April 25, 2022 | By Jilli Cluff
This Earth Day, the founders of tentree are launching their latest effort to reach 1 billion trees by 2030. How? By ‘making people give a sh*t about trees.’
If Johnny Appleseed launched a brand, it’s a good bet it would look a lot like tentree. Since its inception, the Canadian brand has planted 10 trees for every one of its products purchased.
In 2019, tentree had planted 30 million trees — probably. That’s when the company’s founders realized they had no means of auditing and verifying their planting efforts.
Now, those same individuals think blockchain could be the key to keeping track of how many trees tentree has helped plant, as well as meeting its ecological restoration goals.
Derrick and Stephen Emsley’s new venture, veritree, will leverage blockchain — an ambiguous term most often associated with emissions-laden cryptocurrency technology — to try to plant 1 billion trees by 2030.
Though blockchain’s reputation suggests a high carbon footprint, the digital ledger’s environmental impact is actually fairly minor. Here’s what the Emsleys have planned and how it might all work.
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The Problem With Seeding Campaigns
In a 15-minute video tentree premiered on Earth Day, Derrick Emsley and climate activist Jack Harries discuss how to most sustainably plant trees and fix the current rash of poorly implemented seeding campaigns.
A seeding campaign (aka seed project) is basically a program or system focused on distributing or planting seedlings or sapling trees. Increasingly, companies use seed projects in efforts to offset their carbon footprint.
However, it doesn’t always work.
The lack of a standard system often results in logistical nightmares including double-counting errors, poor seedling survival rates, poorly sited grounds, etc. As a result, the project’s efficacy can plummet.
“While tree planting is not a silver bullet, it can be an incredibly important part of the climate crisis solution if done correctly,” Derrick explained. “Over the last decade, we saw too many projects being funded that never achieved their intended benefit and, even with our own projects, found it incredibly difficult to audit and verify the claims we were making.”
veritree: The Reforestation Blockchain Platform
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Through tentree’s unique business model, the company has become something of a forerunner in the reforestation space. Derrick and Stephen Emsley plan to use tentree’s firsthand experience to implement the only solution it’s found: using data-driven tech to monitor, verify, and track planting.
In 2019, tentree developed veritree, a blockchain system, specifically to that end. And now the Emsleys say that the blockchain platform is ready for broader distribution to businesses that want to invest in tree planting.
“Veritree exists as a separate entity that enables businesses — and their consumers — to move towards a restorative business model where they can do ‘more good’ for the environment, rather than ‘less harm’,” the company explained.
To learn more, check out “tentree: A Conversation With Jack Harries” and visit veritree.com. True to tentree’s roots, the company pledges to plant one tree for every view the video receives.
“To us, veritree is such a critical piece of the global reforestation puzzle and the restorative business movement,” Derrick continued. “We are thrilled to officially debut veritree as a revolutionary new platform for businesses and planting organizations to implement the transparent technology that tentree has been using since 2019 into their own planting efforts.”
Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing — and life would never be the same. She now works as a contributor, gear tester, and editor for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear family. She is based out of Atlanta, Georgia where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.
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