Trees That Count CEO Adele Fitzpatrick is calling on businesses to look beyond planting trees just for carbon credits, and to focus on the broader benefits of planting native trees here in New Zealand.
With a goal of helping New Zealanders plant 200 million more native trees before 2026, Trees That Count is rallying individuals, businesses and families to take action now.
“We need to shift the focus from offsetting for carbon credits, and to look at what we can do to make a lasting difference for New Zealand and our future generations,” said Adele.
“Planting native trees here is the most powerful way we can tackle climate change while also addressing the biodiversity crisis our country is facing.”
With some large canopy native trees capable of sequestering a tonne of carbon throughout their lifetime, native trees offer a powerful tool in the fight against climate change.
“We have the technology at our fingertips to turn the climate crisis around, but we need to be thinking long-term and to look at the broader benefits of planting native trees,” said Adele.
“Our native trees strengthen our ecosystems, they provide habitats for our indigenous wildlife, and they’re a huge draw card for visitors.”
Adele believes customers are increasingly pushing for businesses to do the right thing by the environment, and are looking for impacts they can see in their own country.
“The consumer has enormous leverage in demanding businesses to take action for the environment. We’ve seen it so clearly with plastic pollution, and the pressure from consumers to see less single-use plastic and less packaging — and it’s making a difference,” said Adele.
“Customers are increasingly factoring the environment into their purchasing decisions, and planting native trees in a community is much more meaningful to a customer than if a business has purchased carbon credits to offset their emissions.”
Trees That Count is already working with hundreds of New Zealand businesses across the country that are funding native trees for community planting projects.
Since starting in 2016, businesses and everyday kiwis have funded close to 300,000 native trees through the marketplace, which have been used to upscale over 200 planting projects around the country.
“We’re proud to work with some of New Zealand’s biggest brands such as The Warehouse Group, Mazda NZ, Z Energy, and Honda NZ who are already stepping up for New Zealand and investing their efforts back into our native trees,” said Adele.
“We’re also seeing start-ups and small family businesses getting behind us which has been amazing, every single native tree funded means another tree in the ground here in NZ.”
More about Trees That Count
Trees That Count was established in 2016 as a programme of Project Crimson, the charitable conservation trust which led the efforts to restore pōhutukawa and rātā from its near extinction almost 30 years ago
Trees That Count has extended the efforts to include all native trees and runs the country’s first tree marketplace which connects funded and gifted trees to deserving community groups, iwi, local councils, schools and individuals looking to strengthen their own planting projects.
Trees That Count is generously supported by The Tindall Foundation and Te Uru Rākau through the One Billion Trees programme, alongside the many businesses and individuals who are donating through the marketplace.