Tree planting by businesses in France, Switzerland and the UK: A study to inspire corporate commitments

Posted on 18 September 2020

The study seeks to understand the corporate dimension of tree planting.
When Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Professor Wangari Maathai, launched her 'Green Belt Movement' in the 1970s 
in Kenya, she could not have imagined that initiatives such as hers to plant trees on a large scale would become so prevalent in the 21st century. Today, governments and companies alike are pledging to plant millions, billions and even a trillion trees. Trees and forests serve many purposes and in an increasingly polluted and fragile world, there is much appeal in the positive act of planting a tree. 

In seeking to understand the corporate dimension of tree planting, WWF carried out research among the Global Fortune 500 companies with headquarters in France, Switzerland and the UK. We also carried out research in Madagascar, to understand companies’ involvement in tree planting from a recipient country’s perspective. The 
aim of this study was to understand, characterise and quantify, where possible, the tree planting of large companies from the three countries. Our intention by selecting Global Fortune 500 companies was to reduce bias towards any particular sector or company, but rather focus on large economic actors. The period covered was: 2000-2018. For case studies we interviewed companies, funding instruments, a project developer, one convenor and one implementer. These case studies are presented in the report and its annexes. 

The primary audience for this report is environmental organisations working with corporations on tree planting, reforestation and forest restoration more widely who wish to better understand how large corporations in France, Switzerland and the UK view and engage in tree planting. 
Constantine Kusebahasa planting a pine tree, Kasese, Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda
© WWF / Simon Rawles