Harry Hely-Hutchinson

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Harry Hely-Hutchinson went from the Oil & Gas sector to opening his own business, Selva.

Selva is an online platform and community that enables everyone to calculate and then offset their carbon footprint with monthly personalised subscriptions to the best reforestation organisations on the planet. Its mission is to reforest the planet through the power of collective optimism. After Selva calculates their personal footprint with a few quick lifestyle questions, users choose which carefully vetted project they would like their trees to be planted at, the higher your footprint, the more trees you need to plant. Users can track over time how many trees they have planted and the CO2 savings from those trees, and share this impact with friends, while also learning about the complex issues of climate change through down-to-earth, honest educational resources. “We want to inspire people into action through a message of optimism and transparency. We know they care, we just need to find the right message that provides people with the assurances and motivation they need to get involved”

Whereas other platforms are broader in their carbon offsetting solutions (to include renewable power projects for example), Selva is exclusively focused on reforestation. On planting new trees. Trees are a unique tool for reducing atmospheric CO2 as they are available today, meaning we don’t need to rely on uncertain technological improvements; they can be scaled, as there is plenty of room to plant; and they are entirely natural, meaning no dirty supply chains that underpin many renewable technologies. The CO2 benefits and impact are also very clear to users. With each user contribution, new carbon-hungry trees are being planted that wouldn’t have otherwise been planted. The same cannot always be said for carbon offsetting with renewable power projects.

On top of that, trees are the cheapest tool available to remove carbon from the atmosphere. It costs $1~$10 per tonne of CO2 absorbed with forestry, compared with ~$800-$1000 per tonne cost from direct air capture machines (giant fans that suck CO2 out of the air). With trees, the average European citizen can offset their entire carbon footprint for less than £5 per month. If each of the 215 million Netflix subscribers also had a Selva subscription, global CO2 emissions would be 5% lower!

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