Laurent, please tell me a little bit about Active giving and how it works. Also, a bit about yourself and your 7role in Active giving
Active Giving is a mobile fitness app that allows users to record fitness activities that then turn into planted trees.
We believe that our daily actions should have a positive impact on the planet. With Active Giving, by doing good for yourself through fitness/sports, you also can have a positive impact on the planet and the local communities of tree planters.
Each activity recorded in the app is sponsored by another company willing to support human health & commit to reforestation. We generate revenues from sponsorships and redistribute our revenues to our tree planting partners. It’s a win-win-win for everyone.
I am a sports enthusiast and a climate activist. I love to motivate people to be active and create awareness for solutions to live a more eco-conscious lifestyle. I am originally from Belgium but have lived in Berlin for a couple of years.
As for my role in Active Giving, well… I have many hats now, as I am the only full-time member of Active Giving. BD, PR, SoMe, Marketing, Events…
What inspired you to start Active giving, and begin your journey in fighting climate change?
Over 3 years ago I started to become more aware of the impact (negative) of my daily actions. So, I started to be more conscious of my diet, my fashion consumption, my travel, etc. At the same time, I practice sports regularly and even created my own sport events. One of them is called Urban Art Run.
The idea is to bring people together through sport, it’s really what I love. I thought this could be a wonderful place to start making an impact, with a community. At first, we turned kilometer runs during events into trees, which people loved. Then I realized, a greater impact could be made if we could reach people daily. Each time they do something good for themselves (AKA sport/fitness). A plethora of fitness data is produced every day through our phones, smart watches, trackers… and for what?
I wanted to give a sense of purpose to fitness data. That is how the idea of Active Giving was born in early summer 2019. After winning the Techstar Sustainable weekend in Berlin, this really got me started.
What role does sustainability play in your business?
Sustainability is at the core of our business. We created Active Giving with the clear intention to do good. Not only for the environment, the planet, and its people. We want to create the largest online social network for good that engages people and businesses to be more eco-conscious. For us, the most important thing is to combine the health of people and the health of the planet.
Thus far, how many people do you believe you have reached with your mission of “be active – do good”? Where do you think your vision could take us as a society?
The numbers say that we now have more than 40K users. However, I believe our mission has reached even more people, as we see many businesses are now prioritizing health and the planet. This is an important thing! With our first one million trees planted this year, we have reached thousands of farmers’ families and ultimately contributed to society at large.
In addition to personal exercise, we also organize events for sustainable causes (yoga, workout, runs). With COVID it was hard to organize in-person events, but now we are back, last week we had eight events!
We believe this really gives people the chance to work out and use their fitness data for a noble cause. Our vision would take our society back to who we truly are. Loving and giving individuals, in harmony with the planet.
Who are the farmers you work with, and how do you ensure that they bring your mission to life? Do you have any KPIs or quality control measures in place?
We are working with tree planting partners, which are directly collaborating with farmers and local communities. They have programs and training in place to provide the best quality work on the fields, planting and monitoring the trees for growth and survival. We receive reports and certificates for the trees that we are financing, and on the benefits/impact that tree planting has on local communities.
What are the companies you work with, and how engaged are they in following and supporting your purpose? Do your partners have any vetting process in place and if so, what does it look like?
We collaborate with companies from diverse industries. Our app provides a space for brands/companies to highlight their commitment to personal wellbeing as well as the health of our planet. By investing in Active Giving, companies support the active and eco-lifestyle of our users. They not only support our mission financially, but moreover by spreading our mission across their network and inspiring communities to join the AG movement. We currently do not have a vetting process.
What advice would you give to those following you? Is there anything you’d like to share with us?
First, I would say, YEAH! Keep on doing what you do! It is important to include purpose in private and professional endeavors. First, define a clear intention on WHY you do what you do. What are the benefits for the society/world? Once you’re aligned with your WHY, nothing can stop you.
What can our community do to take advantage of what you are proposing in their daily activities?
It is quite simple. For individuals who are already active, using active giving will give a sense of purpose to their movement and physical activities. Every activity can be turned into a good deed for society and the planet.
For individuals who have difficulties finding motivation to move, we give them an additional motivation to move. To help inspire people and foster our community, we also organize events for sustainable causes (yoga, workout, runs). As mentioned earlier, just last week we had eight events!
Not only will they do good for themselves, but moreover for the planet.