Restoring nature and biodiversity is one of the most important challenges of our time. That’s Sumthing’s goal, and they do this by creating an accessible, engaging and meaningful way for everyone to contribute to restoring nature.
As part of our B-Corp pledge, we joined forces with Sumthing to build a new and future-proof donor platform– where they can track the progress and impact of their contribution in real-time.
Making nature restoration accessible, engaging, and meaningful
We need to accelerate nature restoration. Sumthing, in collaboration with local parties and projects, researches different ways of nature restoration.
Planting new forests. Removing plastic from natural areas. Restoring coral reefs. Planting new seaweed forests. You choose what and how you want to contribute to restoring our natural environment.
One of Sumthing’s goals is to involve donors in nature restoration and provide insight into exactly how their donation is used. 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 personal and concrete approach.
Making donations transparent and creating involvement in this process is an essential part of Sumthing’s philosophy – a philosophy based on the following core values:
- Accessible – it should be as easy as possible to do your bit for nature restoration. That means being able to choose from several projects and being able to donate in just one click.
- Engaging – Sumthing’s project partners show you the impact of every donation and keep you informed of all developments. You can see the difference you are making at a single glance.
- Meaningful – Sumthing assures you that the donated money ends up where it is needed. The company wants to build an ecosystem where funding is determined by effectiveness – rather than the marketing budget
A new way to donate
Through Sumthing’s transparency, companies 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 collaboration between Sumthing and O My Bag, which brought the issue of nature restoration into the spotlight. The agreement on the collaboration was simple: for every order placed during the sale, an amount was donated that allowed five kilos of waste to be removed from the Ganges River.
The collaboration allowed O My Bag to be transparent to their customers about the impact they made with their purchase. The company achieved a great result, removing a whopping 7,560kg of waste from the river. The data shows that messages related to impact updates show higher levels of engagement and interaction. This allows us to conclude that O My Bag’s customers are interested in the impact they are making.
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.
months to go-live transformation
partnership with United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
growth of donations since platform go-live
Account Director, Design & Technology NL