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Tiny Forest

Tiny Forest

A dense, urban forest that fights the impact of climate change

Why do we need Tiny Forests?

Planting trees is one of the most effective ways of taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

Our cities are increasingly vulnerable to the consequences of the climate crisis, including more severe and frequent floods and heatwaves, and loss of biodiversity.

Nature-based solutions such as Tiny Forests can help mitigate the impacts of climate change, support urban wildlife, and reconnect people with nature.

Tiny Forests provide direct links to local government and businesses’ climate and biodiversity strategies.

What is Earthwatch doing?

Earthwatch is the only UK partner of IVN, the organisation leading the Tiny Forest movement. Using a technique developed over the past 40 years, we aim to plant 100 forests in the UK by 2023.

We are seeking visionary sponsors and land owners to help us make this aim a reality.

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High impact, small footprint

Just four years after planting, a single Tiny Forest will:

Absorb 450-600kg of carbon: up to 30x better absorption compared to other tree-planting schemes

Attract more than 500 species of plants and animals

Process 30,000 litres of rain

Improve air quality by reducing polluting floating particulates by up to 10%

Up to 30x better noise reduction compared to other tree-planting schemes

How does a Tiny Forest work?

600 native trees planted in a tennis court size plot.

Up to 30 times more dense than conventional tree plantings, maximising benefits per hectare of land.

A fast growing forest, 10 times faster than regular forests due to the planting & management methodology.

A new dense green space with low management requirements, becoming maintenance free after three years.

Chemical and fertiliser free forest that sustains itself once established, and supports local biodiversity.

Plant a Tiny Forest

Contact us to get involved in this ground-breaking new initiative.

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Nature in cities

Learn more about our research into making cities thriving places to live and work.

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Climate-proof cities

Creating a thriving city which supports economic growth, enhances peoples' well-being and is climate-proof, requires innovative and collaborative solutions.

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Work with us

Find out how partnering with Earthwatch can benefit your business

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© Image and graphics: IVN

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CASE STUDY: Sustainability Leadership Programme with HSBC

James Davies, Head of Marketing for HSBC UK, and formerly HSBC Canada, was crowned one of HSBC’s 2018 Global Sustainability Champions.

Since taking part in the Sustainability Leadership Programme in 2016 with Earthwatch, James has become a sustainability advocate within the bank. The award recognised his commitment to building knowledge of sustainable finance both within his team, and among clients looking to take advantage of green business opportunities.

“Four years ago I took part in the Sustainability Leadership Programme in the rainforests of Borneo. Going there and seeing deforestation with my own eyes immediately after hearing about the impacts of carbon loss in a classroom was very powerful. It really stuck with me and is very relevant to our work with some investors.”

The SLP acted as a catalyst for James to equip his team with a deeper understanding of sustainability. Since taking part he has built his team’s capacity around sustainable finance by encouraging his reports to take part in the HSBC Sustainability Training Programme, a third of whom have already done so. James also secured sponsorship of the largest sustainability event in North America, reaching 3,000 participating companies with information on HSBC’s sustainable finance strategy. He has led the production of thought-leadership pieces on sustainable finance and developed a range of case studies and articles that profile business opportunities in sustainability, and clients that exemplify green business.

“My team plays an important role in sharing the latest research and insights with businesses. Attending the SLP and STP has made us well placed to support businesses as they embed sustainability into their operations and take advantage of the opportunities arising from a low carbon economy.”

Along with his fellow winner Andrew Marshall, James will visit the freshwater conservation project, supported by the HSBC Water Programme in February 2020.

CASE STUDY: Testing the water quality of Bengaluru’s urban lakes

Balasubramanian Rajamani, Vice President of HSBC’s Credit Analysis team in Bengaluru, has long been interested in environmental conservation and regularly uses his spare time to volunteer on local projects clearing litter from Bengaluru’s roads and parks.

However, taking part in the HSBC Sustainability Training Programme (STP) and participating in Earthwatch research investigating water quality of Bengaluru’s urban lakes prompted him to implement a new green initiative in the office.

“Since taking part in the STP, I proposed the “green idea” of replacing paper cups with steel tumblers in our office canteen. The proposal, after some deliberations, was finally accepted and implemented in November 2018. As we are an office of around 5,000 staff, we estimate it will not only save the use of around 2 million cups each year, but offer significant cost savings to the canteen vendor. From a double whammy, it's a double win.”

Initiatives are now underway to replicate this across other HSBC offices in Bengaluru and India. Bala Rajamani is also passionate about reminding staff in the Credit Analysis team, and colleagues in the Bengaluru office more widely, about other simple ways in which they can improve the sustainability of their lifestyles. He himself has installed a water conservation system at home which he estimates will conserve around 8,000 litres of water each year. He believes the STP provides a unique opportunity for HSBC staff to learn more about sustainable development, and to consider which environmental challenge they have an opportunity to influence in their personal and professional lives.

“By combining classroom talks, group discussions about the sustainable development goals and time outside the office measuring the water quality of two urban lakes in Bengaluru, we gained a complete, holistic perspective of the environmental challenges that we face. The course really inspired me and I will use the opportunity to inspire others.”

Sustainability Leadership Programme

Sustainability Leadership Programme 

Driving change through education and personal commitment.

Driving sustainability forward in business

Earthwatch has over 20 years’ experience working with businesses to curate and deliver sustainability leadership programmes across a range of sectors, from financial institutions to multinational corporations. We work with all levels of an organisation and across business divisions to catalyse a shared understanding for the need for a sustainable business and develop individual’s capacity to embed sustainability across their business area.


Our programmes are designed to:

  • Increase participants understanding of global mega trends e.g.
    climate change, and how these changes are impacting businesses
    and the financial sector now and in the future
  • Equip participants with an understanding of the need for a
    sustainable business and realise the commercial value in
    prioritising and embedding long term environmental considerations
    into decision making and strategies
  • Catalyse a shared understanding and purpose around sustainability
    across all levels in an organisation
  • Increase the capability and capacity for participants to embed
    sustainability across their business leading to growth
    opportunities. To support this, we help build a network for
    participants so they can work with colleagues and help each other
  • Ensure corporate values and principles are clearly understood
  • Reconnect participants with nature to inspire action

Key features

Our programmes are structured on the principle that truly embedded
learning comes from combining education with personal experience. We adopt this blend to inform, motivate and drive change within businesses.


We can tailor sessions to ensure outputs are aligned with your business needs. We have extensive experience of delivering these programmes across all levels within an organisation and can also include clients and suppliers, if desired.

Key feature include:

  • Sessions from scientists and experts which include data driven insights on key global environmental themes that will shape our future
  • Facilitated sessions to promote reflection, dialogue and an
    understanding of the steps necessary to take action, for example, to transition to a low carbon economy
  • Action planning workshops to identify clear next steps to drive business change
  • Bespoke presentations from visiting speakers which address your business areas and priorities
  • Opportunities to hear and discuss perspectives with a guest speaker from another business
  • Activities in nature based locations so participants step outside their work environment for thought provoking, action orientated
    conversations

COURSE EXAMPLES

The format below shows a sustainable leadership progamme for the financial sector, with a specific focus on climate change. The environmental themes and duration of the programme can be tailored to suit your business needs. 

Day one

  • Facilitated discussions to explore key sustainability issues relevant to finance, focusing on climate change 
  • Presentations on the latest forecasts and solutions for a low carbon future 
  • Explore best practice and climate resilient solutions with subject matter experts 
  • Break out sessions to identify future scenarios and how your business can deliver solutions 

 

Day two 

  • Workshop with clients/partners to explore how your organisations can lead in environmental sustainability 
  • Collaborative prototyping around sustainable finance products and portfolios 
  • Facilitated action planning to identify, scope and prioritise next steps for developing low carbon financing solutions aligned with business strategy 
  • Allocate key deliverables and timeframes for sharing updates 

 

Outcomes

 

Our programmes create a sense of ownership and responsibility, providing a different perspective for lasting transformation within any business.

Key outcomes include:

  • Deepened understanding of environmental risks to portfolios and how to mitigate against these risks.
  • Enhanced relationships between your business and clients to identify opportunities across portfolios.
  • Greater understanding of the decisions that have a greater positive impact on the environment and society, whilst supporting clients to meet their objectives.
  • Stimulating participants to use their role to support a transition to an environmentally sustainable model.

Testimonials and feedback

Case studies

Conserving leopards

We have been working with Shell employees to conserve leopards and monkeys in South Africa. We deliver a results-orientated employee engagement programme, leading to personal and professional development opportunities and increased understanding of global sustainability issues 

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2018 Global Sustainability Champion

Since taking part in the Sustainability Leadership Programme in 2016 with Earthwatch, James has become a sustainability advocate within the bank. The award recognised his commitment to building knowledge of sustainable finance both within his team, and among clients looking to take advantage of green business opportunities.

Read more

Testing water quality in Bengaluru’s urban lakes

Taking part in the HSBC Sustainability Programme and participating in Earthwatch research investigating water quality of Bengaluru’s urban lakes prompted him to implement a new green initiative in the office.

Read more

WORK WITH US

Interested in working with Earthwatch? Find out how your business can help protect the environment.

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Earthwatch Institute (Europe) is a registered charity in England and Wales, no. 1094467.