Nowadays, we are living in a world of environmental degradation where most individuals don’t realize the huge impact our activities have on the environment. Deforestation has now become a major concern. Every year from 2011 to 2015, almost 20 million hectares of forests have been destroyed. From 2016, the rate of deforestation sped up, and it is estimated to be around 28 million hectares of forests destroyed per year.

In light of these events and to build a sustainable future, IE University has undertaken the building of the IE Forest, which is the result of a collaboration and will consist of 625 Oak trees in the north of the Spanish capital. This was made possible by an agreement with Madrid City Hall’s Environment and Mobility Department.

The first step towards making this initiative a reality was taken on 19th April in 2021, when IE University and the ®Forest Project planted 80 Oak plants in Madrid’s Ventilla Park in collaboration with City Hall. The Ventilla Park is located near the IE Tower, the newest IE headquarters in Madrid that will open in September, heralding a new era for promoting education as a key to sustainability.

Thirty students from IE University planted 80 trees in the specified area on the morning of 19th April 2021, following up on the reforestation initiative which is the first to be promoted by the ®Forest Initiative. These 80 trees are the first phase of the 625 trees planned, which will be planted gradually, one for each student who graduated in December 2020. The event was attended by the Mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida; Francisco de Borja Carabante of the City Hall’s Environment and Mobility Department; Isabela del Alcázar, Global Head of Sustainability at IE University and Fernando Ojeda, President of ®Forest Project.

The collaboration between the two institutions originates from an environmental awareness program that involves all students studying at IE University. It started in December 2020 with the Solidarity with the Planet Week, in which all 625 students graduating from IE University in 2021 took part in planting a new forest in Spain over seven days.

“It is a pleasure to work with ®Forest Project and Madrid City Hall to promote the planting of 625 holm oaks. We encourage this type of environmental activism among people in our community as an experiential learning tool that increases their awareness of their potential to bring about change. As an academic institution, we have the capacity to create social welfare in our local communities. We believe that the move to the IE University Tower will have a very positive impact on the economic and social development of the northern area of Madrid. From our new headquarters, we will continue to promote urban and social transformation initiatives, energizing the entrepreneurial ecosystem and developing new collaborative projects with international companies”, said Isabela del Alcázar, the Global Head of Sustainability at IE University.

We hope and look forward to seeing this honorable endeavor undertaken by IE University become a reality and herald a new era in the near future.

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