Leading sustainable packaging company DS Smith has announced it has funded the planting of 29,000 trees – one for each employee – in celebration of the UN-backed International Day of Forests.
This milestone is one element of a multi-year global partnership launched in July 2021 between the DS Smith Charitable Foundation and One Tree Planted, an environmental charity supporting reforestation around the world. As part of this partnership, DS Smith committed to planting more than 50,000 trees across Europe and North America over five years in the countries where it operates.
The species for each tree-planting initiative have been carefully selected to best support the local ecosystem and enhance biodiversity. Nearly 80% of the 29,000 trees are due to be planted by the end of March, with the rest scheduled for planting by the end of the year. The project will not only positively impact wildlife species native to the rich and unique landscapes, but also support a variety of community, volunteering, and job opportunities.
Wouter van Tol, Head of Sustainability, Community and Government Affairs at DS Smith said:
“As a large global company and a leader in sustainable packaging, we are committed to protecting and caring for the natural environment wherever we operate. As part of our Now and Next Sustainability Strategy we are enhancing biodiversity through projects like this, and I am delighted to see the progress that has been made through our partnership with One Tree Planted.
“Planting native trees in areas where they are needed most helps to regenerate nature, which is one of the key pillars of the circular economy as defined by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and contributes to tackling climate change. It allows us to have a direct positive impact on the natural environment while supporting local communities.”
Louis Lagoutte, Branch Manager, One Tree Planted said:
“Tree planting has a real impact on enhancing biodiversity and reducing the effects of climate change. We are proud to work with partners such as DS Smith who are dedicated to sustainability and take action to protect natural resources.”
The partnership programme includes planting 4,000 trees in Leiria Pine Forest, Portugal, which was devastated by a forest fire in 2017, 6,000 trees across Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Virginia, US, including native species that reduce wildfire risk, and 4,000 trees in Essex, UK, to connect forest habitats. Other projects announced in 2021 also include the planting of 10,000 trees in Romania and 5,000 trees in Denmark.
In addition to their work with One Tree Planted and as part of DS Smith’s Now and Next Sustainability Strategy, the company is committed to funding 100 biodiversity projects across Europe and North America by 2025, from wildflower meadows and community gardens to bug hotels and ponds.