San Francisco, CA (USA), June 2021 - SweetRush, a 100% remote workplace, has deepened its commitment to green business and sustainability with La Maestra, a reforestation initiative in Costa Rica's Limón province.
A life-centered, people-empowerment organization, SweetRush has set the ambitious goal of complete carbon neutrality. SweetRush transforms organizations, teams, and individuals through custom online and blended learning solutions, cultural transformation, leadership and team development, immersive technology, and staff augmentation for learning and development - and now reforestation.
To this end, SweetRush has begun
- measuring its cumulative carbon footprint and calculating the cost-per-revenue dollar to offset that footprint
- including funds in every project budget to plant trees to offset the carbon footprint of all SweetRush team members
- inviting every client to match our contribution to offsetting their carbon footprint
The name La Maestra - "teacher" in Spanish - represents SweetRush's embrace of nature as instructor and guide. SweetRush's goal with the La Maestra initiative is to learn how rainforest systems can teach companies how to prosper and, in turn, how companies can share their wealth with nature by integrating reforestation into their flow of work.
"We're going to view each tree and the regenerating ecosystem of the rainforest as a lesson," explains SweetRush's CEO and Cofounder, Andrei Hedstrom. "While we believe that using our regular workflow to generate a living system is a wonderful end unto itself, we also see it as a seed. In planting that seed, we are asking what else is possible when a world-class learning and transformation firm enters the global conversation around reforestation efforts?"
Since his 2005 journey to Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, Hedstrom has been searching for a way to apply the wisdom of natural ecosystems to business. In partnership with Cristina Calvo, ecotourism expert and CEO of Green My Experience, Hedstrom forged the link between SweetRush's business and reforestation.
Calvo explained, "La Maestra is a very special project for me because I have been working on sustainability and carbon neutrality in my businesses for many years. I've been looking to build a project and partnership that resonates completely with the meanings of conservation, education, technology, time, and growth. With La Maestra, we were able to bring all of those pieces together."
Calvo's partnership also helped La Maestra find its home in the Limón province of Costa Rica, on land that belonged to Calvo's grandfather. Here, members of Calvo's team plant each laurel sapling with care and nurture it to viability over the next five years. With their dense, leafy branches and nutritious berries, laurel trees are a vital source of food and shelter for La Maestra's diverse bird species.
SweetRush employees have rallied behind La Maestra and its sustainable, life-affirming purpose. With every tree they plant, team members grow closer to one another - and more connected with the global web of life and the systems that support it.
"With every client call, every eLearning course we build, every status update, every email, we are growing a forest of knowledge, together," Hedstrom shared. "Being in service of life potential, and all we can care for and create with each other and the living systems we are a part of, is our highest calling. La Maestra isn't just about addressing the suffering and fears of today: Serving life potential creates the awareness, services, and products of the future. The best is yet to come for those who can grow this mindset."
SweetRush's clients are also seizing the opportunity to bring their learning projects literally to life. Since La Maestra's launch at the end of Q1, clients have sponsored the planting of 117 laurel saplings. La Maestra broke ground with its first planting on 22 April 2021 in a moving celebration of Earth Day.
The pace has been swift: SweetRush has already surpassed 10% of its 2021 planting goal of 1,024 trees. But the vision behind La Maestra is not bound by calendar years or quarters; it's a long-term legacy. As Hedstrom promised his team, "Starting today, our day-to-day work is going to outlive us."
SweetRush plans to further its commitment to green business and the lessons of the rainforest by joining the United Nations' Race to Zero initiative and pursuing certification as a carbon-neutral company.