Daikin, leading makers of airconditioning and heating systems, have moved their environmental policies up a notch by partnering with Trees4Business to plant 3,500 trees in the world-renowned Alladale Eco-reserve in Scotland. Britain is perhaps the poorest European country with regard to forests, where only 12% of land is wooded, compared with an average of 32% in other European countries, so reforestation is needed. Woodland absorbs damaging carbon dioxide and helps the country retain biodiversity by providing habitats for incredible numbers of species - from insects to beavers.
Daikin have always been in the forefront of environmentally conscious businesses: they have often set their own environmental goals, or exceeded the targets of government regulations. Since 2001 a culture of ‘environmental management’ has played a key role in the company’s day to day activities and development strategies. These encompass sustainable use of energy, ozone-friendly refrigerants in their products, highly energy-efficient airconditioning units, recycling and waste reduction, eco-conscious design, and continuous staff involvement in creating cleaner, greener manufacturing.
The 3,500 trees Daikin have planted will absorb on average 1 tonne of carbon each over their lifetime of 100 years. The trees are a mixture of UK native trees including Caledonian pine, alder, holly, aspen and oak which are situated in an outstanding area of natural beauty in the Scottish Highlands: the Alladale Wilderness Reserve. This groundbreaking project is intended to restore the area to its pristine state prior to deforestation. The results already show tremendous success: many species of animals and birds are thriving there, including Wild Boar, Pine Marten, Badger, Red Fox, Mountain Hare, Otter, Golden Eagle and Osprey. Red Squrrels and the very endangered Scottish Wildcat (fewer than 400 remain) are the subjects of research projects aimed at increasing their numbers. Recently seven European Bison were re-introduced after being hunted virtually to extinction in Scotland. They will play an important role as browsers in maintaining mixed biodiversity-rich habitat of woodland and grassland.
The Alladale reserve also helps youngsters relish outdoor adventure. With the Challenger Trust, it works in partnership with schools and their pupils. This year 220 students from seven local schools spent four days and nights wild camping on the reserve to learn vital life-skills, including team-building, problem-solving and the essentials of conservation work. The intention is to spread this programme to benefit other areas of Scotland in future.
Daikin's global management are committed to working together as a united team to achieve the ambitious goals the company has set themselves, in the confidence that they will emerge as a stronger presence in the twenty-first century. Daikin's philosophy is to lead in environmentally-friendly practices. Peter Verkempynck, Managing Director, Daikin UK said: “We are delighted that we can work with Carbon Managers to take part in the trees for business campaign. As a highly innovative company focused on reducing carbon emissions through our extensive product range of renewable technologies, we felt that we could do more as a business to offset our own carbon emissions. This initiative has given us the perfect opportunity to do so whilst supporting endangered wildlife and charitable causes.”