Our COMPASS green team was formed to create and champion our green mission. They help us make sure that we’re minimising our negative environmental impact in favour of sustainability, and that we continue to explore ways to generate a positive effect on our natural world.
This year, we have decided to partner with Ecosia, a search engine that dedicates 100% of its profits to climate action. At least 80% goes towards funding tree-planting projects across the world – by offering its 15 million users a green alternative to search online, Ecosia has been able to plant over 130 million trees through its holistic reforestation service, Ecosia Trees.
Trees help to combat climate change, provide a habitat for wildlife, restart water cycles, stop deserts from spreading and turn barren ground back into woods and farmland. When it’s done right, reforestation restores ecosystems, saves endangered species from extinction, and changes lives, as it lets people live off the land rather than having to migrate elsewhere. About 200 million people depend directly on forests for their livelihoods.
However, not all tree planting is equal: without the necessary technical expertise and local knowledge, trees can do more harm than good. Ecosia Trees focuses on planting the right trees in the right places, making sure that they plant native trees where they can provide the most benefit. Their team of experts select projects that focus on biodiversity hotspots – areas that hold particularly high numbers of unique species. These locations are home to at least 1,500 species of plants that are native to that one place only, and they are under extreme threat.
Each project serves a different purpose for the local communities. In Indonesia, for instance, 25% of the country’s rainforests have been replaced by vast palm oil monocultures, which push out native wildlife and endanger the livelihoods of farming communities. Ecosia Trees is working with local organisations and communities to restore mixed forests on former plantations, while creating alternative sources of income for landowners.
Joanna Kuc, Research Associate in Digital Mental Health at COMPASS, and a member of our green team, explained that “Engaging in global projects that are culturally sensitive fits in well with COMPASS’s commitment to diversity. Additionally, Ecosia has the in-house expertise to make informed decisions on which projects are most impactful and have proven efficacy.”
Ecosia Trees will plant 5,800 trees on our behalf, which will sequester 325 tons of CO2 in the first 20 years. We’re looking forward to seeing them grow!