A Cost Effective Way to Create a Greener Brand

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Planting trees is a simple way to support the environment. But many companies don’t have the manpower or resources to start their own green initiatives. Luckily, ForestPlanet aims to make the process easier.

Not only does this company support the environment, they also give businesses a cost effective way to create greener brands. And they do so with the help of a clear communication strategy and a quality CRM tool. Learn more about the company’s green initiatives for business and their secret weapon.

Green Initiatives for Business

What the Business Does

Supports tree planting green initiatives for business.

Executive Director Hank Dearden III told Small Business Trends, “We are an organization that supports large scale, low cost-per-tree reforestation efforts all over the world. We help plant trees in regions where they have the greatest positive impact on the soil, the environment, local habitat, and communities in peril.”

Business Niche

Facilitating green initiatives for businesses.

Dearden says, “A key part of our model is working with businesses to ‘green’ their brand in a manner that is effective, affordable, and easily communicated to their community of customers and prospects. At $0.15US per tree, the economics allow for a lot of creativity. Some examples:

  • An insurance agent pledges to plant one tree for each quote delivered.
  • A retailer of honey plants one tree for every online order.
  • Numerous sports teams plant one tree for every home-game ticket sold all season.”

How the Business Got Started

With a small amount of support.

Dearden explains, “We incorporated in early 2017, starting off with some personal investment and support from dear friends and family. We started generating revenue from our corporate partnerships later that year, and have seen steady growth since.”

forestplanet green initiative for business

Biggest Win

Participating in a large event.

Dearden says, “One of our bigger accomplishments was partnering with the American Ultimate Disc Association for their Champions Weekend in 2019, during which they pledged to have 50,000 trees planted to more than offset the carbon footprint of the event. We made some great connections (Bill Nye!), enjoyed the event immensely, trees got planted, everyone was happy.”

Biggest Challenge

Explaining how easy and cost effective tree planting green initiatives for business can be.

Dearden explains, “The biggest challenge is getting the word out to the entire universe of businesses and consumers that it’s easy, affordable, and effective to “plant a tree with that” sale or transaction. MasterCard and VISA alone process over 130 billion transactions per year, and in our opinion the buyer and/or the seller can afford to bundle in the $0.15US to get a tree planted as part of the sale.”

Luckily, the company has used tools like Zoho One to effectively communicate with customers and build lasting relationships. This has led to major success stories like that of Swarmbustin’ Honey.

Dearden adds, “This is a small, family run business based in PA, and we have been partnering with them for four years. In that time they, and their customers, have helped plant more than 10,000 trees, and not too many retailers in their space can say that.”

Lesson Learned

Focus on customer communication.

Since communicating clear points is a major challenge for ForestPlanet, they need an easy way to share information. That’s where CRM comes in.

Dearden says, “I’m a firm believer that having a clear CRM strategy is where any/all businesses, new or mature, should first focus their efforts. I believe that CRM is mostly a mentality, one that appreciates the value of accountability and functional information architecture. One of my favorite sayings is: regardless of what business you think you’re in, you are in the information management business.”

forestplanet green business initiatives

Secret Weapon

Zoho One.

Since CRM is such a priority for ForestPlanet, it’s important to have tools that support this area. Luckily, Zoho One offers CRM functionality along with plenty of other tools. The team can manage communication with customers and handle marketing campaigns and other functions from one dashboard.

Dearden adds, “I like the Zoho One suite very much, since it has great functionality at a reasonable price. And it can scale as we grow. Right now we use CRM, Campaigns, and Books, and are looking into other modules as well.”

Future Plans

Integrating new ideas.

For now, ForestPlanet is mainly focused on its core business of helping companies with green initiatives for business. But the team plans to integrate new ideas as time and budget allow. In fact, they recently hired a consultancy firm to help put some new ideas into practice.

Luckily, the Zoho One suite allows them to save time by integrating multiple functions into one simple dashboard. Currently, the company uses CRM, Books, and Campaigns to manage customer communications, marketing, and accounting. But they plan to integrate even more features like Projects into their strategy going forward. This will allow them to manage projects from start to finish within the same platform as the tools they already use.

Dearden says,“The interconnections between the three tools we do use are extremely helpful. Right now it’s about constructing a solid baseline of business operations that will allow us to scale rapidly as new staff are added.”

Images: ForestPlanet

This article, "A Cost Effective Way to Create a Greener Brand" was first published on Small Business Trends

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