Gavin Fernie-Jones

Founder of One Tree at a Time

I am ideas person. I love complex challenges, and finding solutions. I am a skier and mountain lover, who cares passionately about our planet and about leaving something for future generations to enjoy.

I live year-round in Courchevel, with my wife and our growing menagerie of animals in tow. Having watched the place we call home change before our eyes over the last 15 years I became starkly aware of the real impact of climate change. And as co-founder of a local ski businesses, The Boot Lab, I realised that our industry needed a formula and pathway to deliver change. 

I started One Tree to help businesses and individuals change their habits. Now, I’ve become a student.  Alongside our business partners, I’m constantly learning which solutions are most effective. 

I love working with such a passionate and highly skilled team. My colleagues (and friends) are some of the most well rounded individuals I know. Their experience and ideas have helped shape One Tree into the organisation it is today, helping us deliver real and meaningful change.  

What motivates you?

I’m motivated by the ease of change. One Tree was born out of the frustration I felt at the impact my business was having on the natural environment. Our business profits from the removal of natural materials from the earth, whether that’s the oil used to create ski boots or the energy used to transport customers to my store. None of these products or systems include the true environmental impact. I began to slowly change, piece by piece, how our business functions. We’ve designed circular products, changed suppliers and offered new services. When you approach your life in this fashion it’s not long before you begin to see real meaningful change. I’m motivated by the realisation that there is another path.

What is the change you want to see in the world?

I’d love to see the widespread adoption of a circular economy. A circular economy places ambitious goals on products, with an emphasis on design that is regenerative and ultimately does more good. It’s an idea stolen from the natural world and it’s systems. 

A tree produces a blossom that attracts the insects. Once the blossom has finished doing its job, it falls to the floor to decompose and provide energy. Nothing is taken from the system and nothing is wasted. 

It is possible to instigate these systems into a mountain business, and The Boot Lab is proof of this model. It just takes an open mind, some  clever design and a desire to change.

What habits have you changed?

At home we’re transitioning to food self sufficiency. I love creating and growing our own food; learning about and using natural systems. Our chickens, for example, create compost, keep pests at bay and provide us with nourishment. Zero food miles, zero pesticides and healthy soil that allows us to grow organic vegetables. We can learn so much from our natural surroundings.