Building the platform for nature’s comeback story

To help overcome the challenge of making global nature restoration a reality, Sumthing created an accessible, engaging, and meaningful way for everyone to view the tangible results of their contribution to restoring the natural world. 

Recognising the importance of restoration, both as a Certified B Corp and in light of recent sustainability regulations, we joined forces with Sumthing to elevate their digital presence and to build a new and future-proof donor platform where donors can track the progress and impact of their contribution in real-time.

The need for restoration, done right.

In collaboration with local groups and projects, Sumthing supports different ways of nature restoration, like planting forests of trees or even seaweed. Donors can then choose from among these projects to decide how they want to contribute to restoring our natural environment.

Additionally, Sumthing opposes conventional ways of donating, such as issuing a certificate where the results remain invisible and donations end up in one big pile. Instead, the company offers a more concrete approach by providing personal insights that enable each user to see and track the impact of their donation. 

Accelerating restoration in a way that is ethical and transparent is not only crucial to preserving nature and biodiversity, it has become a legal standard in light of recent legislation.

  • In accordance with the European Union’s Biodiversity Strategy as well as their commitment to the COP 30X30 Biodiversity Agreement, the Nature Restoration Law sets a target for nations to restore at least 20% of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030 and all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050.
  • Also of note is the EU’s “Greenwashing Directive,” which is meant to work in tandem with the “Green Claims Directive” by establishing a cohesive set of criteria and rules around sustainability claims like “environmentally friendly” or “carbon neutral” to build greater transparency and accountability into sustainability practices. 

An elevated experience of Nature’s Comeback Story

Due to the nature of their work, Sumthing needed to define its story according to the needs of two audiences: its donors and restoration partners.

Beginning with the donors, we honed Sumthing’s digital narrative on its homepage by structuring its story around a clear and concise statement describing what it does, followed by three simple steps describing how people can get involved.

We also created an interactive digital globe to enhance these three steps by helping potential donors find projects to support, track their donations, and stay up-to-date with progress. 

This experience also impressed upon would-be donors the importance of their contribution by putting the value of these small-scale, grassroots projects in the (much larger) context of our shared planet. 

Next, we moved on to Sumthing’s audience of sustainability partners with a new storyline that showcased Sumthing’s unique way of working and inspired potential partners to join Sumthing’s mission.

We also helped Sumthing leverage a set of turnkey solutions to offer partners as an exciting new value-add. These included a ‘Realtime Restoration Widget,’ which partners could add directly to their own websites to share the results of their donations. 

Not only did this widget create an interactive way of spotlighting results, it helps sustainability projects meet the new requirements for transparency outlined in the Nature Restoration Law.

By taking advantage of the widget, sustainability projects can engage their customers and employees 1-to-1 in the positive impact they make together, which creates a higher level of commitment among clients, employees, and other interested parties alike.

A great example is the partnership between Sumthing and O My Bag, which allowed O My Bag to be transparent to their customers about the impact they made with their purchase. 

During a special sale event, O My Bag made a donation that allows five kilos of waste to be removed from the Ganges River for every order placed. The company achieved a great result, removing a whopping 7,560kg of waste from the river. 

Moreover, data indicated that the additional updates and experiences powered by Sumthing correlated with higher levels of engagement and interaction! By continuing to enter into these collaborations with other companies, Sumthing’s message can be spread to new audiences who can do their bit for nature restoration.

Leveraging modern technologies efficiently

A well-grounded and thoughtful foundation underpins everything Sumthing does. 

To achieve this, we supported Sumthing with setting up its digital platform, where individuals and companies can come together to restore nature and track the progress and impact of their donations. AI validates the images of the project partners, and satellite and drone images are used to monitor the progress. This provides specific insight into the positive impact being made.

This unique platform is the first of its kind in the world, with the deployment of state-of-the-art technologies playing an important role. Now that the platform’s foundation is in place, the role of technology can quickly be expanded. For instance, there is already work in progress on new AI models that can better handle video imagery, the generation of 3D models of natural areas above and below water, and satellite analyses.

From initial prototype to full-fledged digital platform

In just a few months, DEPT® managed to turn the initial prototype into an effective, future-proof platform. To establish a scalable foundation, a MACH architecture was chosen, built on Node, which integrates with various data sources and services. 

This architecture enables us to roll out new ideas and respond to new developments. The architecture does not rely on heavy licensing and is fully cloud-based; a cost-efficient way of working, as it means we only pay for what is needed. Some key features of the Sumthing platform are:

  • An interactive catalog of more than 10 recovery partners, where you can contribute in just a few clicks. Before this, donation/payment integration was an essential building block.
  • An infrastructure that allows partners to provide evidence of each donation, which is then displayed to the donor; from a planted tree to a restored piece of coral. This is done by linking ground-level data (including geolocation) to each donation on the platform.
  • Using the APIs developed, Sumthing can automate its email flows and perform impact updates based on events on the platform, such as new donors signing up or new evidence uploaded by partners.

An increase in annual donation volume of more than 300%

By providing insight into how a donation is spent, there has been a huge increase in support for nature restoration worldwide – and the results speak for themselves. Since the implementation of the new platform, annual donation volume has increased by a whopping 300%! This growth enables the company to conceptualize larger projects that make an even bigger difference.

Using Sumthing’s new platform, all data are made transparent for you, so you can contribute to nature’s recovery in an accessible, involving and meaningful way.

3

months to go-live transformation

1

partnership with United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

300%

 growth of donations since platform go-live