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Les Mills and Trees for the Future Partner to Plant One Million Trees and Combat Climate Change sub-Saharan Africa

  • Lovely picture showing a smiling young African child holding a small tree ready to be planted |
  • Image showing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals |

LES MILLS, a renowned global fitness leader, has partnered with Trees for the Future, a non-profit organisation, to launch an ambitious project to plant over a million trees during 2022 and 2023. The primary objective of this project is to combat climate change and enhance community livelihoods through reforestation efforts. By actively involving LES MILL’s members, instructors, and club partners in tree-planting initiatives, the company is significantly contributing to its charity partner’s ultimate goal of planting one billion trees by 2030. This initiative demonstrates the company’s commitment to creating a healthier planet and population, making the world a better place for everyone.

How did the project start?

The project started on 1st June 2022, as a response to growing concerns about climate change and its impact on global sustainability. The Les Mills company has a long history of environmental activism, and by partnering with Trees for the Future, they aim to take decisive action to address the climate emergency while simultaneously promoting personal health and well-being. The company has been measuring and offsetting its business-related carbon emissions for eight years.

When making the one million tree pledge, Phillip Mills, the Les Mills founder, explained that the need for further action is critical and that reforestation is an important component of the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 13: Climate Action). “We are extremely concerned about the world’s lack of action on climate. Supporting Trees for the Future is one of the most important things we can do to fix the emergency.”

Aim and Objectives


The project seeks to promote environmental sustainability by partnering with Trees for the Future to plant trees and support vulnerable communities, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.


1.     Plant over a million trees within 12 months.

2.     Engage LES MILLS global members, its community of approximately 130,000 certified Instructors and 21,000 club partners in the reforestation project.

3.     Support Trees for the Future, a US charity that trains farmers in agroforestry and sustainable land use, in reaching their goal of planting one billion trees by 2030.

4.     Drive positive change towards a healthier planet and population.

Why is this project important?

This project is significant globally because it addresses the urgent need for climate action, as reforestation is a proven method in the ambition to limit global warming to 1.5°C compared with pre-industrialisation levels. Additionally, the project fosters sustainable land use, community development, and thriving food systems, leading to long-lasting social and economic benefits for vulnerable communities across nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Supporting UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) represent a remarkable global commitment by 193 member countries to transform our world by 2030. These 17 interconnected goals address the most pressing challenges humanity faces today, such as eradicating poverty, combating climate change, ensuring gender equality, and improving health and education. The UN SDGs provide a comprehensive roadmap for a better future, inspiring governments, businesses, and individuals alike to work collaboratively towards building a more sustainable, just, and prosperous world for all.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals can be classified using an Environment, Society, and Economy framework. This project supports four of the 17 goals as follows:


SDG 13: Climate Action — Through reforestation efforts and carbon offsetting.

SDG 15: Life on Land — By supporting sustainable land use and biodiversity conservation.


SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being — By promoting personal health and global sustainability.


SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals — By collaborating with Trees for the Future and engaging its stakeholders.

This project showcases the potential for businesses to contribute towards the SDGs while working towards a more sustainable future for current and future generations.

Project resources

The main resource utilised in this project is the collaborative effort of LES MILL’S members, instructors, and club partners who participate in the tree planting initiatives alongside Trees for the Future.

Project results

  1. 825,165 trees planted at March 2023.
  2. Estimated carbon offset: 47,731 kg. This is calculated as follows: A one-acre Forest Garden contains 2,500 trees which offset 144.64 of CO2 per acre over 20 years. 825,165 trees / 2500 trees/acre = 330 acres. Carbon offset = 144.64 kilogrammes CO2/acre x 330 acres Carbon offset = 47,731 kilogrammes of CO2. To provide some context for the size of 330 acres it is easier to imagine an area equivalent to around 5,136 tennis courts.
Gymtopia Comment

This LES MILLS collaboration with Trees for the Future to plant over a million trees represents an innovative approach to addressing climate change and contributing to the UN SDGs. At a time when environmental concerns are growing, this partnership demonstrates the potential for fitness companies like LES MILLS to engage in reforestation efforts and make a positive impact on the planet.

This project, driven by a global leader in fitness programmes, aims to not only combat climate change but also improve community livelihoods through reforestation initiatives. By involving its global community of members, instructors, and club partners, LES MILLS is demonstrating its commitment to a healthier planet and population, while supporting Trees for the Future’s ambitious goal of planting one billion trees by 2030.

The estimated carbon offset of 47,731 kg showcases the project’s potential to create a significant environmental impact and highlights the role that fitness companies can play in promoting sustainability and meeting the UN SDGs. As energy costs and carbon emissions continue to rise, innovative projects like the LES MILLS and Trees for the Future partnership can inspire other companies in the health and leisure industry. It will be intriguing to observe the project’s wider impact and whether further initiatives can be implemented to further promote environmental stewardship and global sustainability.

Actions you can take

1 Combat climate change by starting your own tree-planting programme.

2 Learn about Trees for the Future’s reforestation initiatives — you will see a link to their website on the right of this page.

3 Share this project with your community and stakeholders.

4 Read further projects and be inspired.

Project by:Les Mills

Les Mills

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Location: sub-Saharan Africa
Start date: June 2022
Status: Ongoing
Impact: Global
Submitted: 23 March 2023
Charity: Trees for the Future