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Posted on 2019-09-08

The Restoration Economy and the Value of Trees

The idea of restoration economy has been around for a few years, but is only now being recognized for its value. In the face of recent natural disasters and climate change, scientists and researchers have put forth the idea that natural barriers are the best way to combat overall destruction and provide environmental stability. Governments have realized that these ecosystems work better, and are less expensive than humanmade solutions made from concrete and steel. The restoring of ecosystems to create better air and water quality, the reduction of carbon, and creating more jobs and wealth is known as the restoration economy. 

Government projects can enjoy the many benefits of the restoration economy, such as the creation of thousands of jobs in sustainable industries while also improving food security. While most restoration projects and climate change solutions are carried out by the government, there has been a recent uptake in the number of corporate-driven projects as well. Well-designed activities and models are fuelling business enterprises and can employ financial mechanisms to ensure good returns. 

Understanding the Restoration Economy and its impact

The restoration economy is still in its infancy, but its impact on the environment and local economies cannot be denied. There have been too many instances where sustainable development goals come into effect to deny its positive impact on the community at large.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the City of Hoboken in New Jersey decided to invest in creating a resiliency park to counter the impacts of climate change. Essentially, this was an effort to convert vacant land into marshes while also restoring existing marshes. On the climate front, this effort is capable of holding a million gallons of floodwater. The economies are also equally exciting. The project is part of a 25-billion-dollar economy and employs over 125 thousand workers and many more in supporting jobs.

Many more cities all across the world have been using funds to create projects that simultaneously invigorate the job market and help reverse environmental change. The city of Chicago has been combating the rise of urban heat by planting and maintaining millions of trees. This action of tree planting also helps to soak up gallons of storm-water to prevent flooding and reduce the burden on existing storm-water channels. 

Delivering environmental returns through restoration

Several case studies of restoration projects have been published which showcases their positive effect on the environment. Many studies have also shown that a reduction in carbon will result in long term benefits and will increase resilience in terms of climate risks. With new ideas and plenty of work to be done, the prospects of the restoration economy include creating local employment opportunities over the world. Here, we are not talking about solar or wind energy; instead, we want to address natural ecosystems and create natural solutions to environmental challenges. The restoration economy can be a boundless industry, with many big and small actions to create real businesses.

Alaska has been seeing serious and worrying effects melting of permafrost on the environment. Apart from upsetting the local ecology, the melting snow also wreaks havoc on the transportation infrastructure and threatens roadways. To combat both issues, the transportation department has been layering insulation between layers of roadwork. This protects the permafrost against heating caused by roadways, which in turn protects the same roadways.

Florida, which has borne the brunt of many hurricanes in recent years, has seen several counties coming together to create a climate change compact. Each of the four counties in the South-East chapter has invested in different restoration projects with the overall aim of reducing the burden on the environment. While the compact has taken up 110 action items, a few have already been completed and the results have been very encouraging. Some cities have acted to prevent the backflow of seawater into their drainage systems and fight frequent tidal flooding. Most of the action items are geared towards maintaining the water balance of the region.

In the Asia-Pacific region, too, firms are stepping up in favor of the restoration economy. Green investments, growing natural assets, tackling climate change and introducing urban and peri-urban forestry are often on the agenda of many summits held in these countries. The APEC Forest Cover Goal 2020 has instituted goals to align nations in contributing to the environment in the APEC region– ‘20 million hectares by 2020’. 

How cutting down trees affect the climate and how businesses can use restoration economy to change that

The cost of reforestation requires much more capital than what governments and philanthropic organizations can provide when it comes to restoring forests and trees on a large scale, and this where the public and corporate sector steps in. Unfortunately, up until now, the assumption has been that restoration of trees does not provide for creating an attractive business model. 

There are several areas in which the corporate sector can get involved in a way where both income and capital gains are generated. There are three main ways in which to tap into the economy of restoring trees. The first one is where enterprises themselves plant and maintain trees. Then, there are other companies that provide consultation or technology for restoration. The last is tying up with restoration indirectly in order to draw in customers.

One of the most successful businesses in the first category is Better Globe Forestry. They work with small farmers all across Kenya to plant and maintain native trees. They provide seedlings, training, and even microfinancing options to the farmers. Their gains come in when the trees mature. The company buys the tree of the farmer and then utilizes them as high-quality timber.

In the second category of restoration of trees, a Dutch company has created the technology where trees can be grown in arid and semi-arid regions with a fraction of the water required for a normal tree. The technology can become proprietary or the company can consult on individual projects. However, there is no denying that converting previously untenable regions into lush forests will help trap more carbon and create a vibrant ecosystem.

EcoMatcher is one of the best reforestation companies that help companies set up corporate tree planting as a part of their business in order to promote tree conservation and highlight sustainable living. The aim is to decrease the negative impact businesses might have on the environment. While tree gifting is one of their eco-friendly corporate gift ideas, they also use them as initiatives to increase employee engagement. 

The last category can seem the easiest with businesses simply pledging to donate a portion of their profits towards the restoration of trees. However, with customers having more knowledge, it is imperative that the right type of program is supported and one where the local community is benefitted. 

Conclusion

The restoration economy is one of the best ways to combat climate change. It also has a whole host of other benefits, running the gamut from local employment to the prevention of water-logging and absorbing carbon emissions. 

By partnering with organizations that specialize in these services, like EcoMatcher, eager firms can successfully divert their funds into programs that work as well as maintain their brand image while contributing to sustainable development goals and targets. 

Posted on 2019-09-01

Including Sustainable Development Goals in your Business Plan

The United Nations (UN) put forth a set of Sustainable Development Goals in 2016, and in 2019, they’re still as relevant. As the number of businesses multiplies, the economy of business is slowly drifting into uncharted waters. However, the public still tends to run a demolition job on those firms whose sustainability vision is undisclosed or non-existent. That’s no doubt because of the massive role firms play in the impacts of climate change – whether aggravating or alleviating them. 

Naturally, this pushes firms to participate in upholding, working towards and realising the Sustainable Development Goalsset by the UN. This could be a commitment in the open, like Shell, Volvo and Sainsbury’s among others do, or it could be by weaving these goals into the firm’s own sustainable development goals and targets (e.g. aided by EcoMatcher enabling corporates to integrate tree planting into their businesses).

The UN-Outlined SDGs 

Before getting into how to implement SDGs, here are the 17 goals outlined by the UN to “end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity”1:

  1. No Poverty
  2. Zero Hunger
  3. Good Health and Well-being
  4. Quality Education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  10. Reduced Inequality
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  13. Climate Action
  14. Life Below Water
  15. Life on Land
  16. Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
  17. Partnerships to Achieve the Goal

Arguing In Favour Of SDGs In Businesses

All things considered, including SDGs in a business plan is a logical choice, despite the journey of strategy and implementation often being long and meandering.

Improved performances: Firstly, companies that focus on environmental change, social and geo-political sustainability is likely to incur lower costs of debt and equity and have the potential to outshine their market competitors within a single decade. In fact, the MSCI added a Sustainable Impact Index to their All Company World Index (ACWI) very recently – this means the numbers are backing up the morality of acting in favour of SDGs.

Decreased costs: Contrary to popular notions, putting sustainable business practices in place could actually reduce costs in the long run. Benefits of these practices include a significant drop in regulatory or strategic risk, cleaner supply chains, greater customer and employee loyalty and increased avenues for product innovation.

Government policy forecasting: 193 governments have come together in support of UN’s SDGs, which means businesses that commit to the goals will potentially be looked upon more favourably. Governments have been encouraged to support sustainable practices and give out relevant information which, when flipped, means that businesses can use the chance to gain insights on potential governmental regulations and diktats. 

Making A Case For Participation At The SME Level

SDGs can be included in business plans of firms big and small, even if a higher-level strategic plan isn’t in the offing. For start-ups-to-be, it’s an even better chance to start off with sustainable environmental practices – customers veer towards brands that are making a difference. Taking ownership of that can differentiate SMEs from their competitors for whom sustainable practices often fall to the wayside of profit making.

Naturally, not all sustainable goals are appropriate for everyone, not least because of the difference in industries and objectives of sustainable development. However, there are a few general goals that cater to general environmental sustainability issues, climate change solutions and human rights efforts that any company could support regardless of what their USP is. In fact, 65% of surveyed respondents were engaged in ‘climate action’ (Goal 13) while ‘decent work and economic action’ (Goal 8) was second at 60%.2

Here is the lowdown on how to identify the goals to pursue:

Assess Impact Across All Goals

This in itself is a daunting prospect, but don’t let that deter you from the process, as it will help identify which goals to focus on. A structured approach is required to assess impact, as a variety of factors need to be looked at, including carbon footprint, supply chain sustainability, energy-efficient facilities, human resource management and gender equality in employee dynamics.

To form an SDG strategy, an assessment of the firm’s impact across all 17 goals is key. Some goals may overlap, yet others may be interconnected or not at all related. However, the impacts of processes can spread far and wide, so it’s worth taking a magnifying glass to each department and structure to assess its impact. 

Pick And Choose From Relevant Goals

It makes little sense for one firm to tackle all goals; the pitfalls are many and more intense than the benefits. Instead, firms can use their structural assessment of impact to identify relevant goals from the list that they can valuably contribute to, rather than investing resources in furthering goals that don’t directly affect their customers, industry or company in itself. Some goals are a natural fit, others take a bit more time, while yet others are universal, regardless of industry. It would do well to pick a general goal, like climate action, and a more specific goal, like clean energy for a traditional O&G firm. 

Firms must evaluate how much they can bite off before they chew, not least because a failure to reach set targets could lead to reputational and financial damage. This is another benefit of picking relevant goals – by investing in something that immediately affects the company and its immediate dealings; change is felt by some, if not all. 

Understand The Risks Of Commitment

Committing to an SDG isn’t without its own risks. These could be financial (diverting precious resources), reputational (failing to reach set goals) and even productive (losing focus of other business goals in favour of SDGs). Commitments could also run the risk of becoming a ‘SDG wash’ where the goals are used as a communication or marketing gimmick without actually involving them in active strategy or measuring before-after impacts. 

If using the goals as only a philanthropic ‘get out of jail free’ card, chances are that a firm could cut things fine when it comes to public sentiment and brand image. The SDGs were meant to be more than that– beyond being a guidepost for the present; they were also intended as a springboard and a mould for business models of the future. 

Evaluate The Rewards Of Commitment

As with everything else, some risk brings reward even the world of business sustainability. The key is to be smart with where you put your money. In working towards solving a major world problem like climate change or poverty, businesses can create increased shareholder value and reduce the chances of ‘stranded assets’, which are assets that require resources that are dwindling or worse, no longer available. Investing in furthering a goal such as #3 on the list could have a massive positive impact on a business’ own employees, making them more productive and happier to be at their jobs every day.

A cost-benefit analysis is of utmost importance when deciding whether to take the SDG plunge or not, because commitment comes at a cost and it needs to be profitable in the long run to be justified in the accounts book. 

Conclusion

Whether incorporating SDGs holistically or making commitments to them public and manifest, businesses would do well to invest in this universal framework for the betterment of their value, employees and the global environment. 

Posted on 2019-08-24

Life of a Tree Planter

[Guest blog by Chime Ngawang, intern EcoMatcher June – August 2019]

Here at EcoMatcher, we provide tree planting as business solutions, connecting trees planted in various communities across the world with corporations that can utilize trees for innovative purposes.

But what is it like, living and planting trees in one such community? Born in the city Singapore with tall buildings, paved streets and a darn good Wi-Fi connection was pretty much all I’ve ever known. Airdropped into the rural village of Duren Sawit, located in central Java, Indonesia, I got to see for myself firsthand what it was like to be at the forefront of one such green initiative.

I was first introduced to Pak Jamasri, the field coordinator in the village. As part of EcoMatcher’s collaboration with Trees4Trees, seedlings and training is provided by Trees4Trees to the farmers of Duren Sawit. Pak Jamasri manages the farmers and handles administrative affairs. After summoning the courage to try out a local delicacy offered to me – a spiny-shelled sweet-tasting fruit called Salak – I set off to explore Duren Sawit’s tree plantations planted with Pak Jamasri, together with a farmer named Pak Parjono.

Pak Jamasri, his family and me

Smack in the middle of the dry season, the summer months of May – August sees tree planting take a backseat for most farmers in Indonesia, who instead focus on tending to the trees and crops that have already been planted. This was no exception for Pak Parjono and the other farmers in Duren Sawit, and for good reason. With each swing of his changkol against the rock hard ground, he painstakingly demonstrated to me the process of planting several Albizia (better known as Sengon in Java) seedlings in dry conditions. Having planted trees since he was in his teens after learning to do so from his parents, it was a task he enjoyed, but definitely more so during the rainy season towards the end of the year, when the soil is a lot kinder for digging and the laying of new seedlings.

Pak Parjono

With the blistering heat of the midday sun soon approaching, Pak Parjono and the rest of the tree planters would retreat to the village, taking part in afternoon prayers before enjoying a well earned lunch and rest back in their abodes. After an hour or two of coffee and chitchat, he would then return to the fields – once again tending to the trees and crops. As evening approached, he would return home, followed by prayers and dinner, socializing with his neighbors before retiring to bed. According to him, the next day followed the same routine. Pak Parjono enjoys planting trees. Just waking up to see the growth of the trees he had planted count among the happiest parts of his life. Moments he relives day after day.

Just like most of us toiling away in our jobs, income and the need to support their families are the main reasons for their careers as tree planters. However, Pak Parjono, Pak Jamasri and the rest of the tree planters are also driven by a sense of duty, and an intrinsic motivation to better the environment around their hometown. Lofty ideals of climate change and environmental preservation on a global scale may not be concepts that they and their fellow villagers entirely grasp, but the localized effects of planting more trees can be thoroughly felt. From enhancing diversity and greenery around the village, to supporting their local economy through the provision of feed for livestock and improvement of soil for agriculture, they see the impact the trees have on their everyday lives, and that is all they need.

We’ve compiled a beautiful three-part video series, each approx. 4 minutes, to share a glimpse into the lives of the tree planters we work with in Indonesia. Take a look at them below and enjoy. We hope you like them.

Part 1: https://youtu.be/O7E7GsZU8C0

Part 2: https://youtu.be/Y_x-L_Bx5xM 

Part 3: https://youtu.be/OPwCdoMwNmU

Posted on 2019-08-13

EcoMatcher Launching WooCommerce Plug-in for Tree-planting

Hong Kong, 13st of August 2019– EcoMatcher is proud and excited to launch the “EcoMatcher for WooCommerce” plug-in. This plug-in enables any company using WooCommerce to easily integrate tree planting into their e-commerce system.

WooCommerce, an e-commerce plugin for WordPress, powers 480,000 online stores, 29% of the total market.  

With the “EcoMatcher for WooCommerce” plug-in, online stores can offer their customers the opportunity to contribute to the fight against climate change by planting trees with their online purchases

Once installed in a WooCommerce website, customers can add a tree or trees to their cart by selecting the green “Plant A Tree” button visible on the check out page.  Upon check out, the customer will get all details of that tree, such as the tree’s precise location, the species and even its farmer. The customer can virtually travel to the tree and learn more instantly.

EcoMatcher believes in the collective power of companies able to combat climate change”, says Bas Fransen, CEO of EcoMatcher. “With this WooCommerce plug-in we now enable 480,000 online stores to join the effort to combat climate change by planting trees and increasing revenues and profits at the same time. This is big. We hope that this is going to make a big difference for all, including Mother Nature”.

#WooCommerce #ecommerce #SDGs #treeplanting #climateaction

Posted on 2019-08-05

How to calculate CO2 sequestration

A key “feature” of a tree is that trees sequester carbon –  the process of removal and long-term storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) from our atmosphere.

EcoMatcher and its tree-planting partners estimate that the trees planted sequester CO2 at an average of 25 kilos per tree per year; we use an average of 250 kilos over a tree’s lifetime. Please note those are average numbers as multiple different species are being planted.

The rate of carbon sequestration depends on the growth characteristics of the tree species, the density of its wood, the location’s conditions for growth, and the plant stage of the tree.

That said, there are ways to estimate a tree’s CO2 sequestration, see below[1].

Step 1: Determine the total green weight of the tree

The green weight is the weight of the tree when it is alive. First, you have to calculate the green weight of the above-ground weight as follows:

Wabove-ground= 0.25 DH (for trees with D<11)

Wabove-ground= 0.15 DH (for trees with D>11)

Wabove-ground= Above-ground weight in pounds

D = Diameter of the trunk in inches 
H = Height of the tree in feet

The root system weight is about 20% of the above-ground weight. Therefore, to determine the total green weight of the tree, multiply the above-ground weight by 1.2:

Wtotal green weight = 1.2* Wabove-ground

Step 2: Determine the dry weight of the tree

The average tree is 72.5% dry matter and 27.5% moisture. Therefore, to determine the dry weight of the tree, multiply the total green weight of the tree by 72.5%. 

Wdry weight = 0.725 * Wtotal green weight

Step 3: Determine the weight of carbon in the tree

The average carbon content is generally 50% of the tree’s dry weight total volume. Therefore, in determining the weight of carbon in the tree, multiply the dry weight of the tree by 50%.

Wcarbon = 0.5 * Wdry weight

Step 4: Determine the weight of carbon dioxide sequestered in the tree

CO2 has one molecule of Carbon and 2 molecules of Oxygen. The atomic weight of Carbon is 12 (u) and the atomic weight of Oxygen is 16 (u). The weight of CO2 in trees is determined by the ratio of CO2 to C is 44/12 = 3.67. Therefore, to determine the weight of carbon dioxide sequestered in the tree, multiply the weight of carbon in the tree by 3.67.

Wcarbon-dioxide = 3.67 * Wcarbon

Example of CO2 calculation

Tree details:

  • 10 years old tree
  • 5 meter tall or 16.4 feet tall (“H”)
  • 25 cm trunk or 9.8 inch trunk (“D”)

Wabove-ground= 0.25 DH= 0.25(9.82)(16.4) = 394 lbs

Wtotal green weight = 1.2* Wabove-ground= 1.2 * 394 = 473 lbs

Wdry weight = 0.725 * Wtotal green weight= 0.725 * 473 = 343 lbs

Wcarbon = 0.5 * Wdry weight  = 0.5 * 343 = 171.5 lbs

Wcarbon-dioxide = 3.67 * Wcarbon  = 3.67 * 171.5 = 629 lbs CO2 sequestered in 10 years; that equals 285 kg. EcoMatcher uses an aeverage of 250 kg CO2 sequestered per tree.

Ultimately, the growth of each tree is non-linear, and the greatest sequestration stage is in the younger stages of tree growth, depending on rates and peaks of individual species, with the sequestration of CO2 per year dropping thereafter. CO2 sequestration can differ even within tree species, with multiple factors such as growth conditions also at play. But while the exact CO2 sequestration rates may require more accurate measurements to pinpoint, the impact trees can create is undeniable in our global fight against climate change, in addition to the host of localized functions it can fulfill.

[1]https://www.unm.edu/~jbrink/365/Documents/Calculating_tree_carbon.pdf (University of New Mexico).

#treeplanting #carbon #sequestration #climateaction #carbondioxide


 

Posted on 2019-03-12

How Bad is Climate Change?

Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg), the 16 year old from Sweden who initiated the first school strike for climate, may have a point: there is no reason to go to school, as there will be no future. Unless we act.

And as David Wallace -Wells describes in his must read book “The Uninhabitable Earth, Life After Warming, climate change is not just a “poor people” thing: it will affect all of us. 

By 2100, the UN says, we are due for about 4 to 5 degrees of warming, following the path we are on today.

Let’s look at some things that are already happening and that we can expect soon:

 

  • Let’s start with what we probably already know: due to the melting ice sheets, sea levels will rise. By 2100 it is expected to be by at least 2 meter; and this is an optimistic number. The rise could displace 13 million Americans and many others in other parts of the world.

  • Some parts of the world will become inhabitable and people have to move. The UN projects between 200 million and 1 billion climate refugees already by 2050, people with little choice but to flee. That is 30 years from now.
  • According to studies, for every degree of warming, crop yields decline by 10 percent. With 5 degrees in 2100, that means that yields will be 50% lower. So it will be huge challenge to feed the expected 50% more people with 50% less. 
  • If yields decline by 50%, profits will decline too. That could be the end of small farms and cooperatives. Also in the Western world. According to one study, 32 countries, from Haiti to the Philippines and India to Cambodia, each heavily dependent on farming and agriculture, face “extreme risk” of conflict and civil unrest from climate disruptions over the next 30 years.
  • As warmer air can hold more moisture than cooler air, we will see more and more out-of-control typhoons and tornadoes. All of these are not just tragedies, and beginning to accumulate at an unprecedented rate.
  • Going forward, the planet’s air won’t just be warmer; it will also be dirtier, and more sickening. By 2100, as many as 2 billion people globally will be breathing air above the WHO “safe” level. 
  • March 2018 Cape Town ran practically dry due to its worst drought in decades. According to the UN, by already 2050, 50% of the world’s population could have poor access to freshwater.
  • At present, oceans suck up more than a fourth of the carbon emitted by humans. That has resulted in what’s called “ocean acidification”, endangering the oceans that feed us. 
  • The footprint of every mosquito-borne illness is presently circumscribed, but those borders are disappearing rapidly, as the tropics expand at a rate of 30 miles per decade. 

 

If this all strikes you as tragic, which it should, consider that we have all the tools we need, today, to stop it all: a political apparatus to aggressively phase out dirty energy; a new approach to agricultural practices and a shift away from beef and dairy in the global diet; and public investment in green energy and carbon capture, like planting trees.

Experts say our ultimate fate will be determined by what human action is taken in just the next 10 years.

What is your plan of action? Why not doing good business by doing good, e.g. planting trees?

Let’s talk!

#climateaction #SDGs #EcoMatcher #treeplanting

Posted on 2019-01-26

Plant A Forest

Hong Kong, January 25, 2019– EcoMatcher now offers customers the possibility to plant a forest, give that forest a name and use the trees in the forest for various loyalty programs while offsetting their negative environmental impact.

 

When ordering a forest, EcoMatcher will work with its trusted tree-planting partners and will plant the forest. Every tree of that forest will be digitally recorded and will be available for gifting through the EcoMatcher platform.

 

“Trees can be used for reward, corporate gifting and loyalty programs and can be gifted digitally or with physical TreeCards”, says Bas Fransen, CEO of EcoMatcher. “The tree recipients can virtually travel to their tree, look at the tree and the tree’s farmer and they can even talk to their trees through EcoMatcher’s TreeChat application, making sustainability fun and engaging.”

 

EcoMatcher is able to give regular updates on the forest, so companies can keep their stakeholders up to date on the impact they have made. One of the possibilities is using drones, see below an example we shot in the Philippines.

Drone example

 

 

#adoptforest #forest #treeplanting #ecomatcher #SDGs #climateaction #sustainability #CSR

Posted on 2018-12-12

TreeChat

 

Hong Kong, December 12, 2018 Just in time for the holiday season, EcoMatcher is launching Treechat, a new way to engage with nature and, well, trees.

 

What is TreeChat?

 

EcoMatcher’s platform makes it easy for businesses and individuals to adopt trees from tree-planting organizations around the world. EcoMatcher provides unrivalled transparency and data about the trees being adopted, everything from tree location to who planted the trees.

 

Companies have adopted trees through EcoMatcher for reward and engagement programs. Trees can be adopted on behalf of recipients and sent to them via email and TreeCards. No more plastic waste, adopt a tree as a gift instead and show employees and customers that your business is being sustainable and responsible.

 

Recipients can use EcoMatcher’s web application, TreeTracker, to visit (virtually) their adopted tree and learn about how the newly planted trees are helping the local environment and communities. Here is where TreeChat will launch and recipients can now have a conversation with their adopted tree.

 

TreeChat is a fun way to engage with environmental issues. People can ask TreeChat all sorts of questions and TreeChat can even tell jokes. “We believe TreeChat makes sustainability more engaging. Some may think that chatting with a tree sounds weird, but users love it,” says Bas Fransen, Founder and CEO of EcoMatcher. “The possibilities for TreeChat are endless. We can tailor TreeChat to match a brand style for example, and even add in corporate communication about CSR and sustainability.”

 

TreeChat will be launched for desktop first followed by a mobile version early 2019.

 

Try TreeChat following below button.

 

 

 

 

 

#treechat #treeplanting #ecomatcher #SDGs #climateaction #sustainability #CSR

Posted on 2018-11-08

TreeCards

With EcoMatcher, companies can adopt trees and give those trees to customers and employees for reward, engagement, loyalty and event purposes.

 

Those tree gifts are digital products. That has numerous benefits, such as no waste is created which is better for the environment, no cost is involved for expensive tooling and for shipping, etc.

 

EcoMatcher though gets sometimes the request from companies to offer their customers and employees tangible products linked to trees.

 

Introducing TreeCards

 

A TreeCard is a post card (7*5 inch) that can be fully customized in line with company’s branding guidelines. The only thing EcoMatcher adds automatically is a QR code. Once that QR code is scanned, nowadays a standard feature on most mobiles, the TreeCard recipient will be able to track his or her adopted tree instantly and learn more about the tree and farmer.

 

Companies can opt to download the TreeCards as a PDF and print the TreeCards by themselves, or we can do that for you. EcoMatcher works with the Green Pagoda Press Ltd, a bespoken printing company in Hong Kong. Green Pagoda uses soy-based ink and paper from renewable resources, returns all toner cartridges to the manufacturer for reuse and recycling, and even provides two vegetarian lunches to their team every month.

 

The TreeCard can be personally gifted, but you also opt to send the TreeCard by regular post.

 

Please contact us or try it out here.

 

#TreeCards #regeneration #treeplanting #EcoMatcher #postcards

Posted on 2018-10-19

The New Sustainability – Regeneration

By Marie Stafford, European Director, The Innovation Group, J Walter Thompson

[reprinted with permission]

 

The future of sustainability will focus on regeneration, with pioneering brands at the heart of the effort.

 

2018 has seen record heat waves on four continents, wildfires in the Arctic Circle and perilous water shortages in South Africa, Australia and India. There’s no question that human activity is responsible. Despite 195 countries signing up to the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon emissions in 2015, our use of resources continues to exceed planetary boundaries.

Put simply, we are consuming more than we have.

This year, Earth Overshoot Day, which marks the point at which we have used more from nature than the planet can renew, came earlier than ever before, on August 1. This is not just a threat to nature, but to human society too.

To borrow a phrase: time’s up.

Sustainability as we know it is dead. Doing less harm is no longer enough. The future of sustainability lies in regeneration: seeking to restore and replenish what we have lost, to build economies and communities that thrive, and that allow the planet to thrive too.

For John Elkington, an authority on sustainable development who coined the term triple bottom line, the goal of sustainability will be to “regenerate economies, societies and the biosphere.” This is no small challenge. To tackle it, we’ll need to collaborate on a global scale to rethink systems, to reimagine production, to re-evaluate the way we do business and to reconsider how we live.

Consumers are already operating from a sustainability mindset, even if they struggle to make it a lifestyle. They are increasing the pressure on brands to make it easier for them to do so, calling for greater transparency and pushing for more sustainable options. Witness this year’s grassroots plastic’s protests at supermarket checkouts the world over.

As governments struggle to keep the fragile Paris Agreement on track, businesses and brands have an opportunity to play a decisive role in the sustainable future, putting regeneration at the heart of strategy.

In the words of the late Ray Anderson, former CEO of Interface, business “is the only institution that is large enough, and pervasive enough, and powerful enough, to really lead humankind out of this mess.”

Yet what was perhaps once seen as a burden or a box-ticking exercise is now a major opportunity for innovation and even revenue. According to conservative estimates, a new sustainable economy centered on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals could be worth $12 trillion and create 380 million jobs. It’s potentially a win on many fronts for brands, which can drive efficiency and minimize exposure to risk while aligning with the values of stakeholders from employees to customers. And companies such as Unilever are showing that it’s possible to make a profit too.

 

For more, see JWT’s report “The new sustainability – regeneration“.

 

#regeneration #JWTIntelligence #Interface #ClimateAction #JohnElkington #EcoMatcher

Posted on 2018-05-11

Millennials: Conscious Consumers and Employees

 

50% of the world’s population – we refer to them as Millennials – is under the age of 30, and the values of this generation are set to become the norm. As tech savvy, connected and truly global generation, they feel collectively responsible, they care, and they embrace sustainability and value a conscious lifestyle.

 

The term Millennials (or “Generation Y”) refers to those 19-34 of years of age and “Generation Z” refers to those under the age of 19. We refer to them simply as “Millennials” or “Conscious Consumers and Employees”.

Millennials are the most sustainability conscious generation. Recent studies by Nielsen show that Millennials are willing to pay more for products and services seen as sustainable or coming from socially and environmentally companies and are transparent in this.

As Millennials represent a rapidly growing consumer market, they influence companies’ success by their choice of products and services. Moreover, when considering employment, they will focus on those companies that have a purpose and that live up to environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.

In the coming decades, baby boomers (> 50 years of age) will transfer trillions of assets to their Millennials heirs, and given Millennials tendency to social engagement, this will become a powerful engine of global economic, social and environmental uplift.

 

How to reach Millennials?

 

Taking into account all those Millennials “requirements”, companies have to re-consider their product and marketing strategies in order to reach those conscious consumers and employees.

EcoMatcher offers companies new innovative ways through SMART tree planting to make company’s purpose tangible and improve stakeholders’ engagement and business results at the same time.

We have seen significant improvements with companies in a number of industries.

Please contact us for a free consult here.

 

#ecomatcher #treeplanting #SDGs #millennials #purpose

 

 

 

 

Posted on 2018-02-08

EcoMatcher becomes a Certified B Corporation®

EcoMatcher joined the unique group of Certified B Corporations.

Certified B Corps are for profit companies certified by the non-profit B Lab® if they have met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. There are more then 2,400 Certified B Corporations with one unifying goal – to redefine success in business.

Bas Fransen, CEO and Co-Founder of EcoMatcher, said: “EcoMatcher is proud and delighted to become a Certified B Corporation®, reflecting our drive to do business while doing good, which is something modern society sorely needs. We welcome partnerships with other Certified B Corporations to amplify B Lab’s initiative.”

“B Lab is excited to welcome EcoMatcher into the B Corp™ community and we look forward to the company’s continued contributions to the purpose-driven business movement in Hong Kong. EcoMatcher’s hands-on involvement with its non-profit partners is particularly notable”, said Alicia Darvall, Executive Director of B Lab.

About B Lab

B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good. Its vision is that one day, all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the Best for the World® and as a result society will enjoy a more shared and durable prosperity.

About EcoMatcher 

EcoMatcher is the world’s first digital platform that enables businesses to increase customer and employee sustainability engagement through SMART tree planting. What is SMART tree planting? Companies can adopt trees, through the platform, that are planted by vetted foundations specializing  in tree planting. The platform gives access to data about those trees such as location of the tree and the farmer caring for the tree. Companies can use the trees for meaningful gifting, reward, loyalty and engagement programs”

#BtheChange #EcoMatcher