In August last year, Hughes Insurance made a commitment to reducing its carbon footprint by announcing a partnership with the Woodland Trust NI. Since then, every customer that has switched to email communications has resulted in Hughes donating £2 to the Woodland Trust NI.
So far over 12,000 customers have chosen paperless communications and £24,646 has been donated to Woodland Trust NI. Last week, to celebrate the broker’s on-going commitment to the partnership, every staff member of the 250 strong workforce received a tree – either a silver birch or an oak tree – to plant and enjoy at home.
The money donated by the firm to the Woodland Trust NI will be used to plant more trees locally and protect Northern Ireland’s woodlands. To date, it has helped to restore ancient woodland in the Faughan Valley, Derry/Londonderry. Trees play a vital role both in oxygenating and in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which is essential to maintaining our climate and biodiversity. Over the course of a year, a single mature tree will remove about 22 kilograms of carbon dioxide gas from the atmosphere*. It is expected that, in time, the 250 trees planted by Hughes Insurance staff alone will help absorb approximately 5.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
Ian McCurley, Director of Woodland Trust NI said: “Our partnership with Hughes Insurance has been incredibly successful so far. It has been really helpful to have such a prominent local business support our vision of a Northern Ireland rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife. To date, our collective effort has resulted in the planting of hundreds of trees across Northern Ireland, and we look forward to inviting Hughes Insurance staff to our sites to continue that collaboration when it is safe to do so.”
Managing environmental sustainability remains a challenge for businesses both locally and internationally, and both organisations are committed to making an impact together in 2021. Over the coming months, the partnership will see Hughes Insurance employees collaborate directly on-site with Woodland Trust staff to help plant, protect, restore and care for woodland across Northern Ireland.
Bethany McConnell, Marketing Assistant at Hughes Insurance, said: “I’m honoured to work for a business that takes climate change seriously and thoroughly enjoyed planting the tree in my garden. This tree symbolises our collective commitment as an organisation to offsetting our carbon footprint and I’m proud to champion the initiative from home.”
It is also hoped that the firm’s recent switch to a remote working model will further reduce the organisation’s carbon footprint as staff reduce the carbon emissions previously generated by their daily commute.
Bernie McHugh Sonner, Director at Hughes Insurance said: “At Hughes Insurance, we’re committed to reducing our carbon footprint and are passionate about continuing our positive contribution to our partners at Woodland Trust. Our staff have all transitioned to remote working and are delighted to have each received a tree delivered to their homes to further underpin our partnership. We are already hearing stories of these saplings taking pride of place in their gardens and outdoor spaces. We would like to thank all of our customers who chose to support the initiative by switching to e-comms and very much look forward to continuing the partnership into 2021.”
For more information on Hughes Insurance please visit hughesinsurance.co.uk
For more information on Woodland Trust Northern Ireland please visit: www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/northern-ireland