Breath for the Future

Reforest'Action

8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 13. Climate Action 15. Life on Land

Overview

Reforest’Action aims to preserve and restore forests in France and around the world by using their innovative crowdplanting platform. This unique crowdplanting model allows companies and individuals to take concrete action. The platform, which is available around the world, not only boosts forests, but it also allows for the development and improvement of a real business around trees, based on a sustainable model.

Author

Martin Chazelle

Martin Chazelle

School

Toulouse Business School

Toulouse Business School

Professor

LOPEZ DELPHINE

LOPEZ DELPHINE

Innovation

Reforest’Action was founded to fight global warming by proposing a realistic solution for forests in a world where deforestation and carbon emissions are growing. “Deforestation is one of the biggest contributors to climate change”. Since 1990 80% of forests around the world have been destroyed or degraded. The world now needs to compensate for this destruction. Reforest’Action is aiming to preserve and replant forests in a way that has positive social and environmental sustainability impacts.

Reforest’Action is based on the same concept as crowdfunding but aims to plant trees. To achieve this, the organization allows companies and individuals to fund forestry projects through their online platform. By using personal and raised funds, Reforest’Action has the means to respond to different projects around the world. It establishes a link between people who want to act for the environment and people or communities who need help restoring forests. In France, the main objective is the restoration of forests, but in many locations like Haiti, Peru or Togo it is to reforest altogether, as well as educating people to the importance of forests in the world. Sustainable forestry management and agroforestry contribute to socio-economic development by creating jobs and contributing both to household food security and improving household incomes.

Reforest’Action is also innovating with its modern CO2 calculator. The calculator enables them to establish the level of your impact on the environment by calculating your carbon footprint. After a tree is planted, the calculator reassesses your emissions balance and presents the total level of your contribution.


Breath for the Future

Magamba Nature Reserve in northeastern Tanzania

Inspiration

During a trip to Senegal in 2010, Stéphane Hallaire, planted his first tree, a mango tree. Quickly, he understood the scope of his action. The tree has many benefits in the environment, it preserves biodiversity, purifies the air, ensures water quality, and even absorbs CO2. The tree also plays a social role as a fruit tree and it produces food. Moreover, before delivering fruit, the tree needs to grow and to grow it requires a significant workforce. Therefore, reforestation also creates job opportunities. Following this observation, Stéphane changed his engineer career to create Reforest’Action.

Reforest’Action started in the back room of a small shop. During his lunchtime, Stéphane would take a breath of the forest to think about his project. His goal was simple: to finally provide concrete solutions for businesses to act upon the environment and make it a real lever for positive and sustainable development. Thus, the idea of crowdplanting was born. In 2010, the first crowdplanting platform was developed.


Overall impact

Despite the many benefits that a tree can provide, not everyone has the possibility or the motivation to plant one. To grow normally a tree needs a lot of different things including fresh air, good land, water and of course all of the biodiversity that can be found in a forest. All these conditions create a vital balance for the correct growth of the tree and its environment. To summarize, the good health of a tree requires many things that may be difficult to bring together for most of the population around the world.

Reforest’Action guarantees all these conditions through its model, allowing everyone to contribute in a sustainable way to increasing all the benefits that can procure a tree.

Since its creation in 2010, Reforest’Action has planted a total of more than 6 million trees, has raised awareness of over 20 million people on forest issues, and has even generated a positive impact on the living conditions of more than one hundred thousand people around the world.

Overall, forests have a social and environmental impact on the world. And, by giving everyone the ability to act, Reforest’Action is significantly increasing this positive impact. Beyond that, Reforest’Action is reshaping the mentalities of many people since, thanks to its very simple model, there is now nothing in the way of taking action for the environment. Today, between companies and individuals, about 150 thousand people have planted and created this positive impact on the Reforest’Action platform. This number can only increase in the coming years!


Business benefit

The mission of this firm is to finance reforestation projects, in France and abroad. With personal and raised funds, the forester has enough money to plant in a sustainable way. Reforest’Action does not own the planted land, it simply helps to plant and to reforest. On its crowdplanting platform, the company proposes a single price of 3 euros for planting a tree. This amount allows them to plant a tree as well as to finance the proper functioning of the company. Ambitious, but well thought because in the first year, Stéphane Hallaire (founder and CEO), has been contracted in Senegal, Guatemala, and Peru. Each planted tree is useful because it feeds a virtuous circle. It enables the monitoring of forests, the research of new funders, and above all the implementation of new forest projects.

In terms of its potential to mitigate climate impact, agroforestry can offer significant economic and social impact, especially for farmers in developing countries. 500 million farmers live on less than 2 dollars a day. Improved soil quality could help farmers produce more crops and can allow for more efficient nutrient cycling. Additionally, introducing trees also introduces all the biodiversity around, like fodder for animals, fruits, or oils that could be used as food or be sold for additional income. In this way, all these resources create jobs and can improve the local economy and ultimately, can attract FDIs.

Several important companies understood the real positive impact they can have by funding Reforest’Action’s projects. Moreover, Reforest’Action’s client list includes many major companies such as AXA, BMW, KLM, and many others.

Furthermore, in 2019, Reforest'Action obtained "B Corp" certification. This label recognizes that the activity of certified companies meets the highest standards of performance, transparency, social and environmental responsibility; a certification of quality awarded only to some 2 500 companies around the world.


Social and environmental benefit

As mentioned above, Reforest’Action through its forests plays a dual role that is social and environmental. The company’s projects contribute to the development of local economies, the restoration of the environment, and the protection of biodiversity.

To illustrate and understand the real impact that Reforest’Action can have, let us consider one of the many projects conducted by the company. Hurricane Matthew in 2016 caused heavy damage in Haiti, 90% of the trees were destroyed and almost 80% of crops were lost leaving a situation of extreme misery. Reforest’Action urgently called for reforestation offering cocoa, banana, and other fruit trees. Today, the company is still present in Haiti, working in partnership with the OJUCAH association to develop agroforestry activities for sustenance consumption and sale on the local market. The 300 thousand cashew trees planted help benefit the local communities and allow for the development of businesses throughout the island.

The massive loss of forest cover in Haiti is mainly due to the production of charcoal, which is the main source of energy for the population. In fact, for a while, it was more profitable for a Haitian to exploit charcoal than to plant trees. Now, Reforest’Action brings new methods and creates job opportunities, "If you can help them do their job more effectively, then you can curb climate change. It might be the cheapest, fastest way to stop it”.

Interview

Katia Prassoloff, Marketing and Communications Manager

Photo of interviewee

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Reforest'Action

Reforest'Action

Rueil-Malmaison, France, FR

Business Website: https://www.reforestaction.com/en

Year Founded: 2010

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

Since the creation in 2010, Reforest’Action has been on a mission to preserve and restore forests in France and abroad. They have created an innovative platform of crowdplanting that permits everyone to plant. They show us that it is possible to create a benefit and have a positive social and environmental impact.