STIHL has expanded its project partnership with Fairventures Worldwide. In Uganda and on the Indonesian island of Borneo, Fairventures will use the agroforestry approach to store some 120,000 tons of CO₂on behalf of STIHL by planting trees in the coming years. "We are working hard on achieving our goal of reducing our global CO₂ footprint to zero," says Dr. Michael Prochaska, STIHL Executive Board Member for Human Resources and Legal Affairs. "Supporting Fairventures' forestry projects means we can counteract emissions that are currently unavoidable and therefore make a positive contribution to the climate."
STIHL has supported the charitable organization Fairventures Worldwide with funding, equipment, and expertise since 2017. Fairventures helps small farmers in the tropics cultivate degraded and deforested rain forest areas with local tree species and various crops. This technique, which is known as agroforestry, provides short- and medium-term sources of income from crop and timber harvests – without destroying the rain forest or encouraging the further spread of monocultures such as palm oil plantations.
First planting phase in Uganda with 280,000 seedlings
Under the expanded partnership, Fairventures has designated exclusive planting areas in Uganda and on Borneo that will be cultivated for the purpose of storing STIHL emissions up to 2024. The first planting season in Uganda was recently completed. By the end of October, around 270,000 seedlings bred at local tree nurseries had been planted across an area exceeding 139 hectares. The seedlings are fast-growing tree species such as musizi, which are ready for harvesting after roughly ten years and can then be used in the timber construction sector. A total of 291 small farmers are being supported thanks to the newly cultivated area in Uganda. Breeding of the seedlings for the STIHL planting phase on Borneo is currently under way. Between January and June 2023, around 60,000 seedlings are to be planted over an area spanning 75 hectares in cooperation with 100 farmers.
Designated planting areas will store around 120,000 tons of CO₂
The forestry project will lead to the retention of around 120,000 tons of CO₂ from the atmosphere. In addition, using the harvested timber for plywood will spare higher-value trees, and the low weight of the timber opens up new, valuable uses in lightweight engineering, such as in aircraft or vehicle interiors. Fairventures is also developing other applications. In the construction sector, modern glued laminated timber made of lightweight wood can replace environmentally harmful materials such as concrete, steel, and cement and allow long-term CO₂ storage. "Our partnership with STIHL benefits people and the climate in equal measure," says Wolfgang Baum, project manager and CEO of Fairventures. "It enables us to expand our planting activities, which means we can support additional small farmers in Uganda and Indonesia. At the same time, even more CO₂ will be absorbed from the air and stored in the trees."
App provides verified data
The planting and progress of the trees are monitored digitally using an app known as TREEO. This makes it possible not only to record the location of every single tree planted, but also to track growth and calculate the CO₂ stored within the biomass. "Our TREEO App gives us a completely new level of transparency," says Johannes Schwegler, founder of Fairventures and managing director of TREEO. "The individual tree monitoring app delivers data that helps us continuously optimize our planting activities and provide targeted advice and support to small farmers. What's more, we are able to show STIHL exactly where the trees are located and how much CO₂ is stored."
STIHL representatives recently traveled to Borneo to experience the work that Fairventures does on the ground, view the areas being cultivated, and talk to small farmers involved. Further information on Fairventures' agroforestry approach as well as on the related challenges and prospects will be available during our themed week entitled "STIHL and the rain forest" at @stihl.unternehmen.karriere on Instagram.
About Fairventures Worldwide
Based in Stuttgart, Fairventures Worldwide is a charitable organization that supports international development by implementing projects and providing advice. It is active in Indonesia and Uganda. Fairventures' main goals are to restore degraded areas of land in order to have a positive effect on the climate and the local ecosystems and to strengthen the local population so that they can counter deforestation and biodiversity decline. www.fairventures.org