Samsung invests in blockchain reforestation, promises 2 million trees planted by April

The tech giant says its newest partnership allows it to track its latest efforts to fight climate change.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
2 min read

Samsung's hoping tech can help expand its environmental efforts.

Samsung and Veritree

Samsung said Monday it's looking to new technology to help power its latest sustainability project, planting 2 million mangrove trees in Madagascar over the next three months. The tech giant said it will partner with a company called Veritree, which will help it track progress of each tree that's planted.

What makes Veritree particularly interesting, Samsung said, is that its system is built using blockchain technology. The approach will allow tree planters to send planting updates using their phones, instead of relying on auditors to fly over project sites. Though Samsung didn't say how much it's paying to plant the trees, it said it chose Madagascar because mangroves are among the most efficient in converting carbon dioxide to oxygen.

Read more: What the heck is blockchain?

"Investing in tech innovations, such as those that create efficiency improvements and minimize waste, in combination with nature-based solutions, are vital in the fight against climate change," Mark Newton, Samsung Electronics America's head of corporate sustainability, said in a statement. "Drawing on our history of open collaboration, we're teaming up with Veritree for the tree-planting initiative as an added way to contribute to a better global society."


Companies hoping to make a dent in climate change have increasingly invested in projects like reforestation in Madagascar.

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Samsung's announcement was made amid the beginning of the annual CES, the tech industry's largest trade show, typically held in Las Vegas around this time. This year, though, some of the biggest announcements are being held online, as companies choose to forgo in person events over fears of the omicron variant of the coronavirus pandemic

Omicron so far has appeared less deadly than previous iterations, but it's led to record case counts and enough serious illness that hospitals around the US are raising alarms that they've already reached maximum capacity. Those warnings have caused many large companies, including CNET, to shift their CES plans entirely online. The Consumer Technology Association trade group that runs CES,  meanwhile, has said it plans to move forward, with more than 2,200 exhibitors still planning to attend. CES will close a day earlier than planned, however, in an effort to reduce health risks.

For Samsung, the mangrove project is its latest effort to fight climate change. Like other tech giants, the Galaxy phone maker has increasingly shifted its facilities over to renewable power and invested in recycling and reuse for its products as well.