Utility Warehouse’s Tree-Planting Initiative Flourishes
“Over the next few months, we’re going to fill these 70 hectares of hillside with over 100,000 trees. That’s more native broadleaf trees than were planted across the whole of Wales last year.” – Andrew Lindsay, Co-CEO of Utility Warehouse
Utility Warehouse, also known as UW, teamed up with the charity Stump Up For Trees in March 2020 to launch their tree-planting initiative. The multiservice provider promised to fund the planting of a new tree for every new customer that signs up to all its services. A little while after, UW also launched the ‘Get Your Hands Dirty’ campaign, empowering their Partners – licensed distributors of its services – to get involved.
Since the first tree was planted on the Welsh hillside of Bryn Arw, the UW Woodland has grown to over 130,000 trees– and counting. The 70 hectare site is bigger 73 Wembley pitches put together. Over 32,000 tonnes of CO2 absorbed over the course of the woodland creation project. It’s a testament to how committed UW is to making a positive impact on the environment.
“We met a few organisations interested in sponsoring us, but UW were by far the best. Ethically, they’re streets ahead of everybody else. They’re leading the way in actually taking responsibility for the carbon footprint of their product.” – Keith Powell, Founder of Stump Up for Trees
Why it’s important other companies take action like UW
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 75% of people across the globe trust their employer to ‘do the right thing’, while fewer than 50% trust their government to do so. Rather than waiting for the government to decide on a course of action and then follow through, people are increasingly looking to their companies to take initiative in helping the environment.
“If England and Wales carry on planting at the current rates, it’ll take us a century to plant as many trees as Ethiopia managed in a day.” – Keith Powell, Founder of Stump Up for Trees
UW’s nationwide network of Partners also get involved in the company’s other green initiatives. From helping to get spades (and then trees) in the ground to running litter picking events, the sense of community and responsibility is as strong throughout the wider network as it is throughout the business. Partners can also organise their own fundraising events to support The UW Foundation – UW’s foundation in partnership with Charities Trust.
‘Get Your Hands Dirty’ is a call to action that resonates not just with UW, but with absolutely everyone. The business worked with local Welsh artist, Mick Petts, to etch this message into the thick bracken covering Bryn Arw, creating a natural billboard. In the absence of trees, and with the advancement of climate change, the bracken has grown so fast and densely that it’s stifled biodiversity. The planting of more trees seeks to balance this effect out, giving more space for other things to grow, as well as absorbing CO2.
“We all have to put our hands up and become responsible for what needs to be done. ‘Get Your Hands Dirty’ is all about getting involved, responding to the challenge of climate change and planting trees. This couldn’t be more important.” – Mick Petts, Welsh artist