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Konica Minolta South Africa celebrates Earth Day by planting more trees
International Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on 22 April. To mark this significant occasion, Konica Minolta Highveld* joined Konica Minolta South Africa’s tree-planting initiative in full support of this year’s theme: “Protect our species”.
Konica Minolta South Africa, a division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd, has an 11-year partnership with Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), planting trees across South Africa.
On 16 April, Konica Minolta Highveld joined the team to plant 50 fruit trees at Basizeni Special School in Embalenhle, Secunda. School principal Mirriam Rampai said; “I am so excited that I don't even know what to say!”
Basizeni deputy principal JJ van Wyk delivered a wonderful vote of thanks and especially thanked Konica Minolta Highveld, FTFA, and the school's environmental group and ground staff for: “making their school look beautiful and keeping it environmentally friendly”.
A further 1 440 trees will be planted in communities across Secunda, offsetting an estimated 5 549.8 tons of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent).
FTFA is an organisation dedicated to addressing food security and environmental sustainability, while also emphasising education and skills training.
“Earth Day is an opportunity to raise awareness around the challenges regarding the welfare of the planet,” said FTFA trees and carbon programme manager Emily Jones. “It is also a chance to publicise the accelerating rate of extinction of millions of species, as outlined in this year’s Earth Day campaign goals.”
Other goals are to achieve policy victories that protect broad groups of species as well as individual species and their habitats; to build and activate a global movement that embraces nature and its values; and to encourage individual actions such as adopting a plant-based diet and stopping pesticide and herbicide use.1
“We are leveraging our resources to create a culture that understands the importance of respecting the Earth and its ecosystems, which provide us with life and sustenance," said Ritchi Smith, national marketing co-ordinator for Konica Minolta South Africa. “Planting fruit trees will go a long way to increasing food security and improving the environment in the affected communities.”
A total of 45 198 trees have been planted since the start of the Konica Minolta initiative in 2008, including 4 600 bamboo and 124 tree-equivalent spekboom plants. The planting has offset an estimated 16 678 tons of CO2e, enabling Konica Minolta to achieve carbon-neutral status, mitigating global warming and improving air quality, in line with its broader commitment to sustainable business practices.
Konica Minolta South Africa’s ongoing tree donation has reached 887 beneficiary organisations, including 847 schools and 40 community centres, as well as 11 639 homes. With the programme’s focus on sustainability, 129 community educators have been trained through the tree-planting activities and are now empowered to take the initiative forward across the country.
Mike Pierce, Trees and Carbon Programme Coordinator for FTFA, Morne Pretorius, Managing Director of Konica Minolta Highveld, joining hands with the pupils of Basizeni Special School to plant trees at their school.
Mike Pierce, Trees and Carbon Programme Coordinator for FTFA, teaching a group of pupils the correct way to plant a tree - with the help of Morne Pretorius, Managing Director of Konica Minolta Highveld.
Jeminah Mkhize, facilitator at FTFA, addressing the pupils of Basizeni Special School, along with Morne Pretorius, Managing Director of Konica Minolta Highveld.
Ms Lindiwe Smelani, from Department of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Mirriam Rampai, school principal, with staff from Basizeni Special School, Konica Minolta Highveld, Konica Minolta South Africa as well as Food & Trees for Africa.
* an authorised dealer of Konica Minolta South Africa