Thanks to a new partnership with UK social business ForestNation, Nexa3D is helping reforest the East African nation of Tanzania. Trees have already been planted for each Nexa3D employee and will be grown for every 3D printer sold by the company. The move is part of the 3D printer manufacturer’s ongoing efforts to advance sustainability in additive manufacturing through partnerships, collaborations, and openness.
Thus far, the Nexa3D Forest, which encompasses over one hectare of reforested land, is projected to generate 107 tons of oxygen per year and absorb 26.75 tons of carbon dioxide annually. However, these figures are set to grow exponentially as sales continue for the busy company, adding more oxygen to the atmosphere and sustainable resources and jobs in Tanzania. Nexa3D’s future plans include growing ten trees for every XiP desktop 3D printer sold. Similarly, on the industrial side, every NXE 400, NXE 200, and NXD 200 will yield 20 trees per printer sold.
Commenting on the new effort, Nexa3D leading executive Avi Reichental said that with 3D printer placements doubling annually and more new products being released in 2022 than ever before, he expects the company forest to proliferate. In the last few years, the California 3D printing business has made efforts to expand its market grasp, partnering with resellers in Europe, North America, and Africa. Today, these expansion efforts will bear fruit for Tanzania’s forests.
“Sadly, there’s too much focus on numbers of seedlings planted, and too little time spent on how to keep the trees alive in the long term, or in working with local communities. And there’s not enough emphasis on how different types of forests sequester very different amounts of carbon. At Nexa3D, we are committed to digitizing the world’s supply chain sustainably, and by taking thoughtful steps knowing that it takes a village to make a meaningful long-lasting impact,” highlighted the CEO.
Reversing land exploitation
ForestNation plants trees in the Eastern and Western Usambara Mountain Ranges located in northeastern Tanzania, where heavy deforestation has ruined the livelihoods of many locals. With the help of Nexa3D, sustainable goals will be achieved. In fact, ten trees have been planted for every current employee, resulting in 1,070 trees today, which simultaneously provide work for local people who are battling against hunger, poverty, and gender inequality.
According to a 2019 document by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), deforestation and forest degradation occur in Tanzania at an alarming rate, notably due to human pressure on land and other natural resources. With their valuable conservation forest areas, the Usambara Mountains have not been immune to these trends and witnessed severe land degradation and soil erosion, increasing the land’s vulnerability to climate change.
Some of the leading causes of deforestation in Tanzania include an increasing demand for fuelwood, which provides over 90% of Tanzania’s total national energy consumption (and other Sub-Saharan African countries). Additionally, the research repository Africa Portal states that land clearance for cash crop cultivation, like cotton and tobacco, which tend to boost export earnings, is consistently mentioned as one of the deforestation causes in the country.
ForestNation aims to counter this destruction in several ways. Primarily by providing seedlings for families to plant on their farms for future fruit, medicine, and oil, inspiring tourism with greener landscapes, educating students by growing trees in school backyards, and providing jobs and income, just to name a few of its goals.
Women, in particular, have seen limited opportunities in Tanzania, so ForestNation is stepping up by employing up to 200 women year-round and 800 seasonally, comprising up to 90 percent of the staff employed by the project.
Nexa3D’s Senior Director, Strategic Communications and Ecosystems, Sarah Goehrke, stated that they are not only focused on sustainability goals but also investing significantly in diversity, equity, and inclusion. The leading management executive and former 3DPrint.com Editor-in-Chief is also Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at the nonprofit Women in 3D Printing, where she works to drive, create, and operate programming and initiatives focused on DEI and shoring up the AM industry workforce, based on industry needs and responses.
“ForestNation’s emphasis on opportunity and employment for marginalized communities aligns with our own company values, which is another reason we decided to partner with this organization,” said Goehrke. “As we operate guided by our values, we find the greatest opportunity in partnering with like-minded teams working toward tangible environmental and community impact. We are always on the lookout for potential partners to drive forward our vision for a more sustainable and inclusive AM industry and world.”
Nexa3D is among over 120 businesses that have “company forests” with ForestNation, such as Oracle, which is responsible for planting more than 26,000 trees, or glass manufacturer Vidrala which surpassed the 50,000 tree line. So far, the ecological and social business has planted more than one million trees, but its ultimate goal is to restore 90,000 hectares of land with 100 million trees.
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