EcoMatcher: Helping Companies and Consumers to Plant New Trees and Fight Climate Change
If you believe — and you should — that planting new trees could benefit the environment and save us from climate change, EcoMatcher will definitely interest you.
EcoMatcher is a certified B-Corporation founded by Bas Fransen with the aim of helping companies and consumers to tackle climate change by planting new trees on their behalf. Companies and consumers can either buy single trees or whole forests. When trees are planted, companies and consumers are able to track where their trees are through an app.
EcoMatcher could help companies reduce their carbon footprint: Today, as we speak with the Founder and CEO Bas Fransen, we will try to find out more about this very interesting idea.
Can you please share with our readers a little bit of your personal story? What inspired you to start EcoMatcher? What do you aim to do?
Bas Fransen: I am Dutch and after I completed a degree in electrical engineering at the Delft University of Technology, I was on a two-year tour of duty with the Royal Dutch Navy, in the submarine division. 25 years ago I moved to Asia, first in Taiwan for Philips Electronics and then in Japan for IBM.
I eventually transferred to Hong Kong more than ten years ago, working for various organisations before launching EcoMatcher. I have developed a passion for climate change: EcoMatcher’s contribution is to bring the right type of digital technologies and solutions, and to involve companies and consumers in climate change. We cannot save the world by ourselves. It is a bigger team effort.
Our aim is to provide solutions to companies to do better business and contribute to a better environment at the same time. We make from sustainability a business opportunity.
What kind of activities is EcoMatcher involved in?
B. F. : EcoMatcher, a certified B-Corporation, helps companies to become visibly more sustainable through transparent tree planting. EcoMatcher partners with foundations from around the world specialized in tree planting. These organisations have been carefully selected and vetted by us.
We know from every tree they plant for us, through technology we provide, the location of the tree, the species, the date of planting and even the farmer. Companies can purchase and use all of that data through our cloud-based platform for reward, employee engagement and loyalty programs. For example, companies can now gift a customer trees they adopt on behalf of the customer.
Companies can also plant a forest and give all employees a tree of that forest, to get employees involved in the companies’ sustainability journey. Tree recipients can virtually travel to their trees with TreeTracker, a web application using satellite maps. And if a customer feels that the tree is obstructing pathways, they can procure the services of treeserviceremoval.com to truncate some branches, and clear the path.
We launched the platform last year and are now in a “scale up” mode. We are currently part of Betatron, Asia’s most famous accelerator program out of Hong Kong and founded by a number of Venture Capitalists in Asia.
What makes your project different compared to other similar projects?
B. F. : Our objective is to plant together with partners, companies and governments, a trillion trees; that sounds ambitious, but if every company steps up their effort, this is certainly possible.
We make a big effort of knowing everything about every tree that is planted. Transparency and accountability are the driving forces of EcoMatcher. We think and we now know that companies appreciate that.
How many people have joined EcoMatcher so far? What kind of impact do you aim to have?
B. F. : We have been piloting the platform with a number of customers, such as SWIRE, Hallmark, BNP Paribas and KPMG and are now scaling up rapidly. We invite all companies to join and work with EcoMatcher on making a difference, for themselves and for the environment.
The impact, once we scale up, will be significant. The more trees that are planted, the more people in developing countries we also help with a better livelihood.
What are your thoughts about climate change?
B. F. : Climate change is the biggest challenge of mankind. As former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon once said: “We don’t have a plan B because there is no planet B”.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com.