This piece has been written in collaboration with One Tribe
Q: Where did the idea for One Tribe come from?
Ric: I led the marketing department for a large organization called the Pacha group, which runs global festivals, events, lifestyle brands, hotels and resorts. And on an annual basis, we used to process around 2 million tickets to events. And we wanted to understand how we could give back to charities and help offset the carbon footprint of the events and industries that we were in. So we researched the EnviroTech industry.
Fast forward a few years, I met a guy called Tom Murray. We were attending an event called the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert, where we bumped into each other and started a conversation about rainforest protection. He was wearing a T-shirt with, “we know how to save rainforest.” So we started a whole conversation about rainforest protection, and I explained how we were looking to connect this to our ticketing system. Following the event we became close friends and started to work together.
We formed a business and started looking at offsetting the carbon footprint of every event ticket. We onboarded hundreds of Festivals and Events globally, started saving rainforest and every ticket purchaser received a ticket that saves trees in the Amazon. This progressed into working outside of the events industry, where we moved to New York to set up a blockchain project where we could tokenize rainforest protection.
We amalgamated all the different projects together alongside several conservation partners. We wanted to create a platform that would allow connectivity to 98% of world payment systems.This was the formation of the business that we have today, where everybody works together from all industries backgrounds, from philanthropic investors, to climate scientists, to NGOs, and land protection specialists all working together as one tribe, to protect the planet for future generations.
Q: What is actually going on in the Amazon? And have we already reached the tipping point in your opinion?
Ric: No we haven’t. Not yet anyway. You reach a tipping point when you lose about 25% of a rainforest. Once reached, a rainforest’s ecosystem could potentially then break down, the forest becoming a dry forest or savannah within a handful of decades. Currently, the Amazon rainforest has lost around 20% of it’s coverage. ‘
Brazil has had massive issues with corruption, where most of the politicians from several main parties were not only taking money, but also being involved in various scandals. 93% of Brazilians now recognise the threat of climate change and its effects around the world . So the real hope is that we’ll make 22-23% but we’ll bring the rainforest back from the tipping point through the work being done taking land from the government and giving it to indigenous people.
Since scientific evidence is so strong around the world, the hope is that most governments in these territories will intervene at the last minute, if ours and others efforts haven’t protected the 75% that we need to
Q: What makes One Tribe’s approach special and how do you guys ensure rainforest conservation is happening?
Ric: Well, One Tribe is an organization that specifically focuses on rainforest protection. Global rainforests that are the planet’s lungs. While the world is focusing on reducing their carbon footprint, deforestation is escalating, due to demand for agricultural land for farming.
Gold Mines mineral exploration in the deep Amazon is causing huge devastation. Encroachment on land for domestic use is also destroying 1000 year old rain forests globally.
In order to protect and sequester carbon from our atmosphere, the world, the Earth, the planet needs trees. Trees are the creator of oxygen and removal of carbon, helping to dramatically reduce atmosphere temperature dramatically alongside with carbon in the oceans. Rainforests are the single most important natural defense to rising temperature and the devastating impacts of climate change.
One Tribe is dedicated to protecting rainforests. Our mission, to empower businesses to protect 1 billion trees annually. By doing so, the members of One Tribe in our organization will have a profound positive impact in protecting the planet for future generations. One Tribe connects online businesses and their customers to rainforest protection to take immediate climate action. And we specialize in connecting forestry protection projects, indigenous tribal land, rainforest organizations, directly to our climate action API, which is a set of technology which connects to 98% of global payment systems, enabling all businesses whether ecommerce, physical service based to provide a portion of every sale or transaction and committed to carbon sequestration projects globally.
Q: Why do you think it’s important to work at the business/industry level, rather than at the individual or consumer level?
Ric: We decided early on that the way we wished to deliver climate action would be by empowering businesses to engage their networks and customers. Many of the team are from a marketing agency background or have worked directly in the kinds of brands we are now supporting. We don’t want to have a marketplace or run consumer campaigns directly. Our priority is giving brands the marketing tools, assets and technology to take climate action with the help of their consumers, whilst being able to promote their sustainability journey to the world.
This also means we can achieve so much more by focusing on business technology and supporting our conservation partners by saving more trees in the rainforest.
Q: What does the future look like for One Tribe?
Ric: Exciting! We are well on our way to hit our first target of protecting 1 billion trees, and enabling 1000s of global businesses to participate in climate action. We see ourselves able to onboard over 10,000 global based ecommerce brands, then 100,000 global businesses participating as one tribe to take climate action.
We are currently onboarding several large projects in South America, mainly in Panama and Costa Rica, ready for 2022 where we will be participating and funding the protection of large mangrove based peninsulas in Panama, and large projects within Costa Rican jungle.. We will continue to expand our connectivity capabilities to enable all payment systems, from credit card machines, to payment terminals on websites, to e-commerce providers like Shopify Magento, to CMS systems and marketing tools such as HubSpot and Klaviyo.
We have Zapier connecting, which gives us infinite possibilities. We want to provide a toolset that enables all businesses, creatives and marketers to engage in climate action using one tribe as the framework and foundation for their campaigns. As part of a movement, we hope to work with businesses to win the race to net zero.
One Tribe is working on a new measurement system that allows us to use satellite imagery, data sets and scanning techniques to map and calculate rainforest projects. The carbon sequestration amounts annually in order to accurately predict the climate action and power of each individual forest project. Working with our partners, we have a continuous supply of projects that need funding, or require ongoing maintenance. In fact, we announced with the Rainforest Trust a pledge to work with business to help raise $500 million in private investment to fund forest protection around the world, across the next 5 years. Which combined with private funders of conservation as part of the ‘Protecting Our Planet Challenge’ will seek to raise over $5 bn. The biggest privately funded conservation project ever!