The world is facing mounting challenges that are threatening our very survival — challenges that can feel overwhelming. These issues seem big because they are big. But we must remember that each individual act can make a difference. And when we work collectively, we have the power to clear any obstacle in our way. All we need is a starting point.
The easiest and most efficient place to begin to course-correct is with trees. Lots and lots of trees.
We’ve introduced one of the most ambitious efforts to target forests and neighborhoods where trees will do the most good.
Trees, now more than ever.
Taken at face value it seems like an overly simple notion that trees and forests can help us solve some of the biggest problems we're currently up against. What most people don’t realize is that trees perform a multitude of tasks that benefit every single living thing on our planet.
From standing tall on the frontlines of climate change pulling carbon from the air, to cooling our cities, to providing a home for 80 percent of all land-based animals, plants and insects, people and the planet need trees and forests now more than ever.
As the world alarmingly edges its way closer to the climate ledge, trees and forests remain the most affordable, scalable nature-based solution available today.
This call for more trees isn’t just coming from us. A representative with the United Nations said, “an investment in forests is investing in our future." An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report found that restoring forests could play an outsized role in the solution to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Leading the charge, starting a movement.
Our planet needs influential organizations to step up and accelerate the impact trees and forests can have around the world. Thanks to our global network of partners and supporters, we’re positioned to lead the way.
We’ve set a goal to help us—all of us—meet the moment, by planting 500 million trees, with a focus on forests and neighborhoods of greatest need by 2027.
Why 500 Million?
We know that the number of trees we’ve set out to plant is substantial. In fact, it’s one that holds significance for us as that’s about how many trees we've planted in our first fifty years. But it’s not the full story. What the number represents is how we, as a foundation, are challenging ourselves to go farther and push harder than we ever have before. We recognize the urgency to act, and act quickly, in a meaningful way.
The emphasis on an acceleration of our work also reinforces the need for planting trees over the next few years to make inroads against climate change.
How This Goal is Different
It’s always been about planting the right tree in the right place in the right soil at the right time. Never has that practice been more urgent than at this very moment.
This level of focus, detail, and determination on where trees get planted are thanks to a combination of tools, technology, data, and a vast network of tree-planting partners. The influx of science-based information is designed to help us target areas around the world where trees will have the biggest impact.
To ensure these 500 million trees are working as hard as they possibly can for the planet, we set two targets to guide our tree-planting:
90 percent of our reforestation work will be in forests of greatest need around the world. We reference a priority index that provides a balanced, rich data set to help identify the forests where the benefits of trees can be maximized.
We will inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees in 90 percent of underserved and low-canopy neighborhoods. We utilize a variety of information sets to locate those neighborhoods, notably the NatureQuant NatureScore Priority Index.
Though we’ve set in motion the momentum to make a dent in the global crisis, the real impact will grow when we all work together. When organizations from various industries and people from all walks of life make it a priority to join the tree-planting movement that has the potential to reshape our planet and set it on the right trajectory for future generations. The moment is now. The movement is here. Let’s plant 500 million trees together.