Technology for Change: Guayaki Yerba Mate

Guayaki Yerba MateSinglebrook recently connected with Guayaki Yerba Mate through the B Corp network. We’re fans of their organic, caffeinated herbal beverage, yerba mate, and have become even bigger fans after learning about the company’s efforts to preserve the habitats and cultures of the areas of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay that supply their mate. Their interactive Impact Report is an innovative way of showcasing these efforts.

We asked Guayaki Yerba Mate’s eastern regional manager, Katie Landry, to walk us through the key components of the Impact Report. The report was created as a web app that can be also be accessed through Facebook or via QR code. Landry explains, “We have a mission to re-forest rainforests in Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. We work with multiple communities who steward the land. The Ache Guayaki in Paraguay is the main group that grows the yerba mate, and where the product gets its name.” This one-minute BBCWorldChallenge video on Guayaki Yerba Mate shows the Ache Guayaki people working to produce mate while restoring and preserving their land.

Landry goes on to describe how yerba mate is a sustainable crop. “The mate is found in the middle-lower shaded level of the rainforest, and you can continually harvest it each year--the trees are not destroyed. We hope that as demand for yerba mate grows in the US, more forest will need to be protected to grow it. We’re working in areas that are 90% deforested and nurturing new trees in those areas.”

Within the Impact Report, the number of trees and square feet protected represent current usage. The ecosystem services column represents the auxiliary benefits to the local communities, such as the prevention of soil erosion and destruction of water systems. App users can calculate their own personal impact or look at the national and regional impact of consumption of Guayaki Yerba Mate.

These kinds of interactive impact calculators are a great T4C idea that other organizations could use. Another example of an impact calculator is BALLE's Leakage Calculator. The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) calculator is used to decipher what is imported and exported within your local economy.

Singlebrook’s T4C campaign spotlights entrepreneurs and organizations that are using technology in unique ways to scale their ideas and create a massive impact. We are also creating our own high impact T4C projects. Check them out at: Share your stories of T4C or other inspirational resources and tips on Twitter (@Singlebrook) using #SBT4C and on the T4C Facebook group, or contact us to be spotlighted in an upcoming feature interview or blog article!

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