Celebrating the planting of 50 000 trees

| 5 February 2020

Konica Minolta South Africa, a division of Bidvest Office & Print, held a tree-planting ceremony in Soweto to mark the 50 000th tree planted through its ongoing partnership with Food and Trees for Africa (FTFA). Over the past eleven years, Konica Minolta SA and FTFA have planted trees at schools across the country – as well as clinics, museums, community centres and RDP homes.

The partnership has seen many trees planted along the Mandela Route, including at Madiba’s birthplace in Mvezo, Eastern Cape; on Robben Island and at other historical landmarks.

 Nelson Mandela was passionate about the youth and education – values Konica Minolta SA strongly supports. The company, therefore, decided to plant trees at sites in Soweto related to the former president, including his first home in Orlando East and at the DOCC YMCA, a community boxing centre where a youthful Madiba trained.

At February’s tree-planting event, children from AB Xuma Primary School gathered at the DOCC YMCA (formerly the Donaldson Orlando Community Centre) for a celebration and learned how to plant a tree and the benefits of doing so. "Besides enjoying shade and a fresh supply of oxygen from the trees, AB Xuma Primary School community will also learn about the different types of leaves on the trees, biodiversity, as well as many aspects of environmental education. During breaks learners as well as educators will socialise easily under the trees. Fauna and flora will eventually multiply and the environment in totality would be significantly healthier in and around our school," said M S Tsotetsi, deputy principal of AB Xuma School.

Trees will also be planted at 50 other schools throughout Soweto.

The planting of 1 500 trees across Soweto brings the total number of trees planted since the 2008 launch of Konica Minolta SA’s initiative to 50 001 (including bamboo and tree-equivalent spekboom plants). These plantings have offset an estimated 18 450.55 tonnes of CO2e and enabled Konica Minolta SA to maintain its carbon-neutral status which the company first achieved in 2013.

Konica Minolta SA’s ongoing donation of trees has reached 1 037 beneficiary organisations, including 985 schools, 52 community centres and 11 639 homes. The programme’s focus on sustainability has led to 129 community educators being trained during the tree-planting activities, empowering them to take the initiative forward across the country.

Planting trees brings many benefits – aside from improving air quality, releasing oxygen and helping to mitigate global warming by sequestering carbon dioxide. Trees also reduce storm-water runoff thereby reducing erosion and possible flooding. They also provide habitat and food for a variety of birds, animals and insects. Hence the significance of Konica Minolta SA’s achievement, and the importance of educating school children and other community members across Soweto in the value of planting trees.

"We are excited to be one of the beneficiaries who was chosen to be part of this greening initiative, and this is going to leave a legacy. Konica Minolta SA and FTFA will be able to come back after decades and see the difference they have made to the community of Orlando," said Portia Tshepe, YMCA general manager.

 Konica Minolta South Africa’s CEO, Marc Pillay, emphasised the importance of the initiative for both the community and the broader environment. “Planting our 50 000th tree is a massive milestone, one that we’re pleased and proud to celebrate. But we’re not stopping here – we want to keep South Africa growing greener!”

About Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe


Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH, based in Langenhagen, Germany, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Konica Minolta Inc., Tokyo, Japan. Konica Minolta enables its clients to champion the digital era: with its unique imaging expertise and data processing capabilities, Konica Minolta creates relevant solutions for its customers and solves issues faced by society. As a provider of comprehensive IT services, Konica Minolta delivers consultancy and services to optimise business processes with workflow automation. The company further offers its customers solutions and managed services in the field of IT infrastructure and IT security as well as cloud environments. With regard to its office printing solutions, "IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Print Transformation 2020 Vendor Assessment" stated that Konica Minolta is "recognised globally as a leader in print transformation". As a strong partner for the professional printing market, Konica Minolta offers business consulting, state-of-the-art technology and software and has established itself as the production printing market leader for more than a decade in Europe (InfoSource). Its Business Innovation Centre in London and four R & D laboratories in Europe enable Konica Minolta to bring innovation forward by collaborating with its customers as well as academic, industrial and entrepreneurial partners. For its innovative service approach that complements their devices perfectly, Konica Minolta was awarded the prestigious ‘"Buyers Lab PaceSetter Award for Serviceability and Support 2020/2021" by Keypoint Intelligence. Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe is represented by subsidiaries and distributors in more than 80 countries in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. With approximately 10,000 employees (as of April 2020), Konica Minolta Europe earned net sales of over 2.34 billion in financial year 2019/2020.


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