Published on 15 Feb 2023
Planting The Seeds Of Hope
As a company and as individuals, we recognise that climate change is the single greatest threat to life on earth in all its forms.
It’s a crisis that’s been a point of discussion within our team for some time, and it’s the reason why we’ve given a lot of thought to how we can make a positive contribution to sustainability in our own way. And in our own way, we want to be planting the seeds of hope. The clock’s ticking, and we all need to consider the actions we can take, now and into the future, that will create a positive and lasting legacy.
Having worked around the world on film shoots for various clients, the reality of climate change is something we’ve witnessed first-hand, for some time, as in the photo above taken on a film project in Kenya in a region that has faced severe drought as a result of climate change.
As a team consisting of professionals who all share the same hopes and concerns for the future, we want to make a tangible impact in whatever way we can. Some of these are personal actions, and others are related to the positive effect we can make as a company.
It’s concerns like these that have led us to think hard about ways we can minimise the emissions of our film production activity. One of the ways we try to address this is through our use of local film crews wherever possible. Other measures we’ve taken also include encouraging our team to use low-impact modes of commuting, optimising our data management, and reducing our waste. We’re also on a journey to become B-Corp certified as a company. But there’s more we can and will be doing, and this year we’re looking forward to making even greater strides on our journey to becoming as sustainable as possible.
As our team was in the process of wrapping up on 2022, we took the decision as a company to make a small but important contribution to the restoration of indigenous forests, by planting 40 trees in an area of South Africa where an important long-term ecosystem restoration programme is taking place. We did this as an acknowledgment of thanks to our longstanding client, FICO, who have a proud track record of their own Environmental, Social and Governance standards, and who have an interest in how some of their customers play their part, too.
A month after we initiated the planting of the 40 trees, we checked in about the progress of the planting, and were thrilled to hear back that the trees had already been planted! As a positive way to start the year, this was a highlight for us and has encouraged us to think about other ways we can continue to make a difference. And with two South Africans on our team who share a deep appreciation for the incredible biodiversity of their home country, the opportunity to make a positive contribution in this way was something that made a lot of sense.
Located at Bodhi Khaya in the Uilenkraal Valley in the Western Cape Province, this ambitious restoration programme is being driven by Greenpop, the highly-acclaimed non-profit organisation that’s on a mission to plant trees, bring about the greening of communities and empower environmental stewards. Through their Forests for Life programme, Greenpop form long-term partnerships with small-scale organisations across Sub-Saharan Africa and provide support to plant trees, restore forest and woodland habitats, effectively manage critical catchment areas, and improve the lives of communities that rely on forest resources.
The 40 trees planted were selected from a range of appropriate indigenous species, and will take around 40 to 50 years to mature. By the time they’re 25 years old, the general estimate is that each tree would see about 0.5 to 0.75 tonnes of carbon sequestered per tree. With 40 trees, that adds up to a valuable amount of carbon being added to the local biome, both above and below ground.
Through this donation of trees, we’re making a small but important contribution that will go on to have a positive impact: for the local communities who are involved in the work of maintaining the restored forests, and by playing a part in helping restore the integrity of important afromontane forests. That the area the 40 trees have been planted in is also the location of Africa’s southernmost forest is another aspect that makes us feel particularly proud.
Among the species of trees planted are some considered to be keystone species. These perform a crucial role in providing shelter, food and shade to a wide range of insects, animals and other plants that occur naturally in the area where they’ve been planted by Greenpop and its volunteers. All of the species have been carefully selected on the basis of being appropriate to the location. Some of these are rare or endangered as a result of having been felled for timber, or harvested for traditional medicines to the extent that they’re now scarce in their original home ranges.
For the gardeners and plant lovers out there, the list of tree species which Greenpop plant in the Uilenkraal Valley area include White Milkwood, Wild Olive, Wild Peach, White Stinkwood, White Pear, Tree Fuchsia, Red Alder, Assegai and Cape Holly. And it’s a selection of these that were planted as our gesture of thanks to FICO.
With the location of the trees pinpointed by GPS, our team will be able to check in with Greenpop down the line and see how the trees are coming along – and in a few years’ time, we may even be able to visit and walk amongst them, and see for ourselves how a decision taken in the UK in December 2022 has had a lasting positive impact for biodiversity in the southernmost forest in Africa.