Author: Caroline Seton, Co-Founder and Head of Growth & Strategy, HumanForest.
Since launching in September 2021, HumanForest has been driven by a central idea – to use ad-spend for positive social impact.
Our innovative in-app marketing model, known as HumanForest Impact, has allowed us to work with a range of sustainably-minded partners, connecting them with our rider community. This facilitates our affordability and accessibility efforts for which we are known, and therefore benefits both people and planet.
10 daily minutes of free riding
Our original and undoubtedly most renowned partnership offering is the 10 free minutes of riding every user automatically receives every day. This unique proposition establishes the foundations of our partnership model, providing users with the ability to ride from A to B for free if their journey is within their free 10 minutes, which 20% of our users make the most of on a daily basis.
Our sustainably-minded partners sponsor these 10 free minutes, which we communicate to our community via in-app visuals. Users receive in-app messaging from partners at multiple points during a complete trip – when they first open the HumanForest app, before, and after their ride.
Within this messaging, partners are able to raise brand awareness, promote a new product or highlight their sustainability agenda. Alternatively, they can make use of our innovative challenge feature, like Acer has done, which in September and October sponsored a challenge with the aim to save as much CO2 as possible from riding. The top 50 customers who saved the most CO2 while riding with HumanForest were placed in a draw and one person per month was randomly selected to win an Acer Vero laptop.
By seeing messaging from the same partner throughout their journey, the relationship between the company and the rider’s 10 free minutes is solidified. For the user, this establishes a positive association with the brand, and for the partner, 100% of their ad-spend goes directly towards making a tangible positive impact, by encouraging and enabling sustainable, zero-emission active travel.
Sahil Jaggi, District Marketing Director for UPS UK, Ireland and the Nordics, a recent partner of HumanForest, said: “At UPS, we use a range of solutions to serve package recipients in dense urban areas, offering choice, control and convenience for our customers while minimising our impact on the environment.
“We’re pleased to be able to work with a like-minded organisation such as HumanForest which allows us to further our objective of enabling sustainable delivery and mobility solutions and work towards a shared commitment of reducing emissions.”
The potential of the real-world positive impact our partners can have has recently extended beyond the 10 free daily minutes, with the introduction of RewardStream.
In line with our mission to make sustainable travel as affordable as possible, RewardStream operates using a watch-to-earn mechanism. This translates to customers watching an advertisement from a partner and in return, receiving extra free minutes of riding.
Videos are typically 15 seconds long which equates to 1 minute of free riding and a monetary value of 19p, with there being multiple videos available to watch each day. Additionally, this latest dimension to HumanForest Impact also provides a unique opportunity to connect and educate users about our partners in an even more engaging format.
At a time where people spend on average five hours a day looking at screens outside of work, RewardStream converts some of this screen time to actually benefit the user. As Head of Marketing at HumanForest, Michael Stewart, said: “RewardStream is a win-win platform. On the one hand, users receive back a portion of advertising revenue, getting paid for their time in terms of more free riding minutes. On the other, partners have a unique and ethical platform where they’re able to promote their company to a sustainably-minded and engaged community.”
Similar to RewardStream, HumanForest’s TreeCoins Market allows our community to gain from everyday behaviour. Our loyalty scheme which rewards users for moving sustainably around London, known as TreeCoins, forms the foundation of the TreeCoins Market.
The concept is based on the idea that riding one mile on a HumanForest e-bike prevents the same amount of CO2 that is captured by one average-sized tree in a day, from being released into the atmosphere. For every five miles ridden (and one tree of CO2 saved), customers earn one TreeCoin.
These TreeCoins can then be redeemed for eco-conscious products from our partners, ranging from alcohol-free beer from Big Drop Brewing Co, to day passes from Flow co-working spaces.
Through the TreeCoin Market and its own ‘currency’, we hope to demonstrate that making sustainable lifestyle choices do not need to come at a price – furthering HumanForest’s efforts in bridging the gap between affordability and sustainability. Instead, by choosing to move around our city in non-carbon emitting ways, both our community and the planet can benefit.