Martin Bjergegaard is a serial entrepreneur, co-founder of sustainable Scandinavian non-fiction publisher Pine Tribe, and author of the successful management and work-life balance book ‘Winning Without Losing’.
We recently had a Skype call with Martin, where we talked to him about Pine Tribe’s PlantATree initiative…
“I think creating sustainable ways of doing old things is the way forward. We take so much from the earth, it’s time all businesses try to find a way to start giving something back.”
As part of Pine Tribe’s mission to share their love for trees, and their respect for the planet and its people, for every book sold— Pine Tribe will plant a tree.
Their first batch of five thousand trees will be planted in cooperation with their reforestation partner, WeForest, to help reduce erosion and flooding at the Udo Escarpment site in the Ethiopian Rift Valley.
We asked Martin some questions about this initiative…
What urged you to start the PlantATree campaign?
As an author myself I was surprised to see the waste that exists in today’s current publishing model. It made me think, “Isn’t there a better and more sustainable way to spread knowledge without sacrificing our environment?”
The publishing industry has traditionally strained the Earth’s resources by printing books, shipping them all over the world, and destroying the ones that don’t get sold. Pine Tribe encourage readers to go digital–it’s good for the reader, good for the author, and good for the planet.
Our books are available in print, but we work on a strictly print on demand model, meaning no unnecessary books are printed, avoiding any potential waste. We also plant a tree for every book we sell, whether it be in print or digital. We very much see the campaign as “Fair Trade” books.
When did you start the campaign?
How successful has the campaign been so far?
Well, we’ve sold over 6,500 copies of our books since January 1st, so we’ve planted 5,000 trees so far, when we hit the 10k mark, we’ll plant the next 5,000. We’re really hoping that’s just a start. There’s been a real appetite for our literature on success, health, happiness, and well-being from Scandinavian thought leaders in the UK and US markets, so we’re already looking at releasing more books before the turn of the year. The more books we sell, the more trees we get to plant!
Do you see this as something other publishers should be doing?
In an ideal world, yes it is. We chose to do it at Pine Tribe because it is in line with our company values and it’s a particularly important mission for us. We’re not out to make a quick buck. We want this to be the start of an amazing journey where we share the Scandinavian style of happiness and wellness around the world, helping fantastic local books find their place on the international market. We’re also very aware of the environment, and want to do everything we can to leave it in the best possible shape for future generations.
What are your plans for it? Do you have a specific goal in terms of amounts of trees planted?
Obviously we want to plant as many trees around the world as possible, whilst getting fantastic Scandinavian books and authors the recognition and global audience their amazing books deserve. We’d love to have planted 50,000 trees within the next 12 months.
Do you have any other eco-revolutionary ideas for the publishing industry?
We really encourage people to start picking up the eReader instead of paperback books – it seriously helps minimise the carbon footprint of the publishing industry. It is also a very inexpensive way to read and has countless other benefits. However, we still respect the fact that people love paperback books, and that’s why I’d really like to see print on demand become an industry standard.
About Pine Tribe
Connecting people from pockets of the world through the sharing of ideas.
Pine Tribe is a new kind of book site and publisher. Their concept is to bring the best books from the Scandinavian market, to global audiences. Pine Tribe strive for a world that is more connected, through better sharing of ideas, thoughts, and stories.
We’re in a digital age where we don’t have the same boundaries and restrictions as we once did.
Pine Tribe‘s goal is simply to share fantastic literature with the world a sustainable way.