Entrepreneurs Gave Significant Financial Boost to Lithuanian Old-Growth Forest Preservation
Old-growth forests are rapidly declining worldwide, but Lithuanian eco-minded society, business, and organizations are not about to let it happen to their country. A nationwide campaign to recycle at the same time donating to the forest preservation foundation, one-time financial donations of 100K euros, and continuous initiatives by country’s residents have already resulted in 240 acres of mature woods being fully protected from the human activity and logging.
November 16, 2023. Newly grown forests cannot tolerate drought as well as the old-growth ones, meaning their less helpful with tackling climate crisis. Mature woods can store significantly more of carbon and provide shelter to biologically valuable forms. However, they are rapidly decreasing globally.
Only 1,2% of Lithuania’s forests are fully protected against logging and only 0.0009% of the country’s area is covered in mature woods that are over 200 years old. That is why Lithuania’s environmentally-focused residents, businesses, and organizations are joining together to help the Ancient Woods Foundation, a non-profit organization, to purchase old-growth, biologically valuable forests and let them become ancient woods rich in biodiversity and life forms.
Since 2020 over 240 acres of mature forests have been preserved thanks to numerous financial donations from private persons and businesses. Up until the end of 2022, the protected forests absorbed around 655 tons of CO2.
Nationwide campaign to reduce waste and protect forests
New partners and sponsors set on contributing to the cause emerge every year. On November 14, a non-profit Deposit System Administrator launched a countrywide campaign to encourage people to return cans, plastic, and glass bottles, marked with a deposit symbol, and instead of taking back the deposit money, donate it to the Ancient Woods Foundation.
Together with reducing waste and encouraging residents to keep up with recycling, the campaign will urge people to preserve the old-growth forests and all life forms in them. It has been calculated that one returned container will equal 1,000 square centimeters of preserved mature forests.
Through the deposit system, functioning for numerous years, 9 containers out of 10 launched into the market are returned for recycling, making Lithuania one of the leaders in the field. The initiative has significantly reduced the load on landfills and contributed to a cleaner environment over time.
Eco-conscious entrepreneurs make tangible changes
Each financial contribution is significant in saving mature forests—one donated euro contributes to the preservation of 1 square meter of forest, as per the Foundation’s estimations.
Businesses’ donations are especially beneficial as they help to reach tangible results much faster. With the swift increase in entrepreneurs’ eco-conscious values, financial contributions are rising. carVertical, a global automotive data company that checks and reports vehicle history, has just made the largest one-time donation for the Foundation to date—100K euros that will aid with the preservation of mature forests.
According to Rokas Medonis, CEO of carVertical, the company is taking steps to implement more sustainable practices, involve the employees in environmental protection initiatives, and pursue the preservation of biological life forms for future generations.
“Supporting the Ancient Woods Foundation is an investment in the future. The donation contributes to solving the problems of the future, not the present. A lot of companies are calling themselves sustainable but not many of them are taking real actions. We did not want to do something that is on trend right now but rather give back to something we are truly passionate about,” Medonis added.
A number of Lithuanian businesses offer continuous financial help with the preservation of biologically valuable forests. “Žalia giria”, a drinking water manufacturer, donated over 100K euros throughout 2021 and 2022, which went to preserving old-growth forests. The company is now taking steps to implement sustainable innovations in manufacturing and increase the amount of recyclable plastic used for products.
Multiple other businesses have joined the Ancient Woods Foundation in their mission—last year various businesses contributed with over 150K euros in donations and services.