Arbor Day Foundation Recap 2021 BigCommerce Dec 28th 2021
Fall trees promoting carbon neutrality

In partnering with the Arbor Day Foundation, we helped plant nearly 665,000 trees in an important ecosystem devastated by Hurricane Michael.

This year marked a huge achievement for Vertical Supply Group (VSG). In 2021, we became a carbon neutral company by offsetting 100% of our carbon emission through purchasing qualifying carbon credits. Spurred by an ever pressing need to act now for the sake of our planet and with the help of a 3rd party audit, we determined our carbon output and took action to offset this impact.

A key part of our sustainability plan has been working with the Arbor Day Foundation. Starting in January, we embarked on a multi-year project to help plant trees in areas in need of reforestation. This year we supported the Econfina Watershed in Florida that was devastated by Hurricane Michael in 2018. Overall, just shy of 665,000 trees were planted to help rebuild this important alluvial valley. By planting native longleaf pine trees, we helped rebuild this watershed and protect the wildlife that depend on its healthy ecosystem.

Volunteers planting new trees
"As a company Vertical Supply Group supported the planting of 5,000 trees which are now sequestering 6,672 metric tons of carbon, equivalent to taking 1,451 cars off the road for a year!"
Tree sapling growing

As we look to 2022, we will continue to support the Arbor Day Foundation efforts to combat the climate change crisis. They are committed to planting nearly 6 million trees on state lands across Michigan and we will be a part of this effort.

"Healthy forests means clean water, which is why the water management district has worked so closely with the Arbor Day Foundation through the years to plant native trees on the lands we manage. Replanting the thousands and thousands of longleaf pines lost to Hurricane Michael is one of the most important things we can do to protect our precious water resources in northwest Florida.”
-Board Member of the Northwest Florida Water Management District

Sterling is also committed to taking action to fight climate change. Sterling is Climate Neutral Certified through Climate Neutral, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to working toward carbon neutrality by measuring and offsetting companies’ carbon emissions, while working to reduce their future carbon footprint. Certification includes a phase 1 through 3 audit of carbon emissions, a purchase of qualified carbon offsets and steps to reduce carbon use in the future. Check out Sterling's profile and learn more about Climate Neutral at

Looking Ahead

Sterling and VSG as a whole are looking ahead at ways to reduce our carbon footprint internally at each of our locations. Through the development of an internal task force, we as an organization have identified initiatives to help reduce carbon emissions in currently and in the future which include some of the following:

    • Purchased renewable energy for Maine facility starting in Q3, 2021
    • Currently in the process of converting all current lighting to LED fixtures
    • Reduction of electricity usage through more efficient manufacturing processes
    • Explore implementation of an online service that will allow our eCommerce customers to pay to offset the carbon footprint of their shipment
    • Reduction of plastic in packaging materials
    • Establish, maintain and encourage recycling efforts in all facilities
    • Activation of circular supply chain through upcycling and recycling initiatives
    • Establish a monthly dashboard with initiatives, goals, and estimated carbon footprint reduction by program

Learn more about Sterling's Sustainability Initiatives:

Sustainability: Upcycle & Recycle

Sterling operates with an incredible level of efficiency in regards to waste. Over 95% of the raw fiber that we purchase gets made into finished product rope. Everything else that does not make it into the final product gets either repurposed or recycled.

Rope Recycling Program

At Sterling, we are as passionate about preserving our outdoor spaces as we are to making the highest quality, life-safety rope in the world. To ensure what we do does nothing to harm those spaces, we’ve made minimizing what ends up in landfills a Sterling priority since Day One.

About the Arbor Day Foundation

Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters and valued partners. Since 1972, more than 400 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to lead toward a world where trees are used to solve issues critical to survival.

As one of the world's largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. More information is available at