Company News
December 2022
by GSG

Four people associated with our efforts to make our business and the whole world of e-commerce greener tell us why our partnership with ‘Wilderness International’ is so important.

Johann-Georg Cyffka from wilderness international talks about our latest Black Friday donation of over 40,000 euros to Wilderness International and the difference it makes.

“Forests are a natural habitat to our world. Some are blooming in biodiversity for thousands of years and have become incredibly valuable places for a spectrum of different species. But these same ancient intact ecosystems are threatened, we lose them every day.

GSG’s recent donation of 40,000 euros protects over 40,000 square metres of the ancient forest: But it’s not just the square metres of land that matters because the protection we provide also stretches up from the roots to the top of the canopy 50 metres above. What’s amazing is that in just a metre looking up, there are thousands of creatures and plants living on different levels, some never even meeting.

Protecting this ecosystem isn’t easy because within a couple of kilometres from the edge of our area are loggers, miners and farmers, all with a vested interest to clear as much forrest as they can. However, we are not alone because the donated money also goes into employing people on the ground that patrol the protected land, these forest guardians are locals from the Tambopata region. On top of this, our education programs explain why the area is so important. We have constant visits by international scientific expeditions coming to study and map the area’s unique and diverse ecosystem. Our team consists of forest scientists, sustainability experts, biologists, communication experts, and I.T. experts, all visiting to digitally map the area and provide the information and communication that makes sure that people thousands of miles away with little link to this forest can see its wonders and understand its importance.”

Johannes Wirth our CEO for GSG Connect talks about why protecting our last truly unspoilt ecosystems makes perfect business sense.

“Through our partnership with Wilderness International, we have been able to help protect large areas of precious rainforest and make e-commerce a little bit greener. However this still isn’t enough, especially over the last years, when we have seen the negative effects of what humankind is doing to our planet. Forests are being cropped, burned and cleared at an unbelievable pace and the majority of our most valuable ecosystems have already been destroyed in the name of progress and development.

Nearly all fields of business are to blame including e-commerce. But the answer isn’t to stop manufacturing or selling things, it’s to transform the business towards sustainability. That’s why it fills me with hope when I see consumers becoming more conscious about what they buy and even how they buy, especially as this move to sustainability is most noticeable in our younger generations of shoppers. This is a great reason for us at GSG and the whole of e-commerce to put sustainability at the forefront of what we do.

Fortunately, lots of our partnering brands are developing ways to make their products in a greener way, creating eco-friendly ranges, reducing packaging, and it is our job to highlight and to find ideas to promote these more sustainable products. Highlighting the efforts these brands are making and connecting them with the large community of shoppers that are buying with a conscience. We can help accelerate this green revolution whilst already protecting our most precious environments.”

Thomas Mansvelt our Associate Commercial Director on the existing partnership between and Wilderness International and how they are now planning to bring this further to other markets.

“When we started our first collaboration between and Wilderness International in 2020, the whole world was in the middle of the Covid pandemic. Many people were affected by it in different ways, but one thing everyone noticed was there was a real movement to get back to nature and an appreciation of its power to provide humankind with a real sense of peace and security.

This growing sense of consciousness led us to the thought it would be the perfect time

to do something to protect our most precious pieces of nature. We were already talking to Wilderness International about different things we could do, and we liked their scientific approach and their genuine deep understanding of what they wanted to achieve, so we decided to join them on their mission.

We created a promotion where we donated nearly twenty cents to the Peruvian rainforest project for every transaction made, meaning that every for five transactions we preserved a whole square metre of the precious forest. The action was very effective and popular. I think it’s because it gave many consumers something special on top of their purchase that feeling that they could give something back to nature, by protecting a very special piece of it for eternity.

Because of its success, and our own goals of making e-commerce more sustainable we were keen to extend the promotion with a reduced donation over a much longer period. So far our actions has saved over 13,552 square metres of forest.

Our commercial teams in 2021 also decided to replace our usual Christmas gifts for partners with a special donation towards this great cause. In their name, we were able to protect another 20,000 sqm of forest. In fact, to this date including our latest Black Friday donation GSG has protected over 40,000 sqm of forest..

On top of all we have done so far, we are now in the final stage of extending our commercial collaboration with Wilderness International to other markets. We will link it to our greener partnering brands and partners through a very special green project that we plan to launch very soon. Details to come.

Katrin Nusser our Chief Financial Officer talks about the rewarding aspects of our collaboration with Wilderness International for employees at GSG.

“We believe that it’s important to reward our employees for all their hard work, passion and dedication, after all, it’s really thanks to all our great teams around the world that GSG is the successful group it is today.

One of the best ways we can reward people is to make sure they can also see the good we are doing together. It is sometimes hard for us behind our computers to connect with the many consumers we are helping to get 

more out of life every day. That’s why we choose Black Friday which is our biggest event of the year to make our donation to Wilderness International. A donation that would be linked to the success of everyone at GSG’s hard work on that day.

Even better we could actually provide them with the opportunity to see its effect directly through the metres protected and the stories that wilderness international provides.”

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