Nonprofit KiwiSaver and Investment Fund manager Simplicity is committed to ethical business in more ways than one: including a native tree funding partnership with Trees That Count.
“From day one, we’ve given 15% of our fees to the Simplicity Charitable Trust: and in consultation with our members, the Trust decides which charities receive support,” explains Founder and Managing Director Sam Stubbs.
To date, the Simplicity Charitable Trust has given over $1 million to New Zealand charities: and that number includes 15,000 native trees funded for planting projects around Aotearoa through Trees That Count.
“We wanted to make an impact on the environment. So we’re funding a native tree for every one of our members. As we grow, the more trees we buy — and of course, the trees will grow too!”
The alignment of the organisations’ values was part of the motivation for Simplicity to fund with Trees That Count. “We think long term: things that will change New Zealand over the next hundred years,” says Sam. “One of those things is planting many more native trees.”
The positive impacts of Simplicity’s funding are many and varied. Their funding supports thirty planting groups nationwide, including community groups, families, farming and government projects that will help to clean waterways, boost ecosystems and biodiversity, and strengthen communities.
One project benefitting from Simplicity’s support is Whangara Farms in Gisborne, an 8,500 hectare sheep and beef operation run by Whangara B5, Pakarae & Tapuwae Whitiwhiti who are focused on restoring a stock excluded wetland habitat.
The group was delighted to receive 1,000 native trees funded by Simplicity in 2020, and recently hosted tamariki from local Whangara School to plant the trees in the wetland area.
Sam also reports excellent feedback from their members on the Trees That Count partnership. “I think it’s very aligned with the values of our members, as well as our organisation.”
“They’re chuffed that we plant a tree for each of them: and that ultimately we can make change on such a big scale, with plans to plant tens of thousands of native trees over the coming years.”