Since its launch in 2019, GCash’s sustainability feature, GForest, has now grown its number of users to 12 million, making it one of the biggest digital environmental movements in the country.
“We’re extremely excited to witness the rapid growth of the GForest feature. This goes to show that many Filipinos are onboard our goal of rehabilitating our forests to help reverse the ill-effects of climate change. Likewise, we’re grateful for the hard work of our partners to regenerate our forests while empowering local communities in reforestation initiatives,” said CJ Alegre, GCash AVP for Sustainability.
The Philippines is considered as one of the countries with the richest biodiversity. However, the rapid increase in carbon emissions and the degenerating forest cover has placed it at risk of the impacts of climate change that include rising sea levels, extreme weather events, rising temperatures, and extreme rainfall.
To mitigate the risks brought by deforestation, GCash has initiated GForest in the GCash app to support and contribute to the overall national goals for biodiversity protection, water conservation, and carbon reduction.
Through this interactive platform, users can take an active role in addressing the reforestation issue and carbon emission by collecting “green energy points” whenever they use the app’s various cashless services such as sending money, buying load or paying bills. They can use their points to plant a virtual tree, and in turn, GCash, together with its partners, plants an actual tree on the user’s behalf.
Through the collective efforts with its partners, GCash is well on its way to meet its goal of 2.3 million trees planted by 2023.
Over the last two years, GCash and the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) have planted 545,000 trees which are a mix of native fruit-bearing trees and timber, covering 723 hectares of farmland in Carmen, Cebu. The program benefited 200 landowners and farmers, and engaged 189 indirect beneficiaries.
In 2022, GCash also partnered with RAFI for the GForest Mangrove initiative and partnered with 9 people’s organizations from Cebu. The initiative planted 225,000 seedlings out of the targeted 250,000 mangroves.
Meanwhile, its partnership with Bantay Kalikasan of the ABS-CBN Foundation saw about 88,000 seedlings planted in the La Mesa Watershed. The tree planting activities were completed during the rainy season to ensure a high survival rate of the seedlings.
Lastly, joint efforts with the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature-Philippines saw an additional 74,523 seedlings planted, covering 214 hectares of degraded forest in Ipo Watershed which provides about 96 percent of Metro Manila’s water supply. Meanwhile, 85,600 seedlings are now in the nursery, ready for planting.
“We have already achieved so much since we launched GForest on the app in 2019. While we’re proud to be meeting our target year on year, there is still more work to be done to protect our environment and communities. So we encourage more Filipinos to join us in this digital sustainability movement,” said Martha Sazon, GCash president and CEO.
Anyone can be a green hero through GCash’s GForest. Download GCash for free on the Google Play or App Store. To know more, visit www.gcash.com