Sometimes changing the world is as simple as planting a forest.
Our commitment to sustainable innovation doesn’t stop with our products. In order to work toward offsetting our CO2 emissions and minimizing our carbon footprint, we are planting a forest, one tree at a time.
We’re planting trees to offset the carbon emissions associated with all Nike.com shipments in Europe.
It’s typical to see companies of our size buying carbon offsets, which are essentially a form of trade that invests in projects working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, we wanted to be a more direct part of the solution. We started with the best available scientific research on carbon neutrality and footprint reduction to calculate what it would take to offset our carbon emissions by planting trees ourselves. We found out that a tree that lives 30 years in the Atlantic forest region in Brazil offsets 5.2KG of CO2 average per year, which is the Co2 impact equivalent of shipping 15 units from our warehouse in Belgium to any home in Europe.
WeForest is an organization that partners with corporations, organizations, scientists and climate activists to create real, sustainable change in the environment. They not only work with companies like ours to reforest areas in need of biodiverse restoration, they also work to proliferate research and education on the topic of carbon reduction through natural resource management.
WeForest implements reforestation projects around the world. We’ve decided to conduct our pilot in Pontal do Paranapanema, Brazil on a plot of land totaling the size of 375 soccer fields. We’re helping restore a forest that’s now only about 10% of its original size.
Not only did we want to offset our carbon emissions, we wanted to engage people in the process as well. When anyone from the European region makes a purchase online, they are greeted with a page saying that we are working together with WeForest by creating our own forest to offset their shipment. And when our customers are engaged and happy, our business does well.
Many people have asked us: why trees? Is that really going to do anything? Planting trees seems like a small change in comparison to the massive amounts of carbon involved in our global shipping costs. However, the 600,000+ trees we’ve planted so far will—once they’re fully grown—offset the carbon footprint of 10,200 Europeans. And we’re still planting.
Additionally, we decided to partner with WeForest because of the scalable ripple effect of their programming. Not only are we reforesting critical areas of the Amazon and increasing the biodiversity of the region, we’re also training farmers in new agroforestry techniques, educating entire families about seeding and growing processes, and contributing to the total income generated (over $500,000) for this small community in Brazil alone.