Protecting and preserving our environment is more important now than ever. Not only does it benefit us, but it will continue to benefit future generations. We know that just talking about sustainability isn't enough - that actions speak louder than words - and that's why we're putting a renewed focus on sustainability.
In 2021 GME set out with the goal of becoming a sustainable, carbon-neutral organization. We compiled a team of leaders from throughout our company to analyze every aspect of our business - from offices and warehouses to vehicles, shipping, and travel - and how we could offset our carbon footprint. Through our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, we were able to purchase carbon credits and offset our carbon footprint by 100%. We've taken our commitment a step further with a multi-year partnership with Arbor Day Foundation to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect humanity's most important asset - our planet.
Our purchase of carbon credits will allow GME, through its partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, to provide positive impact through the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project.
The Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project is a pioneer in wildlife conservation that protects over 200,000 hectares of dryland forest with over 11,000 wild elephants that live in this ecosystem (2000+ of those elephants call Rukinga their permanent home). The project provides social programs that impact over 116,000 local people and provides the local community of the Kasigau Corridor region with long-term jobs that replace unsustainable sources of income such as poaching, subsistence agriculture, and illegal tree harvesting. In an area where wildlife and human survival were at odds, the project has created a market-driven solution to wildlife conservation through an expansive community-led, community-based conservation model, with profound and lasting impact.
In addition to the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project, we're also supporting the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. For this project, the Arbor Day Foundation partners with GreenTrees® to restore degraded agricultural lands back to their original and highly beneficial forest ecosystem in the lower Mississippi River Valley. Through this program, 130,000+ acres of land have been replanted and managed through partnerships with over 600 private landowners. 50+ million trees have been planted - 5.3 million trees from 26 different species have been through the Arbor Day Foundation with 10 million more trees to be planted. And, 5+ million metric tons of carbon credits issued by the American Carbon Registry, via 12 successful ex-post verifications.
In addition to the large scale projects we know that every small step can lead to significant impact. Some of the things we've committed to in our daily business activities include:
The Arbor Day Foundation has been inspiring people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees since 1972. And that simple mission has had a global impact. The Foundation has grown over the last 50 years to become the largest member nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees. And in that time, they have worked with members, supporters, and a strong network of partners to plant and distribute nearly 500 million trees worldwide.