In another successful partnership between an environmental NGO and a responsible corporate sponsor, a hectare of carbon-balancing bamboo plants arrive for the benefit of a vulnerable community.
Avis Rent a Car continue to contribute to their sustainability drive and in a recent collaboration with Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), planted a hectare of bamboo plants at Blue Disa, south west of Johannesburg.
Chief Executive of Avis, Wayne Duvenage says, “Our goal was to offset vehicle emissions from this year’s Put Foot Rally, an event that saw crews travel throughout Africa discovering the many loved, admired and respected destinations and in support of one of South Africa’s young and dynamic charities: `The Bobs for Good Foundation”.
Bamboo helps the community
Avis has always believed that environmental responsibility is one of their top priorities to help make the world a little greener. With this in mind, Avis partnered with Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) in their Bamboo for Africa programme. Among some 1 200 uses, Bamboo also provides a high impact carbon sequestration opportunity with multi faceted community beneficiation and is the largest and fastest growing plant on the planet. The programme is introduced to the community with plantings at public schools and on open/tribal land.
Blue Disa is a community based organisation on the outskirts of Lawley Township 25Km south west of Johannesburg. Reverend Kopano Mohapi is the CEO and runs a feeding scheme for 300 children on a daily basis and is entrenched in the local community development. They applied for and were allocated a derelict farm adjoining the community, which is being developed to become a hybrid food crop and energy plantation farm. The farm will produce food and sustainable solid and liquid fuels to the community. The sponsors such as Avis, who support this community development, will in return get VCS credits to offset their carbon footprints.
231 bamboo plants fill a hectare
From the data collected it was calculated that 26 bamboo plants would need to be planted, but Avis chose to increase that number in order to fill a hectare of land, planting 231 bamboo plants in total. The bamboo was planted by a dedicated team from Avis and partners, FTFA.
Avis was able to fund this project with the recycling rebates received from EnviroServ, who were appointed in May 2010 to assist with the management of its integrated waste management programme, which is largely focused on office waste and household recyclables.
FTFA founder, Jeunesse Park, who recently presented Al Gore’s 24 Hours of Reality, says, “Climate change and environmental issues need to enter the public domain so more people become aware of the role they can play in ensuring a sustainable future. Avis demonstrates that when being green is a company policy, the impacts are powerfully felt.’
“We have made it part of our core mission to consciously make an effort in bettering our carbon footprint through initiatives such as this one,” concludes Duvenage.