Whole Forest Crafts Furniture Using Emerging Design Strategy to Fight Climate Change
Connecting tropical forest conservation to green construction is a bold new strategy for addressing climate change.
May 2019: Whole Forest, a hardwoods manufacturer specializing in sustainable forestry, offers a range of carbon-negative wood products; from cutting boards to tables to countertops and flooring. “We saw a big opportunity to reduce carbon emissions in two industries that together release almost half of all climate emissions,” says president and co-founder Peter Pinchot. “Tropical deforestation releases 10% of carbon emissions. And buildings, through their construction and operations, release another 40% of global emissions. By preventing deforestation in Ecuador’s endangered rainforests, we are maintaining millions of tons of carbon in healthy forests.” By conserving rainforests in Ecuador — which are under imminent threat of illegal logging and clear cutting — Whole Forest is not only able to prevent massive emissions of CO2 from entering into the atmosphere, but also offers local residents a financially viable alternative to clear-cutting and illegal logging.
“Changing the way communities make a living is one of the primary strategies in stopping deforestation,” says co-founder and SEO Garrett Siegers. “By working for Whole Forest, members of the local community are now earning a much higher income and no longer exploit their forestland to make ends meet.” The furniture, wall panels, countertops, and flooring produced by the company have the carbon value of the rainforest Whole Forest works to keep intact, making the product truly carbon negative. A Whole Forest dining table has the power to reduce a person’s carbon footprint by 40% for one year; 400 pounds of CO2 are prevented from entering the atmosphere for every square foot of flooring installed.
Whole Forest has partnered with the UN-REDD Programme, the Pinchot Institute of Conservation, the Fundación de Conservación Jocotoco, the World Land Trust, The US Forest Service, and the Peace Corps to ensure the current and future wellness of the Ecuadorian Rainforest and tropical rainforests across the globe.