A tree-planting ceremony was held on 19 February at Tshegofatsong Special School in Mamelodi East, where pupils came together to plant trees. The initiative served to educate pupils on the importance of protecting the environment and the benefits of minimising our carbon footprint.
The event was made possible through the collaborative efforts of Konica Minolta Indaba, Konica Minolta South Africa and Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA). Konica Minolta Indaba, an authorised dealer of Konica Minolta South Africa, recently joined the Konica Minolta South Africa tree-donation initiative.
Konica Minolta South Africa’s and FTFA’s tree-planting partnership is now in its 11th year. FTFA is an organisation dedicated to addressing food security and environmental sustainability, while also emphasising education and skills training.
Before the tree planting ceremony began, students demonstrated traditional dancing to welcome and thank all the parties involved in organising the ceremony, which was well received. Principal Milton Ngobeni was excited that his school was chosen as a beneficiary, ‘We appreciate this donation from Konica Minolta Indaba. The learners were taught skills on how to save water and how to correctly plant trees. This knowledge will go a long way, and can also be used to enrich their homes and their communities.’
‘These types of initiatives are business imperatives,’ said national marketing co-ordinator for Konica Minolta South Africa, Ritchi Smith. ‘Konica Minolta Indaba joining the initiative shows growth in awareness around environmental sustainability. As more people join corporate social initiatives like this, we can reach more communities in need.’
‘These efforts strengthen Konica Minolta’s global sustainability vision,’ explained Smith. ‘This vision has recently earned Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) a Gold Level Recognition Medal in the EcoVadis 2018 sustainability ratings for three years in a row, which places Konica Minolta in the top two percent of suppliers and reflects its corporate philosophy, which drives all of the corporation’s day-to-day business practices. Konica Minolta was also listed among the 2019 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. This is the second time that Konica Minolta has been included on the prestigious Global 100 list.’
‘We are able to continue to green communities that need it most through the support of sponsors like Konica Minolta South Africa. The company has enabled us to respond to thousands of applications for fruit and shade trees over the past 11 years,’ said Emily Jones, trees and carbon programme manager of FTFA.
Konica Minolta South Africa has donated a total of 42,218 trees, including 4600 bamboo and 124 tree-equivalent spekboom, both of which are particularly effective at removing carbon from the atmosphere.
The planting has offset an estimated 15,578 tons of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent), enabling Konica Minolta South Africa to achieve carbon-neutral status, mitigate global warming and improve air quality, in line with its broader commitment to sustainable business practices. The tree donations will also help prevent water overflow and erosion, while the fruit trees planted will support food security in South Africa.
‘Plants and trees are the lifeblood of humanity,’ said Smith. ‘They give us the oxygen we breathe, the food we eat, our shelter and shade. Konica Minolta South Africa is excited to continue this partnership with its authorised dealers and Food & Trees for Africa, as together we can impact many more lives.’
Konica Minolta South Africa’s ongoing tree donation has reached 787 beneficiary organisations, including 757 schools and 30 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.