Apple has revolutionized the way the world listens to music, the way we (literally) see communication, the way we no longer use but also feel technology and now, the way the we think about having a sustainable future. The tech giant just bought a whopping 36,000 acres of forest through a partnership with The Conservation Fund. Here are three questions to help you understand why I'm writing about this:
1. What's unique about this model? - While Apple could have simply bought more paper from other sustainably managed forests, they wanted to have a larger impact - these forests will never be sold in a fragmented fashion.
2. Why is fragmentation harmful? - Everytime land is sold it is usually subdivided (fragmented) which accelerates the loss of ecological value, forest economic value, and dramatically accelerates the conversion to non-forest uses like development - meriting fragmentation the greatest land conservation challenge in the U.S. today.
3. How is Apple's model changing this? - The Conservation Fund will ensure that the land will be managed sustainably, later will resell the land—knowing that it's protected forever—and then use the profits to invest in a new large forest to repeat the process, effectively creating a chain reaction of forest conservation!
Brands in the 21st Century are quickly growing a conscience when it comes to the environmental externalities their operations create. Whether its to mitigate reputational risk or because they genuinely care about impact - that's debatable. But I'm glad sustainability is transitioning from being a meaningless buzzword to a concept that companies are embracing and, more importantly, incorporating as action-oriented initiatives that create magnified, long-term impact!
Thank you, Apple, for serving as the voice of progress in more ways than one!
Apple put up money for The Conservation Fund to buy two massive chunks of working forest. Now, the nonprofit will set up conservation easements in place to ensure that the land will be managed sustainably in perpetuity, with local government or a nonprofit as a watchdog, and never subdivided. Later, the nonprofit will resell the land—knowing that it's protected forever—and then use the profits to invest in a new large forest to repeat the process. "What Apple's doing is essentially investing in the forest to start this whole chain,"