Flash Forest
Index Award 2021 Finalists
Flash Forest
Flying reforestation to resuscitate planet Earth

What’s the design in a nutshell?
This Canadian start-up is a mission-driven reforestation company combining drones, automation and ecological science to rapidly reforest our planetary home. Come harvest, come wildfire, Flash Forest intends to rebuild a broken nature for measurable impact.

Why is it needed?
Remember when 2020 wasn’t all about Covid-19, but also reignited the conversation on the comings and consequences of wildfires? Oceania, North America and Central Asia once again battled them over the past two years and we all remember seeing the Amazon face its third-largest fire to date. Besides contributing to carbon emissions and worsening air quality in surrounding climates, the fires are slowly suffocating the planet’s lungs: trees.

Today, only about 15% of the world’s original forests remain intact and we’re currently losing 13 billion trees a year. Current reforestation rates simply aren’t fast enough, as we only regain less than half of what is lost, which is why efficient and sustainable reforestation solutions should be in high demand. Flash Forest’s first-to-market solution provides the supply.

How does it work?
With its multitude of technologies, UAVs, aerial mapping software and biological seed-pod technology to name a few, Flash Forest aims to plant 100,000 seed pods per day. But how to? 

Their technology maps out the best planting locations in an area with an average planting density of 1,000 to 2,000 trees per hectare. Through engaging with local NGOs, scientists and experts, they make sure to only plant natural species with high sequestration rates at the specific locations. From there, two drones start distributing the seeds to reach that daily target. This enables planting 10 times faster than the normal rate and at a fraction of the cost.

"Flash Forest simply wants to plant over 1 billion trees by 2028 (...)"

How does it improve life?
This decade is a defining moment. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we have the next 10 years to prevent the irreversible damage of climate change. This harms everyone on our collective home planet, and planting to sequester our carbon footprint is the fastest and cheapest solution at hand. That’s why Flash Forest is on an urgent run to reforest, rebuild and tip the scale on the climate crisis.

What’s the impact to date or projected impact?
The impact goal is also the company’s mission statement. Flash Forest simply want to plant over 1 billion trees by 2028, so they’re already keeping busy. The team is in full swing with current tests and planting trials for next year. 

Spring 2021 was their biggest pilot season yet with 13 planting projects across Canada and they’re soon looking to expand their reforestation solution internationally. Until now, they’ve raised around €1.2 million in seed funding and received a €1.4 million grant from Emissions Reduction Alberta.