Builder Urges ‘One Tree Pledge’ for All New Developments

November 6, 2020

Trees can help to minimize the effects of carbon emissions, and one Northeast builder says it will plant more trees around new development—and is urging other developers nationwide to follow suit. Michael Ziman, president and CEO of Ziman Development, based in New Jersey, has launched One Tree Pledge, a sustainability program to help residential and commercial construction companies negate emissions associated with buildings.

Ziman, partnering with the organization American Forests, is inviting builders to take the pledge and plant one tree for every square foot of housing built. American Forests will assist with the planting at a cost of $1 per tree.

Trees naturally take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. To Ziman, trees are the solution that will help fight the impact of construction on the environment.

“As an owner-operator in construction specializing in beach homes, it was important for me to align my outdoor interests with my values,” Ziman told Builder. “When I discovered I could offset greenhouse gas emissions from my building activities by planting trees, it was a scalable game changer. Not only can I make a positive impact on the environment, I can now invite other builders to join me by making the One Tree Pledge.”

A 2,386-square-foot home releases about 20,260 pounds of carbon annually through combined electricity and natural gas consumption, according to the U.S. Energy Administration, as reported by Builder. The average tree, on the other hand, consumes 10 pounds of carbon per year. Therefore, if one tree is planted for every one square foot of an average home, the trees could consume about 23,680 pounds of carbon on annual basis, Ziman’s research shows.