Waiblingen, 12/1/2022 | Company press release

CO₂ storage through agroforestry

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 metric tons of CO₂ on behalf of STIHL over the next few years, by planting trees. “We are working hard on our goal of eliminating our carbon footprint worldwide. Supporting Fairventures’ forestry projects means we are offsetting emissions that are currently unavoidable with a positive contribution to the climate,” says Dr. Michael Prochaska, STIHL Executive Board Member for HR and Legal Affairs.

STIHL has supported the charitable organization Fairventures Worldwide with financial resources, equipment, and expertise since 2017. Fairventures helps small-scale farmers in the tropics cultivate degraded and deforested rainforest areas with domestic 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 rainforest 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 has just come to an end: By the end of October, around 270,000 seedlings nurtured at local tree nurseries had been planted across an area exceeding 139 hectares. The seedlings are fast-growing tree species such as musizi, which is ready for harvesting after roughly ten years and can then be used in the timber construction sector. The scheme is supporting 291 small-scale farmers with the newly planted area in Uganda. The seedlings for the STIHL planting phase are currently being nurtured on Borneo: Between January and June 2023, around 60,000 seedlings are set to be planted over an area spanning 75 hectares in collaboration with 100 farmers.

Raising seedlings in nurseries
Seedlings of fast-growing tree species such as musizi are raised in local tree nurseries. (Image: Fairventures Worldwide)

The assigned planting areas store around 120,000 metric tons of CO2

The reforestation project will remove around 120,000 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. Using the harvested wood for plywood means that the use of higher-quality trees is avoided. The wood’s low weight also facilitates valuable new applications in lightweight construction, for example in the interior fit-out of aircraft or vehicles. Fairventures is also developing other areas of application. In the construction sector, advanced composite timbers made of lightweight wood can replace environmentally harmful materials such as concrete, steel, and cement, while also facilitating long-term CO₂ storage. “Our partnership with STIHL benefits people and the climate in equal measure. It enables us to expand our planting activities, which means we can support additional small-scale farmers in Uganda and Indonesia. At the same time, even more CO₂ will be absorbed from the air and stored in the trees,” said Wolfgang Baum, Project Manager and CEO of Fairventures.

STIHL climate project in Uganda planting phase
The first planting phase took place as part of the STIHL climate project in Uganda in the fall of 2022. (Image: Fairventures Worldwide)

Verified data via app

The planting and progress monitoring of the trees are carried out digitally via the TREEO app. 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. Johannes Schwegler, founder of Fairventures and Managing Director of TREEO: “With our TREEO app, we are reaching a whole new level of transparency: The individual tree monitoring app delivers data that helps us continuously optimize our planting activities and provide targeted advice and support to small-scale farmers. What’s more, we are able to show STIHL very precisely and clearly where the trees are located and how much CO₂ is stored.”

STIHL representatives recently traveled to Borneo to experience Fairventures’ activities there, view the areas being cultivated, and talk to the small-scale farmers involved. Further information on Fairventures’ agroforestry approach as well as the related challenges and prospects will be available at @stihl.unternehmen.karriere on Instagram during our “STIHL and the rainforest” themed week.

About Fairventures Worldwide

Based in Stuttgart, Fairventures Worldwide is a charitable project and consultancy organization that supports collaboration on international development. 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 it can counter deforestation and biodiversity decline. www.fairventures.org

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