on their own land, increasing the use of the trees even further. The farmers and their communities, predominantly located in the Southern hemisphere, generate additional income through the planting of the trees, profiting from the fruits (including avocados, oranges, lemons, cacao pods and coffee beans). The farmers have the autonomy to sell the fruit from their trees in the local markets, or use them to feed their family, thereby strengthening and diversifying their food supplies.
This way, a tree planted by Treedom in these sustainable agroforestry systems does not only contribute to biodiversity and the offsetting of CO2 emissions, but it also strengthens social infrastructure, supports micro-businesses, creates jobs and ensures food security in economically disadvantaged countries.
Furthermore, Treedom directly contributes to ten of the Sustainable Development Goals, established by the United Nations to create a more sustainable future.
Founding of the company
Since the founding of the company in 2010, more than 800,000 trees have been planted by over 48,000 farmers in 15 countries worldwide. Treedom’s goal is planting 1,000,000 trees by the time they celebrate their 10th anniversary in April 2020, as well as establishing new projects in economically disadvantaged countries to increase their social, economic and ecological impact worldwide.