After another summer with record-breaking climatic events, globally the hottest months ever, and a Danish September a whopping 0.5 degrees hotter than the previous record in 2020 (source: dr.dk), we are somewhat terrified and acknowledge the need for action.
Using our business as a force for good, we have devised a long-term strategy to reduce our climate impact. Emissions reduction is crucial but also carbon sequestration is very much needed. We have chosen the most natural way to bind carbon by converting monoculture farmland into a forest.
We are pleased to introduce, Collective Forest to you.
On November 1st we gathered the Collective family for a field trip to the open area where we planted the first trees.
The lot of land is 21 Ha at Vemmelev. 5 Ha is already a wild-growing bush with much higher biodiversity than the surrounding 16 Ha of farmland that has served as monoculture cropland. We will be planting 72.000 trees on the 16 Ha to bind CO2 in the most natural way and to increase biodiversity at the same time.
For a long time, we have dreamed of growing a forest and despite the considerable expenses associated with this project in Denmark, the most significant factors for choosing this location include Climate Justice and the need for increased biodiversity in our country, where there is almost no wild nature left. Additionally, we recognized the need for improved monitoring and the potential for recreational use within our community.
Climate Justice is a key concept for us when talking about climate change and its mitigation. Several centuries of deforestation and fossil fuel-based development in certain parts of the world have contributed significantly to these climate changes. Interestingly, these areas significantly overlap with countries known for their high coffee consumption. In contrast, coffee-producing countries have historically made minimal contributions to climate change. This disparity in responsibility and impact on climate change mirrors the broader global economic and power imbalances between coffee-consuming and coffee-producing nations.
Consequently, we strongly believe that those of us at the end of the coffee supply chain must shoulder the greatest responsibility in addressing the climate crisis. Our commitment lies in both carbon sequestration and the restoration of wilder nature here in Denmark. According to Danmarks Naturfredningsforening, less than 0.5 % of true wild nature remains in Denmark, highlighting the urgent need for increased biodiversity in our country.
Finally, a forest represents a remarkable facet of nature. For urban residents like us, it provides immense value by offering an opportunity to occasionally disconnect from city life, reconnect with nature and reload. We plan to utilize this forest to invite city people to step out and breathe in the fresh air of nature. Our journey began with planting the first trees on November 1st and 9th with the participation of Coffee Collective staff.
As 5 Ha of the farming land is already wild growing bush with trees, there already exists a part of the land with higher biodiversity from where it can spread to the surrounding new forest.
The new forest will also be planted with a strong focus on biodiversity. Using 25 different varieties of trees mixed in well-planned ways to support a healthy ecosystem.
Wild cherry (fuglekirsebær)
Sweet chestnut (ægte kastanje)
Common alder (rødel)
Lime tree (lind)
A forest edge with Pedunculate oak (stilkeg), Wild cherry (fuglekirsebær) and Norway maple (spidsløn) as the dominating species.
Isles of coniferous trees consisting of Red spruce (rødgran), Sitka spruce (sitkagran), Douglas fir (douglasgran) and Grandis (kæmpegran).
But in each area, the ”primary trees” will be supplemented with other varieties to support the forest. For instance, in the oak part of the forest, there will also be planted: Norway maple (spidsløn), common alder (rødel), hornbeam (avnbøg), crab apple (skovæble), Wild cherry (fuglekirsebær), Scots pine (skovfyr), small-leaved lime (småbladet lind) along with the Pedunculate oak (stilkeg) which will be a bit more than half of the trees in the oak part.
Below, is a sketch of a map of Collective Forest. The map is divided into three areas covering 16,55 Ha in total. The different types of deciduous and coniferous trees are mixed based on careful measurements by the forest and landscape engineer for the most optimal conditions.
There will be 11,55 Ha deciduous trees, 3 Ha forest edge and 2 Ha coniferous trees divided into three following areas:
Forest edge – 1,7 Ha
Wild cherry – 1,4 Ha
Walnut, Sweet chestnut etc. – 0,7 Ha
Oak – 2,3 Ha
Birch, Common alder – 1,7 Ha
Coniferous trees – 1 Ha
Forest edge – 1 Ha
Lime tree – 1,55 Ha
Maple – 1,8 Ha
Beech – 1,8 Ha
Coniferous trees – 1 Ha
Forest edge – 0,3 Ha
Oak – 0,3 Ha
Calculating carbon sequestration per type of tree will not make sense as different factors infiltrate the carbon sequestration. Instead, the carbon sequestration is calculated based on the two main tree types and the soil quality.
The following index shows how we expect carbon sequestration to happen on a time scale.
The next step for us is to make new long-term goals and reduction strategies, which we will do over the winter based on the full GHG inventory we had external consultants doing for the entire year 2022.