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Impact & B Corp

Why we’ve taken the Million Tree Pledge

Beth Tolson

Posted by Beth Tolson

21 April 2022

Our eco committee has been up and running for almost two years. We’re always looking for ways Reddico can improve its sustainability, and last year we came across the Million Tree Pledge.

Source: Ecologi

What is the Million Tree Pledge?

The Million Tree Pledge is a group of individuals and businesses, each of whom have committed to planting one million trees, drawing down more carbon than they’ve emitted in order to increase biodiversity and the chance of reversing climate change. At the time of writing, 35 million trees have been pledged.

Each pledger must find two other individuals or businesses to make the pledge, in order to spread the message. There’s no time limit on when this has to be done by.

How can planting trees make a difference in the fight against climate change?

Carbon does have a purpose, as it helps the Earth hold energy it receives from the sun. Without it, our oceans would freeze. However, if too much of this energy is held by the Earth, it can cause the temperature of the planet to rise, which results in climate change.

In a nutshell, climate change is a shift in average weather conditions over a long period of time. The effects of climate change include more frequent and severe:

  • Drought

  • Heat waves

  • Melting glaciers

  • Rising sea levels

  • Storms

  • Warming oceans

(source: Columbia Climate School)

These can all significantly impact and even destroy communities, livelihoods and animals.

Trees capture the atmospheric carbon that contributes towards climate change and lock it up for decades or centuries. One tree can capture up to 22kg of carbon per year, and according to the Woodland Trust, one hectare of a woodland ecosystem can lock over 400 tonnes of carbon.

Source: Ecologi

Other benefits of planting trees:

  • As well as carbon, trees also absorb pollutants from the air, like ammonia, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide, and can be used in urban areas to reduce the effects of air pollution. They also absorb pollutants from the soil. 

  • Trees produce oxygen.

  • Trees absorb water, which can reduce flooding when it rains heavily.

  • They’re a place for wildlife, such as birds, squirrels, and bats, to live. Biodiversity such as this is important to sustain healthy ecosystems, which are essential for humans to survive.

  • They provide shade on hot days.

  • Some trees grow food, such as apples, cherries and plums.

Despite their many benefits, almost 50% of the world’s trees have been cut down. This is unfortunate, because scientists have observed some worrying developments around climate change, such as the severe weather listed above.

Only planting trees without altering anything else won’t fix climate change – but it’ll help.

Where are the trees planted?

Pledgers plant their trees through a platform called Ecologi. Ecologi offers businesses and individuals the opportunity to fund climate projects that have a genuine impact, like carbon reduction schemes and, of course, tree planting.

These donations then go to Eden Reforestation Projects. Eden Reforestation Projects restores healthy forests by employing local people to plant the trees, creating employment opportunities and contributing towards carbon reduction. At the time of writing, they’ve planted over 830 million trees and employed over 11.5 million people with fair wages.

What does the Million Tree Pledge mean for Reddico?

We already use Ecologi to offset the emissions created by each member of the team, both in their work and personal lives, and part of this involves planting trees. In addition to our usual contribution, we will also plant extra trees through Ecologi each month in order to meet our Million Tree Pledge targets.

What’s our plan?

Our goal is to plant a million trees by 2030. To date, we’ve planted over 16,000 trees and while this is an achievement we’re proud of, we felt we needed more of a vision.

Pledging to plant a million trees represents a milestone in our escalating efforts to be better ancestors to the planet’s future inhabitants. 

Each year, starting from April 2022, our Eco Circle will decide how many extra trees to plant per month. This number is flexible and can be adjusted according to the amount of funds available to us that year. A chart will show us:

  • The number of extra trees we’ll plant per month in each year (up to and including 2030)

  • The extra number of trees we’ll plant per year (up to and including 2030)

  • How much this will cost

  • How far we’ve got to go until we reach our goal of planting a million trees

To find out more about the Million Tree Pledge, please visit their website. You can find out more about our eco initiatives here.