If we want to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change, simply reducing CO2 emissions is not enough. We need to find additional ways to extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Forests play a key role here. To make the best use of their potential on a global scale, today's forest areas need to be drastically expanded. At present, however, there is no functioning, efficient market for this.
The pioneering project Brainforest is a venture studio for forests. As such, it works closely with forest owners and organisations to develop sustainable forestry products. Enabled by the Engagement Migros development fund, Brainforest analyses existing market barriers, identifies solutions and uses these to develop new business models. It then scales these business models in partnership with existing organisations with a view to achieving swift global market penetration. With this in mind, Brainforest is building a digital marketplace, starting with CO2 certificates, which uses state-of-the-art technology and machine learning to facilitate trade in sustainable forestry products. By making the value of forests tradable, this draws in additional capital, which, in turn, provides an incentive to convert forest ecosystems into efficient, biodiverse CO2 sinks.
By 2023, the project expects to have mobilised CHF 500 million in new capital and, through afforestation and reforestation, including outside of Switzerland, to have made a significant contribution to stabilising the climate. Brainforest is bolstered by an interdisciplinary team of companies, forest economists and scientists from ETH Zurich, as well as leading NGOs and digital experts.