Konica Minolta South Africa, and Food and Trees for Africa (FTFA) have been awarded the Prism Bronze Award for Excellence and Leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility. Celebrating excellence in public relations, the award was presented during the 23rd Prism Award ceremony, held online on 15 May 2020. It recognises the partnership’s longstanding tree planting initiative, which has seen more than 50 000 trees planted across South Africa over the past 12 years.
Planting for the future
In 2008, Konica Minolta SA established a partnership with FTFA to plant trees to offset the company’s carbon footprint, and thereby combat climate change. The project further aims to educate youth as to the importance of planting trees, as well as inspire other companies to implement sustainable initiatives and adhere to carbon tax laws.
The initiative has also sought to commemorate the life of Nelson Mandela, by planting trees in areas connected with his legacy. Ogilvy assisted in establishing a partnership with the Robben Island Museum (RIM), and in 2019, 101 trees were planted on Robben Island, celebrating the 101st anniversary of Madiba’s birth and supporting RIM’s long-term plan to rehabilitate sustainable vegetation on the island.
More recently, Konica Minolta SA celebrated planting their 50 000th tree by donating 1,500 trees for planting across Soweto, expected to offset an estimated 555.5 tons of CO2e in their lifetime.
Benefitting communities today
In addition to meeting – and frequently exceeding – the PR objectives set for the project, the initiative has had a far-reaching impact on the communities and environments with which it has interacted. Over the past 12 years, Konica Minolta SA has donated trees to 1,037 beneficiary organisations, including 985 schools, 52 community centres and 11,639 homes. The trees help to prevent both erosion and water overflow, and fruit trees play a role in supporting food security. Around 3 500 learners have been educated as to the importance of planting trees, and 129 community educators have been trained.
About the award
The PRISMs are Africa’s most sought after public relations and communication awards. They are awarded to individuals, students, consultancies, companies, government organisations and NGOs that have “successfully fused strategy with creativity and professionalism to achieve the best communications and business objectives in their public relations campaigns”. More than 67 leading industry professionals judge the awards – along with 10 up and coming young judges, as part of the PRISMs Young Voices initiative.
The Bronze Award presented to Ogilvy, Konica Minolta SA and FTFA was the only award presented in the category of Corporate Social Responsibility.