AMD recently launched the first of its new processors named Ryzen, and the news captured worldwide attention. Although not as well-known, there’s another story around this major product launch that is also rewarding to AMD. This behind-the-scenes story centers around the relationship between WOODCHUCK USA, a home-grown company in Minneapolis, Minnesota and its planting of trees across the world, including remote Madagascar, Africa.
WOODCHUCK USA is a custom wood products manufacturer that AMD engaged to provide a container to deliver 500 of its new Ryzen processors with motherboard and memory to reviewers. AMD looked for an idea that exemplified the new Ryzen brand demonstrating human creative spirit, symmetry and naturalness, and sought an opportunity to work with a vendor that shares AMD’s corporate value of environmental sustainability. Working with AMD, WOODCHUCK USA designed a custom wood box made of walnut and left in its natural state to create a simple and elegant package. The box is also sustainable thanks to WOODCHUCK USA’s “Buy One. Plant One.” Program.
Founded five years ago by CEO Benjamin VandenWymelenberg, the company has quickly grown to 53 artisans and employees with plans for continued expansion of jobs and growth. As Ben says, our mission is to, "Put nature back into people's lives, bring jobs back to America, and bring quality back to products."
In WOODCHUCK USA’s "BUY ONE. PLANT ONE." Program, a tree is planted for each item the company makes and sells. The program operates in North America and Madagascar, helping to promote biodiversity of forests. According to WOODCHUCK USA, it takes about one tree to make 1,500 to 3,000 units of their various products, and thus, they are replenishing forests at a rate of up to 3,000 times their tree usage. As of March 2017, the program has facilitated the planting of more than one million seedlings.
As a result of its purchase, AMD received the GPS coordinates in the Ankarafantsika National Park where last year, villagers from surrounding villages were hired on behalf of WOODCHUCK USA and their non-profit partner to plant and begin tending to five hundred, 12”-16” deciduous seedling trees. The planting is particularly important in Madagascar where, according to National Geographic, ninety percent of the plants and animals found on the island evolved there and nowhere else. But according to World Wildlife Fund, less than 10% of Madagascar’s original forest cove exists today.[ii] Most has been cleared for agriculture, cattle grazing and firewood. To help protect the island’s endangered animals and other unique species and flora, the government has set aside more than nine million acres (3.7 million hectares) of land.[iii]
AMD joins WOODCHUCK USA in sharing the values of environmental sustainability - business and community success do not have to be separate ideals, but instead play a role supporting each other. To learn more about WOODCHUCK USA’s "BUY ONE. PLANT ONE" program, watch here. You can stay updated about AMD’s corporate responsibility efforts online and by following us @AMDInitiatives.
Susan Moore is AMD’s Corporate Vice President of Public Affairs, and is a former chair of Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). Her postings are her own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.