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Hughes Insurance to assist Woodland Trust Northern Ireland

Hughes Insurance and Woodland Trust Northern Ireland have joined forces to plant thousands of trees in NI by 2022. 

The relationship aims to reduce the Newtownards based insurance broker’s carbon footprint whilst increasing the number of trees being planted in NI by the Bangor based charity.

Hughes intend to donate £2 to Woodland Trust Northern Ireland for every customer that switches to e-mail based communications.  As one of Northern Ireland’s largest insurance brokers, Hughes aim to encourage up to 80% of their customers to switch by 2022, as they plan their journey to become a carbon neutral business.

Ian McCurley, Chief Executive of Woodland Trust NI commented: “Northern Ireland is one of the least-wooded regions in Europe, with just 8% woodland cover compared with the European average of 37%.  Our role is to stand up for trees, protect our woods and increase woodland cover locally for the benefit of people, wildlife and climate.  The partnership with Hughes Insurance is an excellent example of how progressive local businesses can get involved and help us increase woodland cover throughout NI whilst reducing their own carbon footprint.”

The partnership with Woodland Trust Northern Ireland has been established to facilitate the planting of thousands of additional trees in Northern Ireland.

Don Brennan, Trading Director at Hughes Insurance advised: “As a local business, with local staff, we are passionate about reducing our carbon footprint and protecting the environment.  Our partnership with the Woodland Trust Northern Ireland provides us with tangible targets that we can focus on to offset our carbon footprint.  A business of our scale, and the administrative nature of our processes, means we produce huge amounts of printed materials that often go unread.  Whilst our target of 80% is ambitious we believe it’s achievable as the entire team is committed to driving this change.  So far this year nearly 10% of customers have changed their preferences meaning 47% of customers have now switched to paperless communications.  Simply put, our goal is to use less paper and help plant more trees.”

The Woodland Trust has been established in NI for 20 years and manage 50 woods across the country.  Many of these woodlands recently experienced a surge in visitor numbers during lockdown as the public chose to take their daily exercise in these free to visit locations.

Don concluded: “We are excited to be working with Woodland Trust Northern Ireland and look forward to supporting them and their ongoing objectives of offsetting carbon emissions, protecting wildlife and tackling climate change.”