Going for Green: Berlin running group doubles its climate action

Green Runners

BERLIN –  As Berlin’s ‘Green Runners’ race through the Tiergarten and other locations across Germany each Sunday, forests in sub-Sarahan Africa get greener too. The running group, which includes prominent Green Party politicians such as Özcan Mutlu and Britta Haßelmann takes community climate action by planting trees through jogging and other activities. Since August, Green Runners is sponsored by German solar company ecoligo, which doubles the impact of each activity. The action is made possible by Active Giving, an app that tracks fitness and supports environmental projects.  

Started by Özcan Mutlu at the time of the 2013 elections, the Green Runners group has the motto ‘running for health and environment’. Mutlu and other members of the Green Party, such as Katrin Göring-Eckardt, Gerhard Zickenheiner, and Maria Klein-Schmeink, see sport as the key to social inclusion and community strength. The group also raises awareness for other causes, such as #LeaveNoOneBehind and Black Lives Matter.  

Through the collaboration with Active Giving, they are able to turn their footfall into direct environmental impact, recently reaching the milestone of over 10,000 trees planted. Sponsorships go directly to NGOs like Trees for the Future, which plants trees sustainably in Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Cameroon, and Kenya.  

Since August, Green Runners have been sponsored by ecoligo, a Berlin startup that realises solar projects in emerging markets. The projects are financed on the crowdinvesting platform ecoligo.com, where individual investors contribute to projects and earn attractive returns in addition to having tangible environmental impact.  

Green Runners
The Green Runners in front of the German Bundestag on September 9th, 2020

Certificate of 10,000 planted trees
The certificate for 10,000 trees planted by the Green Runners

Martin Baart, ecoligo’s CEO, said: 

“We saw similarities between our own business model and Active Giving: the people who invest in our projects are enablers, making global solar energy projects possible with their investments. The Green Runners and other users of Active Giving are also enablers, taking action that’s translated to climate impact through financial supporters. We are also very aligned with the mission of Green Runners, so are really happy to support them in this way.” 

Özcan Mutlu, member of the green party Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen and initiator of the group, said: 

“Since the beginning of 2020 the Green Runners are partnering with Active Giving – for every single running kilometer we donate extra to plant one new tree in Africa. Since August we get additional support from ecoligo to double the number of trees. We appreciate this cooperation and want to thank ecoligo for their environmental engagement.” 

Brittany Salas, co-founder of Active Giving adds: 

“It’s amazing to facilitate such a positive collaboration and support the Green Runners with their commitment to be active and do good.  Active Giving is happy to continue to partner with ecoligo, a platform sponsor that not only supports Active Givers but has social and environmental sustainability embedded in their company purpose.”  

We saw strong similarities between our own business model and that of Active Giving: the people who invest in our projects are environmental supporters who enable global solar energy projects with their investments.

Martin Baart, ecoligo’s CEO

About Active Giving 

Active Giving enables anyone to a good cause while improving personal health and wellbeing. This is done through a fitness app and digital marketing platform that empowers seamlessly trading calories burned or kilometers covered for trees planted in global reforestation projects. The trees rewarded to app users are made possible by forward-thinking companies seeking to communicate sustainability commitments through the power of fitness and give individuals the chance to leverage their data for good.  

About Trees for the Future 

Trees for the Future (TREES) is an agroforestry nonprofit with over 30 years of experience. We train farmers over a four-year period to sustainably revitalize their land. Through our Forest Garden Approach, farmers plant thousands of trees that protect and bring nutrients back to the soil. This helps farmers grow a variety of fruits and vegetables. Forest Garden farmers gain increases in income and food security, even in the first year. 

About Green Runners

The Green Runners are a running group that was created in 2013 in the course of the federal elections by the Green politician Özcan Mutlu in Berlin. Every Sunday the members of this group run across Germany and virtually network through the hashtag #LauftMitUns.