Konica Minolta South Africa, a division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd, planted 2500 fruit and indigenous trees in September 2015 in celebration of Arbor Month. A mixture of indigenous saplings of between 1.1m and 1.5m in size were planted at each of the 67 schools in need across the country selected as the recipients of this much needed greenery.
This will be followed with a further 1500 in February 2016 and an additional 1000 trees to be planted in March 2016. The planting will be conducted through South Africa’s first environmental social enterprise, Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA).
The new pledge of 5000 trees by Konica Minolta South Africa will take the total number of trees donated by the company across the country since 2008 to just over 26000. Between January and June 2015, the organisation planted 5 271 trees as part of its 2014 financial year commitment.
Throughout Arbor Month, schools and community centres in five cities – Cape Town (4 September), Nelson Mandela Bay (7 September), Rustenburg (11 September), Tshwane (15 September) and Johannesburg (29 September) received a total of 2500 trees, 500 per city through Konica Minolta South Africa’s donations. Further plantings of 500 trees per city will take place in George, Nelspruit and Newcastle in February 2016, followed by Upington and Pietermaritzburg in March 2016.
‘Protecting the environment and education are two initiatives that Konica Minolta South Africa takes very seriously,’ said Ritchi Smith, marketing coordinator at Konica Minolta South Africa. ‘Through our partnership with FTFA, we have been able to provide these schools with not only shade and fruit, while creating a greener environment, but have also allowed their learners to nurture and care for these trees, a skill that can be used beyond the schoolyard.’
‘The recipients of the trees planted by Konica Minolta South Africa are groups that are involved in FTFA’s Trees for All programme, which greens, educates, offsets carbon emissions and transforms schools and other community centres into healthier, more sustainable environments,’ said Chris Wild, executive director of FTFA.
‘We respond to applications for trees from communities living in barren, dusty townships and deliver trees with instructions on how to plant and maintain them. Millions of trees have been distributed to schools, clinics, old age homes, hospices, police stations and other community centres, but there are calls for many more.’