SayTrees Environmental Trust, Kapil Sharma, best Cleantech companies building a greener India

SayTrees Environmental Trust: The Green Crusaders


“We are intensely chasing the water intervention projects as the irregular weather patterns with degraded water sources are leading to increased inequity and scarcity.”

Kapil Sharma (Founder,
SayTrees Environmental Trust)

Way back in 2007, Bengaluru’s lush green canopy was fading under the weight of urbanisation. The city fondly known as the ‘Garden City of India’ could see its native trees vanishing. That’s when Kapil Sharma, an environmental warrior, along with a bunch of passionate volunteers took the plunge and initiated SayTrees as a weekend project to rejuvenate Bengaluru’s lost greenery and give back to the beloved city. 

In 2013, the climate conversation was just starting to break free from academia. Hence, leveraging the momentum, Kapil and his team decided to turn SayTrees into an official non-profit organisation. With the growing emphasis on corporate social responsibility, they recognised a new opportunity and started organising large-scale tree plantation drives with an aim to make a tangible difference.

Kapil shares, “When we started SayTrees, we faced funding issues. In 2013, not many people were taking climate action seriously. But now, things have changed. We’re seeing floods, droughts, and heatwaves, all threatening our future and making it harder to stay safe from climate disasters. That’s why it’s important to support existing nature-based solutions like agroforestry. We need to channel resources to grassroots efforts and amplify the impact of proven strategies in combating climate change.”

Addressing the funding aspect of environmental conservation holds profuse importance. It needs the support of both businesses and individuals dedicated to safeguarding the environment and natural treasures. By working together more closely and ensuring that every investment in environmental sustainability counts, we can start moving towards a balanced relationship with nature and eventually save our planet from further damage. Though the road ahead may be difficult and long, tangible results can be achieved together.

Focus on Afforestation and Water Conservation

Cleanup by SayTrees

SayTrees’ flagship program, centred on multi-layer Agroforestry, aims to improve farm livelihoods and restore degraded farmlands. The NGO uses innovative multi-stakeholder approaches to engineer modules that not only ensure the survival of saplings but also provide support to farmers. 

“Our flagship program caters to the needs of small and marginal farmers in remote arid and semi-arid regions. We understand the importance of water for keeping both rural and city areas sustainable. Therefore, we have developed targeted interventions in water conservation,” explains Kapil. 

CHOODASANDRA LAKE, cleanup by SayTrees

Team SayTrees also collaborates with experts to come up with different ways to save water. Its strategies include digging trenches with farmers, making farm ponds, and rejuvenating city lakes. The founder adds, “We have successfully reclaimed water holding capacity of 22 crore litres, lost to encroachment and debris in Karnataka and its surrounding areas, which is equivalent to the area of 10 M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.”

SayTrees has a much-celebrated clientele. It has received long-term support from many big brands and MNCs including Dell Technologies, LTIMindtree, Maersk, HCL, Zerodha, Fidelity, CGI, Herbalife and Mercedes Benz.

Opportunities That Lies Ahead 

As per reports, there is a 55% chance that 2024 will rank as the warmest year on record. This reflects the urgent need to collectively act on climate change issues. SayTrees is partnering with corporations, communities, and research institutions to maximise the impact of investments in afforestation, water conservation, and improving farmer livelihoods. 

It believes in making the most of every contribution. Thus, it focuses on planting native trees, rejuvenating lakes to capture rainwater, restoring hand-dug wells, bringing back dying craft for the Bhovi community and promoting a healthy groundwater ecosystem.

The Impact That Matters 


SayTrees is on a mission to increase 100 billion litres of water holding capacity, plant 1 billion trees across urban and peri-urban areas and impact 2 million farmer livelihoods by restoring 2 million hectares of farmland. 

In Kapil’s words, “We are aiming to increase 100 billion litres of water holding capacity by 2035 which needs an investment of INR 200+ crores. By helping farmers save water and grow trees together, we’re not just planting trees, but also helping farmers become stronger and self-sufficient.” He further mentions, “For our farmers, a secure water future is the promise of tomorrow. That’s why we find new and innovative ways to ensure a brighter future for generations to come.”

SayTrees has planted 3.24 million saplings and has impacted the lives of 7000+ farmers. The team is working with remote tribal farmers of Melghat Tiger Reserve. They are also innovating natural reclamation of landfills with resilient sapling varieties. 

Apart from achieving significant milestones, SayTrees has received many accolades. This includes being recognised as the ‘Top Innovator’ in ‘The Trillion Trees Challenge’ of the UpLink platform of the World Economic Forum. The NGO is also a working group member of the policy on financing restoration in G20 India. 

The founder signs off with a powerful message – It’s high time that we understand the importance of trees and how pivotal they are for our survival. Let’s join hands to save our natural resources for future generations.

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