A Solution Through Trees
Restoring forests, combating climate change, enriching lives — trees are a solution to many global issues. Our corporate partners and their employees are impacting communities around the world. Share the vision of making a difference with tree planting.
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Work That Spans the Globe
Partnership in Action
YouTube’s #TeamTrees MovementYouTube influencers banded together to crowd-fund the planting of 20 million trees. This campaign reached a whole new audience of tree planters and illustrated that trees truly resonate with all people.
Inspiring Large-Scale Action Among a New Generation of Tree Planters
What started as a callout on the social media platform Reddit quickly turned into an environmental force, driven by a new audience of tree planters. #TeamTrees — a collective effort with YouTube creators to inspire support for tree planting around the globe — took social media by storm in the fall of 2019. The campaign was one of the fastest-growing environmental fundraising initiatives to date and the largest crowdfunding effort in YouTube’s history.
A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY
#TeamTrees began with YouTube influencers MrBeast (Jimmy Donaldson, widely followed for his creative philanthropy) and Mark Rober (former NASA scientist) accepting a challenge to plant 20 million trees in honor of MrBeast’s 20 millionth subscriber. They chose to collaborate with the Arbor Day Foundation in managing the campaign to leverage three of its key strengths:
- Unique Position: The Foundation is uniquely equipped to handle a tree planting project of this scale and scope.
- Integrity: A commitment to planting the right tree in the right place for the right reasons.
- Credibility: A proven track record of working with a network of partners to deliver results.
The goal was to raise $20 million by January 1, 2020. Each dollar raised would plant a tree, and trees would be planted on every continent except Antarctica. Hundreds of other content creators on YouTube and other social platforms were recruited to help lead the charge, and everyone involved developed unique content to drive their viewers to donate on TeamTrees.org in support of tree planting.
ACTIVISM IN ACTION
The campaign launched on October 25, 2019 and donations reached more than $3.5 million in the first 24 hours. Just 48 hours after launch, more than $5 million had been donated. The $20 million goal was reached on December 19, and the ticker continued to climb. As of January 1, the #TeamTrees campaign had raised more than $21.5 million for tree planting around the globe.
More than 800,000 people from around the world — everyone from Elon Musk to third grade classrooms — were inspired to “join the team” and help plant trees. Individual donations varied from $1 to $1,000,001.
Between October 25 and January 9, #TeamTrees garnered more than 2,300 media hits. Press coverage spanned 75 different countries and 38 different languages, demonstrating that trees are globally unifying and something that is universally appealing.
AFFIRMATION THROUGH SUCCESS
The success of #TeamTrees can be attributed to two key factors:
- Trees Resonate: People connect with tree planting. It provides avenues for individuals to get involved to create tangible, measurable change.
- Partnerships Matter: When MrBeast committed to planting 20 million trees, he recognized that he could not do it alone. As he and fellow YouTuber Mark Rober worked to build an unusual coalition of hundreds of the most significant social influencers, the Arbor Day Foundation began tapping into its trusted network to orchestrate the planting of 20 million trees across six continents with our dedicated and passionate tree planting partners.
AN ONGOING LEGACY
The goal has been met and the deadline has passed, but the #TeamTrees initiative lives on. The fundraising effort was only the beginning. Through December 2022, tree planting will take place in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. The Arbor Day Foundation is well-positioned to tell the story of these planting projects and is committed to continuing a dialog with the people who have supported these efforts.
Target Employees Dig InTarget team members in eight cities across the U.S. showed up in force to improve the communities they call home — planting more than 2,000 trees.
Engaging Employees and Improving Communities
Target is one of a growing number of organizations that truly understand the importance of employee engagement. Today’s workforce wants to be part of an organization committed to making a difference and supporting employees as they look to do the same. And providing opportunities for their team members to come together to improve the communities in which they live and work is proving to be a powerful choice for this retail giant.
In 2019, Target and the Arbor Day Foundation began a dynamic partnership dedicated to benefiting communities and providing enriched experiences for team members through tree planting. A variety of unique and thoughtful projects were established through the Foundation’s network of local tree planting partners in eight cities across the country. Target team members were able to dig in — literally — and improve neighborhoods in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Jose, and Santa Barbara.
Clad in iconic Target bullseye gear and can-do smiles, more than 400 team members helped to play and distribute 2,067 trees. These trees were planted in neighborhoods without sufficient tree cover, community and memorial parks, areas hit hard by hurricanes, and a zoological garden. Two of the projects created urban orchards specifically designed to provide more food security in low-income areas.
Beyond the undeniable shade a beauty these trees offer, additional critical community benefits will be provided as they grow.
And while the trees were being planted, Target team members were developing deeper connections with each other and the organization as a whole.
Through its partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, Target is well-positioned to show not only a dedication to the communities they serve but also the team members they employ.
Church & Dwight Offsets Carbon Through TreesWhen one of America’s oldest companies set the goal to be carbon-neutral by 2025, they turned to the Arbor Day Foundation to have a global impact.
Church & Dwight
Offsetting Carbon Emissions Through Trees
Corporate sustainability professionals face complex challenges when implementing programming that has the power to make real, positive impacts on an organization’s triple bottom line — making progress on social, environmental, and financial metrics. Church and Dwight is meeting those challenges head-on with the help of the Arbor Day Foundation, making great strides toward their goal of becoming a carbon-neutral company by 2025.
Since setting this goal in 2014 as part of their comprehensive sustainability plan, Church & Dwight has embraced annual commitments to carbon offsetting with trees as an economic solution to lowering their impact. With verified credits from forestry operations in the Mississippi River Valley and details of how this program aids the region, Church & Dwight can confidently report on the concrete environmental investment it is making as a leader in corporate responsibility.
When we look at the costs related to trying to reduce energy in a growing company, it can be very expensive. The carbon offsets through the Arbor Day Foundation provide a very economical way to reduce our impact on the environment.”Pete Marshall
Director, Environmental Safety Global Operations at Church & Dwight, Co., Inc
CARBON REDUCTION STRATEGIES
From Church & Dwight’s analysis, the organization set a course to reduce emissions through energy efficiency initiatives as well as transitioning more of their product shipping from truck-based to railroad transportation, which is more fuel-efficient by load weight. From 2015 to 2017, Church & Dwight’s absolute greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 12.9 percent. The challenge then became how to continue progress toward the carbon neutrality goal in an economically viable way.
To solve that challenge, Church & Dwight researched options for offsetting emissions through renewable energy credits and forestry carbon credits. They chose to pursue both avenues. A portion of their emissions from electrical power generation were offset though purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs), and the Arbor Day Foundation’s forestry carbon program was engaged to offset a portion of their fossil fuel emissions.
Church & Dwight found the Arbor Day Foundation to be a strategic option for partnering to offset emissions from fossil fuels. For them, the multiple benefits that tree planting offers, as well as the Arbor Day Foundation’s recognized heritage in forestry and conservation efforts, set this carbon credit program apart.
It’s critical to understand the full scope of a sustainability plan when considering offsets, as there are many possible approaches possible for offsetting. The Foundation met with Church & Dwight in early 2016 to learn more about their goals for sustainability as a whole, as well as goals for carbon emission reductions and offsets specifically. Through in-depth discussions, it was found that offsetting the emissions generated from burning fossil fuels at a subset of Church & Dwight’s facilities in the U.S. as well as offsetting the emissions from corporate travel would fit the reduction and offset portfolio they were building for their plan. In 2016, this equated to offsetting approximately 25% of the total carbon dioxide emissions from their operations in the U.S.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PLANTING TREES
Church & Dwight has a heritage of supporting wildlife conservation efforts. Beyond offsetting carbon emissions, Church & Dwight was drawn to the idea of supporting tree planting and preservation in the Mississippi River Valley because of the cobenefits they provide. In addition to the absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the trees planted by the Arbor Day Foundation provide improved water quality, erosion and flood control, quality local jobs, and valuable habitats for a diverse range of wild species.
These benefits make offsetting with trees a powerful option for a company looking to tell a story of positive impact and build stakeholder engagement. For Church & Dwight, it was easy to share the message of how their offsets through the Arbor Day Foundation fit into their overall sustainability efforts.
In 2016, Church & Dwight committed to offsetting a portion of their 2017 footprint, equal to the absorption of 10,955 metric tons of CO2. These offsets allowed the Arbor Day Foundation to reinvest in the forests of the Mississippi River Valley, which will mature and offer even greater potential for carbon offsetting in the future. In addition to absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, these forests will help to restore the river valley’s ability to filter out pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus before they reach the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. The trees will also reestablish critical habitat for more than 300 species of migratory birds who rely heavily on the forests of this area.
These managed forests allowed Church & Dwight to offset a year’s worth of carbon emissions from its headquarters as well as two additional facilities. They were also able to mark their corporate travel as carbon-neutral. From these successful benchmarks, they further embraced carbon offsets in 2017, increasing their commitment to offset 51,700 metric tons of CO2 from their 2018 emissions.
Pete Marshall, director of environmental safety global operations at Church & Dwight, believes it a necessity for any growing company to consider carbon offsets as a part of their sustainability plans, noting that trees are “a great system for reducing the impacts of CO2 on the environment.” And if companies want to layer and leverage the benefits associated with their investments in sustainability, trees and forests are tough to beat.
With projects and partners in more than 45 countries around the world, the Arbor Day Foundation provides a wide variety of opportunities for people and partners to engage in our tree planting movement. Every day, we connect our programmatic and corporate partners, donors, and members to strategic, high-impact, and shovel-ready projects around the world.
We seek diverse partnerships that align with our mission, vision, and core values — committing to understanding an organization’s corporate social responsibility goals and the importance of environmental sustainability to its triple bottom line. And to illustrate the value of this partnership, we provide comprehensive reporting with impact data and ROI metrics.
Our Commitment to Global Goals
Work happening through the Arbor Day Foundation makes a positive impact on 8 of the 17 Global Goals.
Organizations of all sizes work with us to plant trees around the globe.
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