Massive Tree-Planting Programme Comes to Town

| 17 January 2019

Konica Minolta and Food & Trees for Africa partnership beautifies communities, reduces carbon footprint and spreads environmental consciousness.

Konica Minolta Witbank has donated 977 trees to schools in eMalahleni and surrounds, as part of a 12-year partnership between NPO Food & Trees for Africa and Konica Minolta South Africa, planting trees across the country to offset carbon emissions and teach environmental awareness.

A ceremony this morning saw 30 fruit trees planted at Mohlamme High School in Dennilton, as well as a demonstration by FTFA – following full safety and social-distancing protocols – to educate pupils on the importance of protecting the environment and minimising our carbon footprint. 

The 30 trees will offset more than 11 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). They form part of a 977-tree donation to schools in the Witbank area.

"I feel very humbled to receive trees from Konica Minolta Witbank, because trees are a type of medication, like a clinic to our spirits,” said Mohlamme principal PT Madisa. “They purify our spirits and it's not every day we receive a gift like this.”

The latest donation brings the total number of trees planted to 50 978 since the start of the Konica Minolta South Africa partnership with FTFA in 2008.

“This is the first tree planting in the Witbank area for Konica Minolta Witbank,” said Empie Deyzel, owner of Konica Minolta Witbank. “It’s exciting to be a part of such a far-reaching project, and to match our nominated schools with trees. It’s important that over this time we continue to do what we can to protect the environment."

The tree-planting programme has already reached 1 011 schools and 52 community centres across the country, as well as 11 639 homes, for a total estimated CO2e offset of 18 811 tonnes. 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.

"At Food and Trees for Africa, we have adjusted our tree-planting events to incorporate social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing to ensure the safety of all participants,” said FTFA’s Emily Jones. “We believe that these important activities must continue as an opportunity for learning and environmental protection."

The significant carbon offsets achieved by the tree-planting programme have enabled Konica Minolta South Africa to achieve and maintain carbon-neutral status since 2013, while also driving the company’s brand purpose of helping communities become more environmentally conscious in the face of accelerating climate change.