The Amazon is burning.
We set out to write this blog about our love for trees. About how they’re vital for carbon sequestration and a fundamental weapon in the fight against climate change. Yet, with the Amazon burning at an alarming rate, this issue for us has taken centre stage.
The largest rainforest on earth is ablaze. Three million species of plants and animals and one million indigenous people are at risk. Not only this, but shocking levels of carbon monoxide emissions and planet-warming carbon dioxide are being released (European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service), posing a real threat to global warming.
It’s not just Brazil that’s burning either – we’re also seeing huge fires in Siberia and Greenland with many areas seeing the worst fires on record. With temperatures rising, droughts increasing and an increase in slash-and-burn activities, we’re now seeing many more forest fires in both developed and less developed countries.
This is nothing new. The Brazillian Amazon has already experienced 75,155 fires since January (INPE). This isn’t just bad news for biodiversity. The Amazon spans 2.12 million square miles, produces 20% of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere and absorbs around a quarter of the 2.4 billion metric tons of carbon that global forests absorb each year. This. is. massive.
Let’s not beat around the bush (fires), when Notre Dame tragically set ablaze, people all over the world rushed to help. In fact, over £650m was pledged in 10 days to restore it. However, with the world’s largest rainforest up in flames, there’s a worrying lack of panic.
Trees are the lungs of the earth. They help us regulate the climate, filter pollutants and provide us with the oxygen we breathe. In short, we can’t live without ‘em!
Trees are on the front line, helping us fight the biggest battle our planet has ever seen. Recently, researchers suggested that planting one trillion trees could remove two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions. Yet with raging forest fires on the rise, this seems like a serious ask.
Trees aren’t just warriors of climate change, they also help to fight air pollution which experts estimate is killing 3.2 million people a year. They’re also leading the fight against soil erosion, and with scientist predicting that British soils may have only 100 harvests left, trees are a vital tool in preventing this. Not only this, but trees also provide a home to millions of animals all over the world, help reduce flooding and provide food and important resources which many people rely on.
Seeing The Amazon up in flames is heartbreaking, and what’s even more worrying is the lack of concern.
Trees were the catalyst that brought Enviral to life, and they’ve continued to be rooted within our foundations and businesses practices. We’re completely committed to these awesome green machines. So much so that we’re on a mission to plant 250,000 of them through our day to day business activities. So far we’ve planted 7,000 for newsletter sign-ups, new client projects and our everyday business practices… and we can’t wait to plant more.
Yet with it becoming obvious that people aren’t seeing the wood for the trees, what more can companies do to help safeguard our forests?
Offering and promoting incentives that reward sustainable production, forest protection and protecting biodiversity enables businesses to position themselves as agents for positive change. We need to begin putting a greater emphasis on ‘natural capital’ in our business decisions.
By choosing suppliers carefully, companies can ensure a ‘zero deforestation’ supply chain and hold their partners accountable for unsustainable practices. Companies can also commit to using recycled wood or paper in their products wherever possible, and for any virgin materials that need to be used, ensuring they comply with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) regulations.
The FSC is awesome. This system allows businesses to identify, purchase and use wood, paper and other forest products made with materials from well-managed forests and/or recycled sources.
Businesses can also use their voices for good. By promoting sustainable choices, such as buying less and buying better, companies are able to help promote sustainable practices and be part of a movement that prioritises the safeguarding of our forests.
And most importantly, let’s protect our trees. By planting trees and helping fund organisations which are protecting our forests, we can ensure our green spaces flourish, and the lungs of the earth can continue to provide our planet with the air that each and every one of us breathes.