January 2011 (Paris, France)
We are very sad to announce that as of today, Laneo must take the necessary steps to close its operations.
Regardless of our hands-on approach and our promise to corporations to provide quantifiable evidence of their environmental stewardship, we simply could not amass the interest necessary to continue forward with our work. This does not reflect on the potential of our model; rather, it is the result of an unfortunate and unexpected sequence of events. Just as we could not have predicted the overwhelming number of large corporate customers that defaulted on their promises to us, we could not envisage the weight of skepticism to support an initiative such as Laneo. We were brazen enough to challenge those fundamental assumptions of what a social business can achieve and we continue to believe that others will continue in this direction.
We are forever thankful to a large group of people, including those partners who saw us this far into the project and who believed in the value of restoring beautiful wilderness worldwide. We would also take this opportunity to offer our most heartfelt appreciation to our customers, our partner non-profit organizations, our business colleagues, and all those supporters who have been a source of inspiration every day for the past few years.
Looking back, we are proud of what we have accomplished. We supported 138 grassroots cleanup events in 14 countries that gathered a total of 22,593 volunteers. All together, they cleared 647 metric tons of waste from natural areas while Laneo provided over 123,000 Euros to these local non-profits to multiply these cleanup events and engage more people and brands through experiential education. We feel this model, were it widely adopted, has staggering potential to influence the common good.
We’ve watched our planet get dirtier, more polluted, and be carelessly destroyed—despite all the talk about the dire situation of our environment. We thought that our approach would appeal to those companies eager to show their tangible engagements and work alongside their customers to improve our society. We knew that non-profits needed more recognition and support to do their admirable work and that we could provide a sustainable flow of resources to further their cause. And we believed that the public would rally around the opportunity to take part and learn about the environment hands on. That’s why we created Laneo.
Laneo was a starting point, a virtual campsite, and a place to initiate hands-in-the-dirt action. It was a space for learning, sharing, and speaking up. It was especially intended to inspire you and to help you enjoy the outdoors in the very best way possible.
While our present financial situation has halted our progress, this does not mean that our fundamental goal is unattainable. Laneo was a single endeavor with the purpose of expressing a vision much larger than itself. The somber dilemma facing us today is more urgent than ever before, so while exploring long-term environmental solutions is vital, it’s also imperative that clean-up operations begin immediately.
So from this first expedition, we have learned that if it does not disturb, then there is no interest. The problems before us can be daunting, and it might be tempting to say unapproachable, yet in our adamant refusal to surrender this Earth’s welfare to a ruinous future, we find hope. Where there remains the resolve in some to take action, the seeds of possibility thrive.
Rest assured, we will be back someday, and when we return, we will be more prepared and not quite as nice as before.
Andrew Paterson / Founder & CEO