Here at Shred Station, one of our main focuses is to measure and control our environmental impacts. We have zero-tolerance for landfill, and we recycle 100% of the paper we shred at UK paper mills. We recycle all other materials we shred, too. Additionally, our head office is entirely powered by solar, our fleet of shredding vehicles is eco-friendly, and we operate a Shred a Tonne, Plant a Tree scheme here in the UK.
Recently though, we decided to do more.
Working with Natural Capital Partners, we were able to further reduce the carbon emissions of our vehicles and premises to net zero. As a result, Shred Station was awarded official CarbonNeutral company certification. The journey into receiving this certification meant investing more into renewables, as well as committing to a carbon offsetting project. The project we chose was The Uganda Community Reforestation Project.
Who is Natural Capital Partners?
Natural Capital Partners are expert in the delivery of solutions for positive impact on carbon and renewable energy. Not only this, but the company also partners with more than 350 projects in 32 countries, including the Uganda Community Reforestation Project. We chose to support this project as part of our CarbonNeutral company certification.
What is the Uganda Community Reforestation Project?
The Uganda Community Reforestation Project allows farmers in four districts in southwest Uganda to volunteer to enrol in a reforestation programme. If the farmers want to volunteer, they choose to plant as many trees as they can reasonably afford, while keeping the rest of their land for agricultural purposes. Farmers who enrol then receive money for the trees they grow successfully. They also receive education around water stewardship, health and wellbeing, economic growth, food security, and energy access.
Many areas in Uganda, now home to the project, were previously deforested for settlement purposes generations ago. Nearby trees were also chopped down in order to boil water in attempts to make it safer to drink. As a result, many areas in Uganda were stripped of natural biodiversity.
Farmers involved with the project receive yearly payments for each tree they plant successfully, and additional income as their trees grow. As the project areas have grown, tree and plant cover has increased. This has meant habitats for important pollinators, such as bees, as well as local wildlife has also increased.
The project doesn’t just reward farmers for reforestation either; it also encourages sustainable development. The project delivers education and training in conservation farming methods. This includes teaching farmers about tree spacing, agroforestry, composting and crop rotation to maximise land fertility. They also receive tuition on business techniques to maximise the yield of the land. With surplus food to sell, participants have been able to increase their income and improve their quality of life.
One farmer who works with the Community Reforestation Project, Joyce Myrangi, pictured below, said:
One of the other great things about this project is that it aims to further gender equality in Uganda. Farming groups must use a rotating leadership structure to involve both men and women in the management of the projects. Resultantly, women are able to take on managerial responsibility and offered the chance to break away from traditional household roles. With the additional income, as in Joyce’s story, families are able to improve their standard of living and education.
We asked Natural Capital Partners for its own words on why projects like this are so important.
Christiaan Vrolijk, Manager, Global Markets, at Natural Capital Partners commented, With over six million trees planted and more than 8,000 group members, the Uganda Community Reforestation Project is a testament to how carbon offsetting can improve the lives of local communities, local wildlife, and secure the protection of the region’s biodiversity. Around 280,000 hectares (one third) of Uganda’s valuable high forest has been degraded for firewood or agriculture, so projects like this are really important to conserve biodiversity and provide additional income and training to local people.
Why did Shred Station choose this project?
We chose this project as we know the importance of reforestation for the health of our planet, as well as the positive impacts it can have on less economically developed communities.
The project meets 10 of the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development, which are:
- 1 – No Poverty
- 2 – Zero Hunger
- 3 – Good Health and Wellbeing
- 4 – Quality Education
- 5 – Gender Equality
- 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation
- 8 – Decent Work, Good Jobs, and Economic Growth
- 10 – Reduced Inequalities
- 13 – Climate Action / Protect the Planet
- and goal 15 – Life on Land.
You can see the full list of Sustainable Development Goals below:
Additional information about how the Uganda Community Reforestation Project works towards these goals can be found on the Natural Capital Partners’ website.
Our commitment to this project in Uganda this year will mean enough trees are planted to offset the 1,214 tonnes of CO2 emissions that Shred Station is accountable for. Our carbon emissions are already quite low, thanks to our number of existing commitments to sustainability. However, reducing our carbon emissions to net-zero is imperative to our core values. We believe that more businesses should work towards total carbon neutrality, and take the necessary steps to protect our planet’s depleting resources.
For more information about the project, visit Natural Capital Partner’s website by clicking here.
See our full list of accreditations and certifications here.
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