EDMONTON -- An Edmonton-based organization is helping businesses reduce their carbon footprint by investing in Alberta forests.

Project Forest launched its campaign on Tuesday.

“As we plant trees, we’re removing carbon from the air, we’re cleaning the water, cleaning the soil, we’re rewilding the environment creating more habitat for the animals and creating recreation opportunities for us and our families to experience as our forests mature,” founder Mike Toffan said.

The non-profit will work with conservation groups and private property owners to find land that can be converted into forests. Project Forest will then will partner with local businesses to help fund the planting.

The new forests will all be within one hour of a municipal centre, so people can enjoy the natural spaces.

With a goal of planting hundreds of thousands of trees, Project Forest is looking for 65 local business partners across the province.

The first project will be Golden Acres near Tofield, 30 minutes east of Edmonton. More than 50 acres of land will be planted in partnership with Tidewater Midstream.

“We are really happy to say that we’re the first partner to get on board with this initiative and committed to five years and planting 20,000 trees over the next five years,” vice president Scott McLean said.

Project Forest was founded in 2020.