At Brabantia, we care about our products and the impact they have on our planet. And what better way to celebrate our recent news that we’ve hit our goal of planting 1 million trees, than this exclusive interview with WeForest CEO Marie-Noelle Keijzer. What’s not to love!
Congratulations on the successes of WeForest. How many trees has WeForest planted to date?
Close to 16 million trees (currently adding 4 million trees a year)!
What’s the biggest challenge WeForest faces over the next few years?
The biggest challenge is to continue to scale: we demonstrate that it works and develop best practices, yet the forests we restore are far from being enough. We need 175 billion trees by 2030 if we want to stay under 2° C temperature increase (13 billion trees every year).
To scale up we are seeking to develop private – public matching grants. We have so far received funds from Finland, Germany and Flemish Brabant in Belgium. We also know that if we planted 1 tree for every product or service sold, it would take the world a few months to fund what is needed….
If there was one piece of advice you could give to our consumers, what would it be?
Consumers have a direct impact when they shop: a growing number of consumers prefer brands that contribute to the well being of the planet, over brands that don’t. If your favourite brand is not yet doing anything good for our planet and for people, ask them!
Can you give us an update on the progress of the Great Green Wall?
In 2016 though the core of the initiative still remains a mosaic of sustainable land management interventions, restoration being one of the approaches, there is an aim to make the Great Green Wall Initiative for the Sahara and the Sahel more responsive and adapted to the aspiration of the stakeholders and the global context. After focussing on southern Africa and initial engagement on the concept in Namibia in the Month of May the focus is currently on Botswana and is then shifting towards Zambia and Ethiopia.
WeForest is currently supporting with its restoration project in Zambia and Ethiopia to this new mosaic approach of the Great Green Wall:
– Working on great green wall accreditation of its restoration sites.
– Supporting the overall concept and providing recommendations on implementation.
What’s been the highlight of working alongside Brabantia?
We love the cause marketing model Brabantia has developed and the senior management commitment to make it a success. It is a true inspiration and we want many more good brands to adopt it.
At WeForest we love the creative campaigns that you developed and we are inspired when you go on TV shows and talk about our projects so well: we feel you are part of our team! Indeed as Tijn said it’s more than a simple win-win! Thank you!
Thank you so much for your time Marie-Noelle, we are truly inspired as always! News to love? Then read CEO Tijn van Elderen’s view on the collaboration here.