September 24, 2021
Caterpillar’s longstanding commitment to sustainability aims to improve the quality of the environment and the communities where we live and work. Through the Caterpillar Foundation, we are doing just that on a global scale by addressing a community’s natural and economic infrastructure and working to restore local ecosystems to be stronger, more resilient and more sustainable.
Building off Caterpillar’s 95th anniversary, the Caterpillar Foundation is partnering with One Tree Planted, to plant trees in 95 locations across the globe and to support communities with natural disaster recovery, workforce and economic independence and educational opportunities.
Not only do trees help clean the air we breathe and provide crucial shade for humans and animals alike, but they also represent a fundamental building block of the healthy ecosystems that sustain life and human activity. From collecting seeds and planting seedlings to managing projects, monitoring planting sites and growing food crops via sustainable agroforestry, restoration both directly and indirectly generates jobs and economic activity – and can have a strong impact on local economies.
Some of these impacted communities include the 40 beekeepers who work in the Biobio region near Santiago, Chile, whose local businesses suffered due to recent brushfires. With 4,000 new trees planted, the habitat will be protected – allowing for the reproduction of bees. This will enable the beekeepers of Santiago to reactivate their businesses, putting them on a path toward economic success and financial independence.
In Port Harcourt, Nigeria, of the 70,000 trees planted, many were tropical fruit trees that will be nurtured by the local community and ultimately harvested for sale. The Port Harcourt women overseeing the trees, will directly benefit from the sales of the fruit and by default help to advance women economically, improve women farmers’ productivity and support the sustainability of the environment. Research shows that when women manage their incomes, they invest in the health, education, and well-being of their families.
In Aurangabad, Bangalore, and Chennai India, the Caterpillar Foundation and One Tree Planted are working with the Sustainable Green Initiative (SGI), which plants fruit trees to fight global warming along with hunger, poverty, and rural migration. The trees will be planted on land owned by low-income farmers, or on community-owned land used to support orphanages and homes for the elderly. In these communities, a sapling planted and nurtured for two years will grow into a fruit tree which can provide nourishment and income for 50 years or more.
“Most people know that trees help the environment and can imagine the positive reforestation impact for forests, but very few consider the local communities involved in restoration initiatives,” said One Matt Hill, Tree Planted’s Founder and President. “You can’t plant trees without people, and when you engage at the community level you realize that by supporting reforestation, you’re also supporting livelihoods for families and even preventing future deforestation through more sustainable practices.”
We are proud to share these stories with you, but there is still much to be done. By focusing on the people and the communities in which we live and work and providing necessary resources, we are transforming communities to be stronger, more resilient, and more sustainable. We are building a better world. We believe progress for environmental sustainability can start with a tree.