Yale School of Management

Program on Entrepreneurship

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Project Co-Created by Student Startup Wins Nature Conservancy Grant

Cambium Carbon’s New Haven Statement Block cutting board made from the city’s fallen trees
Cambium Carbon’s New Haven Statement Block cutting board made from the city’s fallen trees

The Nature Conservancy has awarded a $200,000 grant to a project co-created by a team of Yale students and alumni, including several from the Yale School of Management.

The project, Reforestation Hubs, is a partnership between the student startup Cambium Carbon and the Arbor Day Foundation.

Cambium Carbon team members from Yale SOM include Anshula Madhavan ’21, Matthias Muehlbauer ’20, Dylan Murray ’21, and Ben Selden ’21. They are joined by Yale School of the Environment graduates Ben Christensen ’20 and Marisa Repka ’20.

Reforestation Hubs’ goal is to restore America’s forests by helping local wood economies flourish. The company repurposes fallen trees in cities that would normally be wasted into high-value wood products whose revenue is then invested in new tree planting. The company is already planning pilot sites in several U.S. cities.

“The team at Cambium Carbon couldn’t be more excited about this,” said Murray. “This funding will enable us to more quickly deploy to our first cities, where we see the potential to have immediate economic and environmental impact for local neighborhoods.” 

Reforestation Hubs is one of five projects that The Nature Conservancy’s Natural Climate Solutions Accelerator program last week named as winners of a combined $860,000 award. All the projects are advancing new climate solutions in forests and agricultural lands across the U.S.

The grant’s timing, Murray said, is perfect. “Whether you’re talking about the COVID-19 pandemic, subsequent economic downturn, or the wildfires out west, communities across the U.S. are really being tested this year,” he said. “We hope our model will be one of the tools that makes them more resilient going forward.”