Support reforestation projects and start planting trees with our Magento Extension

We are releasing a Magento reforestation extension for Earth Day 2021!

- Chris Pook, 20th April 2021

Eco-aspirations...

Here at Absolute Commerce we strive to do our best when it comes to being eco-friendly. Whether it be choosing products with the least packaging, opting to cycle over driving or generally trying to reduce waste, there are many ways to avoid having a negative impact on our planet. Unfortunately there are an awful lot of unavoidable and often unnoticed actions that tend to outweigh our good intentions to 'save the planet'.

It is becoming clear that just trying to limit our negative actions isn't enough when it comes to climate change. We feel that what is needed are more actions with a direct net positive impact. Rather than just reducing the harm we do, why not swing it back the other way and start actually repairing the damage?

So, with this in mind we started to look for ways that as a company we could put something back in and also help others to do the same. The challenge being to have something in place for Earth Day 2021.

Our chosen objective? Reforestation...

What could be simpler than planting a tree?

Deforestation is constantly flagged as one of the key contributors to climate change and despite reforms in the last ten years, the rate at which trees are being chopped down is still staggering. All the time trees are being removed for agriculture, logging, fuels and mining we must replace them elsewhere. Recent studies have found that planting any old trees doesn't necessarily help either. Luckily there are now numerous reforestation projects across the globe. These help to ensure resources made available for tree planting go to the best use and have the most impact in reversing climate change.

Today marks the release of our Reforestation Integration Magento extension. It is our hope that this will give ecommerce merchants a frictionless path to integrate with reforestation projects around the world to get more trees planted in the ground every day.

A Magento reforestation extension

The Magento extension we've put together adds the ability to integrate a Magento site with a number of reforestation projects around the world, to plant trees based on your customer's ecommerce actions. The intention is to build out the number of projects available to integrate with over subsequent releases.

The conversion of digital actions to physically planting trees is only possible thanks to some of the reforestation projects offering an API to integrate with their systems. This first release of the extension utilises DigitalHumani's excellent 'Reforestation as a Service' (RaaS), which allows it to connect to multiple different projects all via one endpoint.

The extension can be downloaded via the Magento Marketplace today and will shortly be available to install from GitHub and Packagist.

Below is a list of the current features of the extension:

  • Allows merchants to support reforestation projects and provide their customers a way to contribute to the cause.
  • Adds the ability to convert ecommerce actions to planting physical trees in the ground.
  • Integrates with third party reforestation projects (currently via DigitalHumani).
  • Offers configurable options for which actions should plant trees (and how many):
    • Plant trees when a customer account is registered.
    • Plant trees when an order is placed.
    • Plant X trees for every Y a customer spends on the site.
  • Customers are emailed each time they plant a tree.
  • Adds a Reforestation Dashboard to the Magento admin where you can view stats on trees planted by your site.
  • Adds a Reforestation Project section to the My Account page allowing customers to view their contribution to the reforestation project (including details of where the trees are planted).
Absolute Magento Reforestation extension customer account page

A quick thank you

We'd like to thank all of the people and organisations we spoke to for advice in the run up to this release. It has actually been in the making over a year now since the first inception of the idea! In particular a big thank you goes out to Jonathan Villiard and the team of volunteers at DigitalHumani for making API based reforestation a reality.

If you have any queries, feature requests or want to get involved with the extension in any way, please get in touch today.

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