Every month, since February 2017, we donate money to a nonprofit that inspires us. The donations started as part of our membership to 1% For the Planet, which helps us channel 1% of our revenues to vetted organizations.
Three years, 29 nonprofits, and a massive, demonstrable positive impact on our global community later, our Giving Program has become as fundamental to Avocado’s mission as mattresses. That’s why we didn’t stop with our 1% donations this year. In 2019, we also became Climate Neutral Certified (the first mattress company to do so) and launched our Farm to Mattress concept, which supports social justice in India. We’re proud to acknowledge our 2019 philanthropic highlights — and of the work each of the 12 nonprofits we donated to in 2019 accomplished. We also know we’re just getting started.
1. Going Climate Neutral
Climate change is a fundamental threat to our way of life and our business. That’s why, in July, we became the first Climate Neutral Certified mattress company. We got there by reducing our carbon footprint however we could and offsetting everything else. Since Avocado’s origin, we’ve partnered with Carbonfund to offset emissions. The 16-year-old company has worked with 2,500 companies to take responsibility for their carbon impact by supporting the work of over 190 projects that reduce carbon output.
In 2019, we offset the 31,000 metric tons of our total operational emissions, as calculated by Climate Neutral, by donating to three Carbonfund projects. First, we reduced 13,950 metric tons of carbon by supporting tropical forest conservation in the Amazon. Trees are natural carbon reducers, and the Amazon is one of the largest carbon sinks in the world. We sequestered another 13,950 metric tons of carbon through deforestation mitigation in Kenya. The project reduces CO2 emissions by donating “clean” stoves to rural residents who would otherwise be using wood for fuel. We also reduced 3,100 metric tons of carbon by supporting water purification technology in Kenya that replaces wood-fueled, carbon-emitting processes.
2. Building Sustainable Economies in Rwanda
We’ve made multiple donations to the Rwanda-based Kula Project, because we love their mission, which is to eradicate poverty by developing entrepreneurs. Last year, we fully funded a new women’s center. This year we went all in for International Coffee Day. Sure, we’re suckers for a well-roasted bean, but because of our donation, Kula was able to provide 20,000 coffee seedlings to 225 coffee farmers in the Kayonza and Kadenke regions of Rwanda. Once the seedlings are mature, they’ll provide a sustainable income for the farmers for up to 30 years. Our funding will also support comprehensive agronomy training so they have the technical skills and education to maintain their trees and ensure they are having the utmost impact. Having a sustainable income will help the community thrive by supporting health care and education for their families, and empowering leaders to continue to improve their home.
Through Rwanda’s Kula Project, we supported farmers with 20,000 coffee plant seedlings.
3. Planting Trees that Keep Giving Back
Friends of Trees really loves trees. They’re dedicated to improving the urban tree canopy while restoring sensitive natural areas. Trees are essential. They remove CO2 and other pollutants out of the air, mitigating climate change. Just 100 trees can remove 53 tons of carbon annually. When planted near buildings, they can also cut air conditioning use by 30%. One mature tree can provide enough oxygen a year for two people, and roadside trees cut indoor air pollution in half. Plus, they absorb rainfall, clean our water, and prevent erosion. Bonus: They’re proven to make us happier, too. That’s why we’re so grateful that Friends of Trees put our donation toward planting 6,600 trees and native shrubs in 20 cities. With each plant, they’re making the world a healthier and happier place.
With the help of Friends of Trees, we planted 6,600 trees and native shrubs in 20 cities.
4. Supporting Social Justice in India
Sitting along the white-water Sutlej River in Rampur, India, our GOTS organic certified wool factory is a lynchpin of the community. Many of our employees are women who were victims of domestic violence, and their jobs support their independence. Inside, no chemicals are used, creating a safer environment for our workers, and healthier products for our consumers.
The beauty of Farm to Mattress doesn’t stop there. The wool comes from our own organic certified, responsibly-managed flocks — with more than 150,000 sheep. They graze across more than 40,000 hectares of certified organic pastures along the steep steps of the Himalayas at altitudes of 8,000 to 14,000 feet above sea level. There, we directly employ more than 100 farmers, 400 herders, and support more than 50 villages with fair, living wages.
Our Farm to Mattress concept supports safe, sustainable work for local families.
5. Helping Feed Our Community
More than 46 million people, including 13 million children, don’t know where their next meal will come from. City Harvest exists to address that reality. The organization provides food that would otherwise go to waste to New Yorkers in need. This year, with the help of a few Avocado volunteers, our donation helped feed 74,000 people.
“We stand ready with City Harvest to help feed those in need today and in the future, no matter who they are or where they come from,” says Christine Carpio, Avocado’s social engagement manager. “Every bit counts and you can join our cause!”
With the help of Avocado team members and City Harvest, we helped feed 74,000 people in New York this year.
Who should we select as our giving partner next? Tag us on social media with @AvocadoMattress or #AvocadoGreenMagazine