News | 18 Oct 2023

Climate change: getting to the root of the matter with trees

The winner of the 2023 Vodafone Business Woman of the Year Innovation Award brings an entrepreneurial approach to building a more sustainable world.

Scientist, entrepreneur, environmentalist: it is tempting to describe Dr Alicja Dzieciol’s achievements to date as a clean sweep. This is an apt summary, too, since the winner of the 2023 Vodafone Business Woman of the Year Innovation Award earned the accolade for her pioneering work in building a cleaner, more sustainable world.

Dr Dzieciol was shortlisted for the award alongside Dr Enass Abo-Hamed, founder and CEO of H2GO Power, and Anna Brailsford, CEO and co-founder of Code First Girls.

After receiving the award from Vodafone’s Miryem Salah and pop culture icon Emma Bunton, Dr Dzieciol said: “Much of my success is due to the people around me. I believe that behind every “successful” person is a cast of supporters who are just as inspiring – if not more so – as the person on stage receiving the award.” Salah is the Chief Data Officer & Head of Digital & Transformation at Vodafone Business.

Motivated by her love of nature, and equipped with a PhD in Chemistry, Dr Dzieciol co-founded SilviBio in 2019 with the aim of mitigating the climate crisis through products designed to increase tree seed germination and seedling survival. Today, as CEO, she is responsible for running the team, securing partnerships, and managing the growing business.

How the Internet of Things is helping Defra and Forest Research understand our forests

Vodafone has been working with Defra and Forest Research since July 2020 to investigate how Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) technology could help monitor tree growth and support research into the role trees play in tackling climate change. 

SilviBio develops moisture-retaining materials for seed coatings and soil conditioners, designed to help farmers and forestry organisations to grow plants efficiently, even under dry conditions. By minimising the effects of water scarcity on seeds and seedlings, SilviBio works to ensure that the commitments from governmental and private groups to plant more trees will actually lead to healthy trees, as they are increasing the likelihood that the trees planted will successfully germinate and survive past their adolescent seedling phase. Dr Dzieciol is working with Forestry and Land Scotland to help increase their nursery productivity, for example.

The pioneering soil conditioners and seed coatings are but one step on the way to a more sustainable future. As the company puts it, “SilviBio’s role is to be one of the myriad of flagstones that will pave this pathway to a more equitable and environmentally conscientious world”.

Vodafone Business has sponsored the annual Women of the Year awards for the past several years.

Stay up-to-date with the very latest news from Vodafone by following us on Twitter and LinkedIn and signing up for News Centre website notifications.