Phoenix Natural Gas, together with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), have this month reached their Year 2 target of planting 8,000 native trees in communities and wooded areas across NI. The thriving partnership has now seen out its second year, and on the cusp of entering into its third year, has reached a grand total of some 16,000 trees planted, across a variety of tree species including oak and willow which are the two best carbon-dioxide absorbing species.
Beyond its commitment to enhancing the great outdoors, the partnership also saw a series of environmental education sessions rolled out within local primary schools to provide young people with a knowledge of how to take positive climate action. The series, which teaches children how to become ‘Planet Protectors’, also encouraged them to get involved in tree planting, biodiversity enhancement and conservation activities in their local community.
Speaking about the conservation partnership, Michael McKinstry, Chief Executive at Phoenix Natural Gas said: “Environmental responsibility has always been a core attribute of how we do business, not least through the carbon savings that consumers can make by switching to gas. We as an industry are fully engaged in developing the renewable gas solutions which can further enhance the green credentials of the gas consumers use to heat their homes, now and into the future. In doing so, we will play a key role in the delivery of net-zero targets for home heating.
“Through our partnership with The Conservation Volunteers we have been able to enhance local green spaces by providing communities with trees to plant in their local areas and enabling more people to get active and involved in the environment around them. We are delighted at the opportunities that have been afforded to our employees to get involved in the tree planting and other biodiversity tasks at the wonderful TCV tree nursery in Cultra.”
A relentless focus on improving and preserving the environment is at the heart of the vision for The Conservation Volunteers. Speaking about the new partnership with Phoenix Natural Gas, David Morton, Assistant Director at The Conservation Volunteers said: “We are delighted to have reached this milestone, which demonstrates the growing strength of our partnership with Phoenix Natural Gas and the positive impacts we are making in local communities and to our environment. Tree planting is seen as one of the biggest and most affordable ways of taking CO2, out of the atmosphere and helping to tackle the climate crisis. With Northern Ireland being the least wooded area in the UK we are delighted with the ongoing support we have received from Phoenix Natural Gas to help increase our tree coverage.
“It has proven itself to be a successful and sustainable partnership from the support of the Phoenix Team out on the ground with us, to the financial support which helps enable us to continue the great community work we carry out.”
Environmental Responsibility is a core element of the Phoenix Natural Gas Responsible Business Programme, full details of which can be found at: www.phoenixnaturalgas.com/about-us/phoenix-group/corporate-responsibility