Gula Gula is an initiative of CO2Operate B.V.


The social enterprise CO 2 Operate B.V., the parent company behind the Gula Gula Food Forest Program, was established in 2008 by Paul Burgers. Through CO 2 Operate, we collaborate with companies and non-profit organizations to reduce their ecological and environmental footprints, supply chains, services and products. Reducing carbon emissions and the so-called carbon equivalents are a crucial factor toward diminishing the negative environmental impacts of business. Carbon offsetting of unavoidable emissions with us is unique as it has not only significant potential to shift production beyond business-as-usual towards carbon neutrality, but will at the same time support the achievement of various global goals (the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs).

Birth of CO2Operate


‘The entire plan developed when I was living and working in Indonesia for the World Agroforestry Centre in Bogor. I was doing long term field work in the buffer zones of National Parks on nature-inclusive agriculture with a focus on agroforestry. At that time, the local people repeatedly asked me what I was going to do with all of the information and knowledge they were sharing with me. They wanted to know if I would come back to help them to move out of poverty. When I moved back to the Netherlands, I got the opportunity to write about my experiences—and all of my findings—in a PhD thesis. 

With every finished chapter I felt a growing need to give something back. I wanted to use the results to work with the local people of West Sumatra to develop a system that not only enabled the restoration of their degraded lands, but would also link local communities with innovative businesses interested in advancing more sustainable trade. With growing investment opportunities coming from the carbon off-setting market, CO 2 Operate B.V. was born a few years after I finished my PhD.

Paul Burgers

Building business sustainability


Today’s business landscape is increasingly competitive. Sustainability is more than a donation or environmental gesture—it makes long-term economic sense. CO 2 Operate BV now implements a very unique way to off-set carbon where clients invest in the local community to build up an income generating food forest on degraded land in a transparent and proven way. By investing in the Gula Gula Food Forest, companies and organizations do not need to choose between environmental or social impact: we do both. By working with Gula Gula, all of our clients are armed with a concrete action plan to build business acumen and fulfill a commitment to a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Direct SDG's


Spin off SDG's