Finning UK & Ireland, exclusive distributor of Caterpillar equipment, and Cat Financial, have planted 5,000 trees as part of an initiative in partnership with One Tree Planted, a charity dedicated to global reforestation efforts.
Over their lifetime, these trees will absorb enough carbon to counteract the charging of 318 million mobile phones or the consumption of 245,580 gallons of diesel, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s calculator.
The company is inviting the rest of the UK’s 343,000 construction companies to join it in doing the same in 2021, a challenge which, if met, could see enough trees planted to cover an area at least twice the area of Greater London.
Part of an ongoing project, Finning UK & Ireland’s 5,000 trees were planted in the New Forest, UK, and the Amazon rain forest in a bid to mitigate the carbon emissions released by Caterpillar operations. The number represents one tree per machine sold by Caterpillar in 2019, and this legacy is continuing in 2020 and beyond.
“Our industry supplies its customers with equipment that consumes resources and has an impact on our environment,” explains Peter Seaman, customer experience and marketing manager at Finning UK & Ireland. “In fact, 10% of the world’s carbon emissions are directly associated with the construction industry, according the UK Green Building Council.
“But the building industry is a force for good, it’s essential in every way,” Seaman continues. “Every hospital, every wind turbine, every recycling facility is built by a whole series of articulated trucks, asphalt pavers and backhoe loaders, to pick just three of dozens of indispensable machines. So, until we can create more environmentally sustainable vehicles, and beyond that point, we will be planting trees to help counteract our industry’s emissions.”
As well as their capacity to absorb CO2, trees capture rainwater and reduce the risk of floods and landslides. In fact, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Association one tree can intercept more than 15,000 litres of water each year.