Tree Planting Company, Touch of Green, Wins Student Business Award

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Students devise innovative plan to show people exactly how much of their carbon footprint they have offset by purchasing a tree planting service.

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia Andrus Ansip receiving a certificate from student company Touch of Green.

A winning student company is no different from any other successful business. Success is as much about the passion of the people involved, how the company is run and how its employees communicate with each other, learning and developing with the business, as it is about performance.

The Estonian innovative student tree planting company Touch of Green won the European competition for the best student company of 2009, which was held by JA-YE on July 2 to 5 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The internationally active Estonian entrepreneur and owner of KC Grupp, Margus Reinsalu, is pleased to hear of the tremendous success of his young compatriots. The entrepreneurial students behind the start up company came up with an inspired idea - allow people to buy tree planting services and show them how much of their carbon footprint they have offset.

Student companies from 32 European countries, winners of their national competitions, were involved in the 20th JA-YE Europe Company of the Year Competition. The second runner-up after the winner Estonia was Switzerland, third prize went to Germany.

The ingenious idea behind Touch of Green is to provide a way to neutralize one's carbon footprint through tree planting. After purchasing the plantation service the customer receives a certificate claiming how much CO2 has been neutralised and the exact coordinates of the planted trees. The creative brain power representing this wonderful idea at the competition consisted of five enthusiastic students from two different schools: Margus Potisepp, Richard Pikmets, Kelli Kuligina, Kristel Reino and Vahur Koort.

Margus Reinsalu who has had years of experience in the business world knows how important it is to be innovative in order to find success. He applauds the environmentally conscious stance of Estonian youth and knows people all over Europe are very interested in both tree planting and reducing their carbon footprint.

Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA-YE Europe explains: "A winning student company is no different from any other successful business. Success is as much about the passion of the people involved, how the company is run and how its employees communicate with each other, learning and developing with the business, as it is about performance."

At the competition, the jury assessed each company's approach to communication, teamwork, problem-solving, objective-setting, planning and review, administration and financial systems, personnel management, product development, customer focus, marketing and sales, as well as financial results. The teams had to present their enterprises to the panel of judges in the course of a 4-minute stage presentation and a following interview after having submitted their annual reports in advance. There was also an exhibition where the public and judges could visit each company's trade stand.

The Estonian entry, Touch of Green, was judged at a high-level in all stages of the competition, but excelled especially in their forward-looking way of linking tree planting with carbon footprint reduction, and strong annual report.

Dainis Hirv KC Grupp +372 50 21 995

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Dainis Hirv
KC Grupp
+372 50 21 995
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