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Hong Kong-based EcoMatcher allows companies to plant trees in different forests around the world and see progress virtually through their technology platform. The aim of the program is to offer full transparency with tree-planting projects, allowing company employees to view their trees that have been planted through the EcoMatcher website. At a time when consumers are trending towards ethical purpose-driven businesses, EcoMatcher’s platform might just keep corporations relevant by offering a solution for sustainable growth and accountability.
A B-Corp certified social enterprise founded in Hong Kong– one of only 6 in the city- EcoMatcher’s Global Forest Program offers companies the ability to adopt trees, gift trees on behalf of customers or present them to employees as a reward. The core innovation of the company is tree-planting transparency, where all the planted trees can be virtually visited through the online tree tracker and information about adopted trees can be easily accessed on the website. They manage to do this by collaborating with vetted local organisations that specialise in tree-planting projects in Guatemala, Indonesia, Uganda, the Philippines and Thailand. EcoMatcher hopes to be able to work with 50 partners by 2021.
Speaking about the impetus for the EcoMatcher digital tool, CEO and founder Bas Fransen said: “A few months ago we introduced the concept of planting a forest…We saw the need to develop a turn-key solution for companies who want to engage their employees in the fight against climate change.”
Faced with our current planetary crisis, it is more important than ever for companies to get on board with practical climate solutions. Rainforests are currently being wiped out too fast, primarily due to human demand for beef and cheap soy in the case of Amazonian deforestation, and palm oil in Indonesia. There is mounting evidence that our forests hold the key to combating global warming, as they absorb carbon dioxide from our atmosphere, reducing the greenhouse effect. Our forests are also home to birds and wildlife, who are threatened by climate change events that have destroyed much of their natural habitat.
While individuals might be able to participate in tree-planting projects through packages offered by Chooose.today or opting to use Ecosia as their main search engine, businesses have the ability to make an impact on an even larger scale. Sustainable businesses also have the power to generate more awareness amongst employees and other companies in the industry about the need for a concerted effort to battle climate emergency.
Not only are planet-friendly programs like EcoMatcher positive for the climate, but they are also a tool for businesses to stay relevant in a changing market. Businesses do not only have to price in climate change as a long-term strategy because the impacts of climate destruction poses clear risks for corporate returns, but consumers are also becoming more careful about where to spend their dollars. They are demanding environmental responsibility from companies, and are buying products with sustainability claims and are attracted to purpose-driven businesses.
There has been an uptick in businesses taking on a climate-friendly approach of late. Cottage rental company Nature.house, for instance, have partnered up with the Eden Project to plant a tree in Madagascar for every night booked on their platform. They have recently reached 500,000 trees planted, and are looking to scale this up to 1 million by 2021. Cosmetics giant LUSH have also adopted planet-forward measures, such as their “carbon positive” cork pot packaging that encourages local regenerative oak tree growing practices in Portugal.
Lead image courtesy of Unsplash.