Home Top News GForest named 2023 National Winner of Energy Globe Award in PHL

GForest named 2023 National Winner of Energy Globe Award in PHL

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GCash, the Philippines’ leading finance app, through its GForest feature, is the 2023 National Winner of the Energy Globe Award in the Philippines. This recognition serves as a testament to GCash’s commitment to environmental sustainability and its innovative approach to fostering positive change.

The Energy Globe Awards is a recognition given by the Austrian Embassy, through Advantage Austria, to recognize outstanding initiatives that contribute to sustainability and environmental protection. GForest stood out in the ‘Earth’ category for its remarkable efforts in reforesting critical areas and promoting environmental awareness among millions of users.

“Energy Globe is awarded to the world’s best environmental projects and honors innovative solutions to environmental problems. We cannot think of a better fit to receive this award than GForest which over a few years managed to gain support from more than 16.2 million members and virtually planted 3.8 million trees,” said Christina Stieber, Advantage Austria Commercial Counsellor.

The GForest program within the GCash app is a groundbreaking initiative that incentivizes users to engage in tree planting. Users earn green energy points with their digital transactions in-app, which they can use to plant virtual trees. These translate into tangible contributions to reforestation efforts, as GCash collaborates with environmental organizations to plant real trees in designated areas. By integrating gamification and environmental awareness, GForest encourages users to embrace sustainable practices while actively taking part in initiatives to combat deforestation and promote environmental conservation.

“We optimize technology to solve different challenges that Filipinos experience every day—and with over 94 million Filipinos that have tried GCash, we have the reach to maximize tech for good. GForest is one of these breakthroughs—an easy, interactive, and free way to plant a tree, which we created specifically to contribute to rebuilding Philippine forests,” stated Winsley Bangit, Vice President and Head of New Businesses Group, GCash.

Since its inception in 2019, the GForest program has achieved remarkable results, including the planting of over 2.7 million actual trees, covering over 11,600 hectares, with the help of its 16.2 million green heroes.

Sustainability Motivation

With only 6% of the country’s land covered in rainforest, urgent action was needed to combat the effects of logging and resource extraction. Recognizing the importance of preserving and restoring forests, GCash introduced GForest in 2019 as the first-ever sustainability feature by a fintech company in the Philippines.

“Our drive behind the GForest program stems from a commitment to sustainability across three essential pillars: environmental, social, and governance impact. Through empowering users to engage in tree planting initiatives via our GForest feature, we aspire to elevate awareness of environmental conservation, promote financial inclusion, and effect positive change in the daily lives of Filipinos,” said CJ Alegre, Sustainability Head of GCash.

The scope of the GForest program includes planting native trees, collaborating with key partners such as the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc., Friends of HOPE, Inc., World Wildlife Fund for Nature Philippines, and ABS-CBN Foundation; and engaging local communities in reforestation efforts. Through workshops and partnerships, GCash ensured the sustainable management of planting sites and gave economic opportunities to farmers involved in tree planting activities.

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