Posted on 2022-11-17

Why Partner with a Tree Planting Business

The corporate and charitable sectors have long practiced tree planting, as it has become a safe and unobtrusive strategy for the philanthropic arm of many large businesses. What started as PR fodder has now become an essential component of many companies’ sustainability plans. 

At the scale at which many companies operate, it can be tempting for them to organize tree-planting drives on their own. Tree planting seems like one of those low-effort, high-return initiatives, and this leads some groups to strike out on their own, planting trees where they see empty land. However, this isn’t the best approach for many reasons, including the ones we’ve listed below.

You can’t plant any kind of tree anywhere

While the process of tree planting seems easy on the surface, it is a highly scientific process that takes into account many environmental factors, such as soil conditions, native species, another biodiversity, and rainfall. Not every tree will survive everywhere in the world — in the wrong place; non-natives might die, develop a disease, or become invasive and destroy other vegetation in the area. Some tree varieties also need extensive pruning and care, which, if you can’t provide them, may just burden the community and negate all the effort you put into planting the tree.

Tree planting can be an opaque process if done wrong

Despite the growing number of organizations that offer this element of climate action to anyone and everyone under the sun, we often find that transparency is left in the dust. The process doesn’t end once the tree is planted — you will want to know whether it’s making a difference, like restoring biodiversity or sequestering a good amount of carbon. Anything less than that is greenwashing. Unfortunately, good-hearted consumers are often misled by strategies and end up supporting tree-planting drives that aren’t as clean as they make themselves out to be. Therefore we always recommend partnering with a tree-planting business that is open and transparent about how they conduct tree planting. 

One-off tree-planting projects may not have as significant an impact as we’d like

According to American Forests, if we carried out sporadic projects everywhere, as is still the custom for most tree planting organizations, we wouldn’t really make a significant impact. To make a measurable difference, we would have to focus on specific areas of the world or issues for years on end. That level of dedication may be impossible for a company, but it is very much the core value of a tree-planting organization.

Why you should partner with a tree planting business

If your goal is to do tree planting right, then you’ll want to find a partner that aligns with your business values and culture. Here is why we recommend partnering with a tree-planting business like EcoMatcher.

You can decide on your level of involvement

There are collaborations where the company just contributes financial resources, and expert farmers plant the trees. Other businesses could choose to include their own staff members in planting or engage with children to educate them. Partnering with a tree-planting organization allows you to choose your level of involvement while also having expert help on hand. 

You can identify impact at scale

A good tree-planting organization typically has scientists and experts who can clearly show the impact of your business’ support at scale. This is usually backed by years of data that they’ve collected from their many efforts around the world. Ideally, they would have set up trackers to measure key metrics, such as how much carbon has been sequestered or how much flooding or erosion has reduced. EcoMatcher allows you to see much of this data for yourself on your smartphone, which is a higher level of transparency and involvement. The EcoMatcher system, for example, can help you virtually travel to every tree, learn more about each tree and farmer, view your ESG report, and even calculate your annual carbon footprint. 

You can make a difference where it actually counts

As we said earlier, there are places where it doesn’t make sense to plant a tree, especially if it’s an invasive or non-native species. Partnering with a tree-planting organization ensures you don’t do more harm than good and make a difference in the parts of the world where it counts. Mongabay, for example, has an extremely helpful resource that helps anyone filter among over 350 tree-planting initiatives in 80 different countries. If you’d rather go through a trusted intermediary, then EcoMatcher can help — we have partnered with carefully selected organizations in parts of the world, including Indonesia, India, and Madagascar, where the effects of climate change are rife.

You can free your mind of the logistics

Imagine finding the appropriate sapling, finding the right land, digging a hole, watering the sapling, spraying fertilizer and pesticide, and doing this every day. Now multiply that by a thousand, and you can see that tree planting can be labor-intensive and much more difficult for those without experience in doing this at scale. Partnering with a tree-planting business ensures that you can free your mind of the logistics of tree planting while still making a difference and staying involved. 

You can have a global impact

Carrying out tree planting on our own means that we would be severely limited by where we are, how far we can travel, and what we can locally source. However, when you partner with a tree-planting organization, you can make an impact on any part of the world that truly needs your help without having to travel or physically plant the trees yourself. EcoMatcher, for example, leverages the power of technology to enable a global impact while helping organizations be close to the tree through pictures, details of the farmers, and other constant updates. You no longer have to limit your impact to the local area but can be known for your generosity in other parts of the world, too.

You can think long-term

There is a massive difference between “planting trees” and “sustaining a forest.” The former can be done in an afternoon; the latter takes years and is much more environmentally complex. Tree-planting organizations help companies focus on the entire process, from sourcing and planting seedlings to seeing the tree grow over many years. We must remember that tree planting is a means to an end: conserving and restoring ecosystems.

The final word

As we said, a tree is a proxy for a much more complex goal, one that is measured in biodiversity, livelihood security, and the protection of the planet. Partnering with a tree-planting organization can help companies think more large-scale and long-term in order to maximize their impact and make the best use of their resources and time. 

If you don’t know where to start, why not start with EcoMatcher? We partner with vetted tree-planting NGOs and businesses that plant the right trees at the right time in the right place. We leverage blockchain and technology to make this tree planting accessible and inclusive. At the same time, we support local livelihood, see the forest and not just the trees, and make positive climate change possible at a global level. We’d love for you to join us.  

Posted on 2022-09-06

How did EcoMatcher all started?

Several years ago, I was at the Hong Kong Premium Corporate Gift Fair, a massive fair where thousands of companies were offering plastic pens and USB sticks for corporate gifting purposes. A market worth US 40B (pre-COVID)!

Realizing that many corporate gifts are thrown away probably the same day they are gifted and end up finally in landfills, I thought we needed to develop a better value proposition, that also helps Mother Nature.

Corporate gifting is essential and should create a lasting bond between company and customer, but the plastic pen and USB stick are not the answer anymore; customers are becoming more critical of a company’s sustainability journey.

After a good bottle of wine, maybe two, I came up with the idea to enable companies to gift trees. But how to do that? With my background in technology, though being a lousy engineer, I thought technology should be the answer.

After we built our first Minimum Viable Product (MVP), we got some interest and traction from customers. Compared to what we offer now, our MVP was very minimal indeed! 

Believing in the cause, keeping operating costs low, and diligently working with the technology team in Bandung, we have not only built a world-class technology platform; we now partner with 15 foundations planting trees, have 40,000 active users on our platform, and are privileged to be working with amazing customers like Etihad Airways, Procter and Gamble, S&P Global, and many more. And our customers not only use trees for corporate gifting, they also use trees for loyalty, rewards, employee engagement, and transparent carbon offsetting programs.

And this is only the beginning. EcoMatcher is accelerating on all fronts. Our technology platform gets better, more feature-rich, more secure and robust, and faster; we are adding more tree planting foundations to our platform, offering our customers more choice, and having some fantastic new customer partnerships in the pipeline, besides the amazing ones we already have.

Combating the climate crisis is a collective effort. EcoMatcher wants and will be part of this!

Posted on 2021-12-08

EcoMatcher Announces New Honorary Youth Ambassador

And recognizes 13-year old student, Elodie Lambotte, as the first to take up the role

Hong Kong, December 8, 2021 – EcoMatcher, a Certified B Corporation that plants trees for global organizations, has announced the appointment of its Honorary Youth Ambassador, a 13-year old student from Hong Kong, Elodie Lambotte. The new role seeks to foster cooperation between corporations and younger generations in relation to the climate crisis.

Bas Fransen, CEO EcoMatcher, said, “We live in the decade of action, and collective effort is required to address the biggest threat to humanity: the climate crisis. When Elodie contacted EcoMatcher, it became clear to us as a company that young people are under-represented and need their voices to be heard. As a social enterprise in the sustainability space, we have a responsibility to give Elodie and her peers an opportunity to be part of the solution in relation to climate change.”

Elodie, originally from Belgium, attends international school in Hong Kong. She is passionate about sustainability and raising awareness for programs such as EcoMatcher, which serves as a platform for companies to improve their approach to sustainability while helping to tackle the climate crisis in a transparent and accountable way.

After purchasing her own trees on the EcoMatcher website, Elodie, who is also a talented ventriloquist, contacted the company with a video she had created of herself and her “monkey” Jack. Upon receiving the video, Bas Fransen and his team met with Elodie and her family to discuss taking her proposal of becoming an ambassador forward. Bas commented, “It’s interesting how much has changed over a generation. Kids want different things now; they want a future. Elodie’s “I Have a Dream” speech really struck a chord with the whole team at EcoMatcher, and we’re delighted to appoint her in this honorary role.”

Elodie said, “I respect and admire young climate activists around the world, but I have a different approach. I want people to listen, but I do it by making them laugh, smile, and feel climate change is possible if we just all take a few steps together. So, I made the video with my “monkey” Jack, representing biodiversity. Through the “I Have a Dream” video, I want to express how young people and animals have a dream about a brighter and greener future and hope that company leaders get inspired and take action.”

Watch Elodie’s “I Have a Dream” here:

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