| Dr Andrew Venter, CEO of Wildlands and Peter Cowan, chairman of Unilever South Africa
South Africa is experiencing droughts,
heatwaves and unseasonably cold weather, and so, recognising the crucial
role played by trees in absorbing greenhouse gases that fuel global
warming, Unilever South Africa has, in partnership with Wildlands,
planted 195,770 trees across South Africa.
As part its brightFuture climate action plan to build a world where
everyone lives well and lives sustainably, Unilever is planting one
million indigenous trees in selected areas of South Africa over the next
three years. Launched in September this year, the campaign is off to a
strong start with 195,770 trees already planted to date. These trees,
grown by Wildlands' tree-preneurs, were planted in line with Unilever's
commitment to plant a tree for every pledge or tweet received against
deforestation as part of the brightFuture climate action plan. Since the
campaign launch, over 170,000 pledges and tweets have been received.
Cowan, senior vice-president and chairman of Unilever South Africa,
said: "We launched this tree-planting campaign at the same time as the
Global Goals for Sustainable Development were agreed. The Unilever
Sustainable Living Plan, and this particular campaign on reforestation,
continue to support the Global Goals, particularly the need to take
urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts."
confirmed that the trees, planted with the assistance of Wildlands,
promote sustainable forest management, while fighting climate change by
taking carbon out of the atmosphere.
Cowan said: "Our commitment
to plant one million trees over three years is one small step out of
many taken by Unilever against climate change, along with our recent
commitment communicated at the Paris climate conference for Unilever to
be carbon positive by 2030."
Strong and ambitious action
has been a vocal supporter of strong and ambitious action on climate
change by businesses as well as governments, reflecting the conviction
that the cost of inaction on climate change now exceeds the cost of
According to Dr Andrew Venter from Wildlands, this
project has the power to change the world - and its climate. "Trees have
often been cited as the best technology to fight climate change;
however, it is essential to remember that preventing deforestation is
only one part of the solution - reforestation must occur too. This is
the goal of this tree-planting campaign."
Given the campaign's
promising start, Unilever and Wildlands hope that others will follow
suit, playing their role in making a brighter future for all a reality.
Taking action against climate change is essential, and achievable; and
if the number of pledges received to date is anything to go by, it is a
problem that society believes can and should be solved.
everyone to join us in making pledges on reforestation as we combat
climate change. The 1 million trees we are planting in the next three
years will help to reduce deforestation, alleviate flash flooding caused
by forest degradation, and remove carbon from the atmosphere,"