Lancashire-based environment charity Ribble Rivers Trust has secured financial support from a range of businesses to aid in woodland creation to tackle carbon emissions and support a healthier environment.
Independent craft brewer BrewDog chose the Trust’s Lancashire Woodland Connect tree planting scheme to offset emissions on its road to becoming a Carbon Negative business and the scheme has also attracted support from Lancashire-based companies TVS Supply Chain Solutions and Beastmaker, which specialises in making wooden training equipment for climbers.
The Trust is also in discussions with a number of other local and national businesses to continue to build momentum and deliver more across the County.
This support is a key step forward in tackling climate change through woodland creation in Lancashire and will bring wider environmental, financial and social benefits to the county.
BrewDog was confirmed as the first corporate backer for the Lancashire Woodland Connect scheme, which aims to plant half a million trees across the county. The commitment is part of BrewDog Tomorrow – an ambitious new plan from the ground-breaking brewer, which outlines bold actions to ensure “we have a planet to make beer for in the future”.
Jack Spees, CEO of Ribble Rivers Trust said:
“We are incredibly excited to be working with BrewDog. Their commitment to reduce and capture Carbon – going beyond carbon neutrality to become Carbon Negative – sets a new benchmark in the fight against climate change.
“Their scientific approach, which goes above and beyond their climate change obligations, will also deliver additional environmental benefits and is perfectly aligned to our work.
“It’s fantastic to see a string of Lancashire-based businesses following BrewDog’s example and we have been encouraged by the level of interest in Lancashire Woodland Connect among the local business community and expect to confirm more sponsors before the end of the year.”
Ribble Rivers Trust launched the Lancashire Woodland Connect campaign in early 2020, alongside partners Lune Rivers Trust and Wyre Rivers Trust, with an ambition to plant more than 500,000 trees, creating 500 hectares of new woodland to support the sequestration of 160,000 tonnes of carbon by 2030.
While sequestering carbon is central to the campaign, the new woodlands will also improve water and air quality, reduce flood risk and increase woodland cover in Lancashire to support greater biodiversity. These additional elements were key to TVS, Beastmaker and Suez in choosing to support Lancashire Woodland Connect.
Jennifer Wilkie, Quality & Environmental Officer of TVS said:
“Our company works internationally and our new sustainability plan includes taking a wide range of actions across the business to reduce our carbon emissions. Supporting the campaign has helped fulfil one of these new commitments and we are proud to be able to invest in the community in which we operate to achieve this.”
Dan Varian at Beastmaker said:
“We are fully committed throughout our business operation to sustainability; from our delivery services, through to manufacture and sourcing materials. Supporting Lancashire Woodland Connect allows us to offset our carbon emissions whilst making the environment a better place for wildlife and people.”
Lancashire is one of the least wooded areas in the UK (at approximately 6 per cent cover) and a huge programme of tree-planting is critical if the county is to meet its obligations to reduce greenhouse gases and slow climate change.
The carbon offsets generated by the Lancashire Woodland Connect campaign provide financial support for landowners to tackle Climate Change, as well as creating richer habitats for wildlife and local communities to enjoy.
The offsets are certified by the Woodland Carbon Code – the only UK government-recognised woodland carbon certification scheme. Ribble Rivers Trust is hoping to leverage all of the carbon sequestered by the campaign to ensure delivery of the 500 hectares of new woodland across the county by 2030.
UK consumers are showing a growing preference for more sustainable products made by companies that are taking action on Climate Change and there is an increasing expectation that manufacturers and retailers do more to reduce their carbon footprint, address climate change and protect the environment as a whole.
Jack Spees added:
“In this period of significant uncertainty and economic challenge, we must look to a green recovery to ensure that we are supporting our local communities to build back a better, more resilient and sustainable economy.
“Through this campaign, and with the support of businesses, we are directly supporting the local economy through inward investment that supports and creates sustainable jobs both directly in the Trust and with the suppliers and contractors who carry out the work.”
Lancashire Woodland Connect seeks to raise £1.6 million annually – more than half from carbon offsets. The remainder is derived from a range of sources such as government and charitable grants as well as donations from the public through its ‘Donate a Tree’ initiative.
By donating a tree, eco-conscious Lancastrians not only get their very own tree planted, the Trust also ensures that it is looked after for 10 years and every donor gets a photo and annual update on the development of the woodland in which their tree is growing.
For more details on this please visit ribbletrust.org.uk/projects/lancashire-woodland-connect and RRT’s Facebook page: facebook.com/RibbleTrust.