GROW MY TREE: Planting trees for biodiversity and against climate change
Please introduce yourself and the startup growmytree.com to our readers!
I was born in Sarajevo and fled to Slovenia with my family when I was a child. I have always dedicated my life to global challenges such as climate change. My studies in responsible leadership and business ethics brought me to Germany. I was a Fellow of the Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics and am currently completing my PhD at HHL Leipzig School of Management.
growmytree.com is a Berlin-based Tech for Good company that fights climate change and biodiversity by making tree planting and other impact products accessible and affordable for consumers and businesses.
In addition to tree plantings, you can now buy and donate plastic collections or reef regeneration.
Why did you decide to start a business?
During my studies, I have seen time and time again that the most pressing challenge of our time – climate change – is not sufficiently addressed. I have always been very close to nature and inconsolable about the overexploitation of individual consumption and the industrial economy on important ecosystems.
The idea for growmytree.com was born out of concern for the future and the desire to make that future better. We started two years ago with my co-founder Nadja Wendenburg.
Our idea is a market where you can buy various good stocks easily and cheaply. After all, people want to take more responsibility for the environment and are interested in doing something actively. More and more companies contact us who want to do something to protect the environment, but do not know how.
What was the biggest challenge in starting growmytree.com?
The team is a crucial element for the success of a company. In the beginning, we spent a lot of time finding the right people willing and able to join us on this exciting startup adventure.
The most important thing for us in the team is intrinsic motivation. Team members who are aware of the responsibility and opportunity of growmytree.com. Colleagues who are aligned with our mission and passionate about doing good and who truly want to make a difference – not just on the surface.
And: continuing to believe in ourselves and our mission in difficult times was the alpha and the omega Our strong ethical motivation connects us a lot and gives us the strength to stay on the ball in times of doubt.
Can you start with an idea if everything is not perfect yet?
In all cases. And even more in a startup. The rule here is: “Finished is better than perfect”. Because if we always waited for everything to be perfect, we would never dare to release an idea that has the potential to become great.
What is the vision behind growmytree.com?
Our dream is that not just individuals, but every business will realize they have tremendous power to do good.
So what we do is environmental care made easy: growmytree.com makes it easy to give eco-friendly gifts. We offer a simple solution for companies and end consumers to have a positive impact on the environment and the climate. Our offerings help protect the climate and biodiversity by contributing to the official UN Sustainable Development Goals and creating greater social awareness of environmental protection.
It is also important that we have no interest in greenwashing. Rather, we try to convince companies to integrate sustainability and landscape conservation holistically into their business model.
Who is the target audience for growmytree.com?
For example, companies can offer an Impact product for each transaction carried out, for each contract signed, etc. or replacing classic reduction campaigns with tree planting, plastic collection campaigns, reef conservation.
That’s why we speak directly to founders, sustainability managers, and employees in the areas of human resources and e-commerce. Individuals have now discovered growmytree.com and are offering trees and other Impact products.
How does growmytree.com work? What sets you apart from other providers?
The good thing about our concept is that everyone can make a positive contribution with simple means: end consumers can simply offer or donate an Impact product of their choice.
Businesses can become great multipliers for climate awareness by offering our Impact products: whether it’s buying a birthday or Christmas present, invoicing, signing a contract, welcoming a new employee , as a gift for a registered mail for a Newsletter – There are enough opportunities to do something good.
What sets us apart from other providers is that we offer other impact products beyond planting trees: such as plastic collection campaigns and coral reef restoration.
We also rely on integrity and transparency on the site and in our communication: we intensively involve our local partners and find out how we can still help on our project sites. We measure our contribution with clear numbers.
Where is the path? Where do you see yourself in five years?
We want to continue educating about the biggest and most important challenges of our time. We want to continue supporting companies to do something good for nature and the climate by helping them improve their interactions with customers and employees through a good deed. And we want to help our partners to create new sources of income in the countries of the South. Because these regions are the most affected by climate change.
Five years from now, I see a growing company built on empathetic leadership and a respectful, empowering culture. A company that helps others become climate positive. We are constantly expanding our portfolio with offers such as plastic collection or reef reconstruction and will therefore be called ImpactHero from next year.
Finally: What are the 3 pieces of advice you would give to future founders?
Surround yourself with great mentors and ambassadors who believe in you.
Be self-critical as long as it helps you improve and grow. Then actively choose to believe in yourself and the people you choose to build something great together.
Don’t be afraid of new challenges and build a team based on trust, empathy, responsibility, control and dynamism.
Thanks for the interview
Statements by author and interview partner do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editors and publisher