Innovation That Matters

Brain Forest applies entrepreneurial thinking to reforestation | Photo source Irina Iriser on Unsplash

Leveraging technology and data to support carbon sequestration


A venture studio applies entrepreneurship and startup thinking to environmental projects

Spotted: Swiss venture studio Brainforest is leveraging technology and data to support effective reforestation and afforestation. The startup—which was founded in 2019 by a group of entrepreneurs and NGO experts—aims to explore the potential of forests as an effective solution to climate change.

It is widely known that forests have a tremendous ability to sequester carbon. But according to Brainforest, the market still needs further development if the full benefits of forests are to be released, and this belief underpins all of the studio’s work.

Brainforest’s first venture is Xilva, which is focusing on developing a global digital marketplace for forests. The platform will serve as a ‘one-stop hub’ that facilitates the entire forest investment process. Xilva will make it easier to assess potential investments by providing information on a wide range of factors such as biodiversity, social impact, clean water, and timber harvesting rather than narrowly focusing on a forest’s ability to absorb carbon. Xilva also provides drone monitoring and data analytics for greater information gathering throughout the investment lifecycle.

Another of the startup’s ventures, Ecosystem Value Association (EVA), aims to create a climate standard that generates carbon credits for German forests. For this, EVA will bring together NGOs, forestry specialists, academics, and the key decision-makers of the German economy.

Brainforest co-founder explains, “We know that to achieve the ambitious Paris climate goal we have to look at both sides of the equation, capturing carbon as well as reducing emissions, and forests are our most powerful tool. Brainforest’s goal is to unlock that potential by developing impact-driven businesses that pursue both environmental and financial returns.”

So far, the company has received CHF 2 million (around € 1.93 million) in philanthropic funding and CHF 4.5 million (around € 4.33 million ) has been poured into impact investments.

Other approaches to reforestation spotted by Springwise include a tree-planting app that uses a subscription model, and a startup that uses AI and other technology to monitor and verify reforestation projects.

Written By: Katrina Lane



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