Konica Minolta South Africa Plants 2 500 Trees Nationwide in Celebration of Arbor Month

by Konica Minolta SA

Cape Town branch, from left to right: Albert Julie, Stacey Jepthas, Jan Cloete, Carol Harris, Sue Purcell

In its continued commitment to the environment, Konica Minolta South Africa, a division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd, has planted 2 500 fruit and indigenous trees in September 2015 in celebration of Arbor Month. This will be followed with a further 1 500 in February 2016 and an additional 1 000 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).

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.

The new pledge of 5 000 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 26 000.  (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 2 500 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, explains 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 nuture and care for these trees, a skill that can be used beyond the schoolyard.”

Says Chris Wild, executive director of FTFA: “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.

“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.”

About Food & Trees for Africa
Started in 1990, FTFA is a South African social enterprise whose objectives are:
·         To contribute to greening, climate change action, sustainable natural resource management, permaculture food security and organic farming.
·         To create awareness of the benefits of environmental improvement activities amongst all communities of southern Africa.
·         To contribute to local economic enterprise, sustainable development, enhanced environments, capacity building and skills development.

FTFA has distributed 4.5-million trees, facilitated the creation of thousands of natural food gardens and mentored commercial farmers and established organic farms in many of the poorest communities in the country.

FTFA launched the first South African carbon calculator and established some of the most important environmental recognition programmes in the country, such as the Climate Hero Awards and as well as the Carbon Protocol.

FTFA works in partnership with the government, private and public sectors, aid agencies, private organisations, media and individuals to achieve our goals. We believe that the environment and food security are non-political, non-denominational causes which should nurtured by all segments of society.

This approach leads to healthier lives for people in impoverished communities, more sustainable green environments and increased awareness of how we human beings impact the planet and what we can do to address this.

For a complete list of FTFA’s history, development partners, board members, patrons, employees, projects, products, media, audited financial statements and more, please refer to our website: www.trees.co.za

About Konica Minolta South Africa:
Recently named as international Konica Minolta Distributor of the Year for the ninth time, Konica Minolta South Africa is a leader in advanced document management technologies. A division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd, the company focuses on complete business solutions, including production print systems, digital presses, multifunctional products (MFPs), managed print services, vertical application solutions and related services and supplies. The company has also achieved carbon-neutral status for the second year in a row, making it one of the first corporate companies in South Africa to offset its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions.

About Arbor Month
Arbor Month is an annual celebration in the greening world of the importance of trees in climate change action, in sustainable environmental management and in providing self-sufficiency for communities.

About Arbor Week
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), as the custodian of forestry in South Africa, is responsible for the Arbor Week campaign, which is celebrated from 1 to 7 September annually.

FTFA: Ansie Vicente, 011 656 9802, comms@trees.org.za

Konica Minolta South Africa, a division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd: Ritchi Smith, 0800 bizhub, ritchis@kmsa.com 

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