Innovation That Matters

Viessmann will plant one tree for every 12 minutes of stand-up paddle boarding by participants | Photo source Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

Employee exercise leads to planted trees through an app

Work & Lifestyle

The ViMove app shows users their total activity, as well as how many trees will be planted via its integration with reforestation projects

Spotted: Last year, German heating, industrial and refrigeration manufacturer Viessmann offered to plant one tree every time one of its employees engaged in a short period of exercise, such as walking 1 km, doing 12 minutes of Pilates, or doing 20 minutes of downhill skiing. A total of 5,000 employees participated in the programme, called #ViMove for Climate, leading to the planting of 150,000 trees. Now, Viessmann has started the program again, only this time it is open to anyone.

The programme uses an app, the ViMove app, that lets participants enter how many kilometres they have covered or how many minutes they have exercised. Users can either connect the app to a fitness tracker or upload screenshots of exercise data collected using other apps – or even a photo of the exercise equipment’s display screen. The app will show users their total activity, as well as how many trees will be planted and how much CO2 they have offset. 

In all, there are 20 sports to choose from, including low-impact options like swimming and yoga, so there is something for everyone. The distances and times are also set at very achievable levels – just 1 kilometre of running or 200 metres of swimming is enough to earn one tree. To plant the trees, Viessmann is working with reforestation experts CHOOOSE, who select reforestation projects that are integrated into local communities and directly benefit local people. The company have selected projects in Uganda and Kenya for the next 150,000 trees.

Viessmann’s heating and refrigeration products focus on sustainability and, according to the company, this initiative is a way to help reduce those emissions. According to Viessmann, the company, “stands for climate conservation. By replacing old boilers with modern systems, our customers alone have reduced CO2 emissions by 500,000 tons per year. With #ViMove for Climate, we are expanding our commitment.”

Viessmann is not the first company to come up with an innovative way to connect sustainability and physical activity. We have previously covered an ice cream shop where customers are invited to use a pedal-powered churn, and a prison where inmates can peddle their way to a reduced sentence.

Written By: Lisa Magloff



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