A Scots CBD firm founded by two brothers is taking on the challenge of becoming completely carbon neutral by 2022 through an ambitious tree-planting goal.

In recent years, companies such as Amazon and Nestlé as well as countries like Norway and Denmark have taken massive steps to reduce their carbon footprint. And they all use the same tactic: carbon offsets.

Organisations aiming to be carbon neutral use carbon offset schemes to create the “net” in their net-zero emissions goals. As The Guardian puts it, “Carbon offset schemes allow individuals and companies to invest in environmental projects around the world in order to balance out their own carbon footprints.”

The rising corporate interest in carbon offsets comes at a time of global climate strikes and UN reports showing a rapidly-approaching point of no return for the climate crisis. According to a report by Ecosystem Marketplace, the market for voluntary offsets (i.e., offsets done by people and companies at their discretion) approached $300 million in value in 2018 — a year that saw 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions being traded. 

The carbon offset market is likely to grow even more over the foreseeable future. Facing mounting pressure from consumers and even their own employees, 177 companies from across 77 nations, including the United Kingdom, Sweden, New Zealand and Vanuatu pledged to become completely carbon neutral by 2050.

Carbon offset strategies can involve replacing inefficient systems with new, energy-saving technologies (such as using LED bulbs in the office) or buying carbon offsets through an emissions trading scheme. 

For Scots CBD firm Nutrivive, the company’s approach to carbon offsets involves trees. 

The Race to Plant 1 Million Trees

Founded by brothers Harry and John McDonough, Nutrivive is an online provider of organic CBD products featuring a concentrate of organic, broad-spectrum hemp extract. The company, headquartered in Paisley (Scotland), supplies a range of high-strength CBD oils and topicals that are requested by customers who struggle with health issues such as increased anxiety, sleeping problems and chronic pain. The line includes a pure 1000mg CBD oil, a CBD tincture formulated with natural peppermint oil, and a moisturising cream with CBD and natural botanical extracts.

“All Nutrivive products are derived from sustainable hemp grown in non-GMO and pesticide-free farms, ensuring that our customers get only the purest CBD,” explains Harry McDonough. “Our CBD is derived from sustainable hemp grown in non-GMO and pesticide-free farms, ensuring that customers get only the purest CBD.”

Apart from providing customers with natural products, Nutrivive’s mission is to become 100% carbon neutral by 2022. To do this, the company has launched its Giving Back programme, which aims to plant 1 million trees over the next five years.

“We continually work towards operating in the most efficient and sustainable possible way and giving back wherever we can. This is why we are proud partners of One Tree Planted,” says McDonough.

Giving Back, One Tree at a Time

One Tree Planted is an environmental tree planting charity that collaborates with brands, groups and individuals to plant trees in different countries around the world. A dollar donated to the charity results in one tree planted in a reforestation project. In 2019, One Tree Planted raised over $5 million — enough to plant more than 4.1 million trees that same year, with the rest planted in 2020.

Nutrivive’s partnership with One Tree Planted means every product sold on the site will result in a tree planted somewhere in the world. As of this writing, the company has so far planted over 700 trees in India, the Amazon rainforest and other parts of the world. 

“When you buy any Nutrivive product, not only do you become part of our Nutrivive family of customers but you can also feel great about having contributed towards making the world a better place,” McDonough shares. 

“Although this is exciting, it is just the beginning. As we grow as a business, so too will our Giving Back projects. We aim to support One Tree Planted and look forward to partnering with many more amazing people working towards the same goal — restoring balance,” he adds. 

Nutrivive is also taking other steps to achieve its goal of becoming carbon neutral. The company is looking to reduce the amount of waste generated — from production and product packaging to delivery to the customer. The CBD brand is working on making 90% of all product labels and packaging completely recyclable while partnering with a carbon-neutral delivery courier. 

“Part of our Giving Back programme is supporting other sustainable businesses. It’s also about being mindful of the environmental impact of every single business decision we make at Nutrivive, from where we grow our hemp and the method of extracting CBD to our day-to-day processes,” McDonough explains. 

Building on the Wonders of Hemp

Nutrive’s Giving Back programme and carbon-neutral practices build on a supply chain that’s already more environmentally friendly than others. 

CBD-rich industrial hemp can be grown in practically any environment and can even clean contaminated soil. Hemp is hardy and pest-resistant, negating the need to use harmful pesticides or herbicides. 

Industrial hemp is also an excellent source of textile goods. Not only is hemp fibre 10 times stronger than cotton, but industrial hemp can also produce twice as much fibre per hectare. This presents multiple environmental benefits, such as less watering and more textile output per hectare of land used. 

But perhaps the best benefit of industrial hemp is its potential to replace trees to produce paper. Hemp is widely used for speciality stationery, but it can also be manufactured into any paper product — from cardboard and printer paper to toilet roll and even tampons. Expanding the cultivation of industrial hemp for paper would decrease the number of trees cut down. 

All this means that, in many ways, Nutrivive is coming full circle with its goal of planting a million trees. As McDonough puts it, “Our products come from nature, so it’s only right that we do everything we can to take care of it.”


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