Last December, GFWA’s collaborators (Australian’s subsidiary of Soletanche Bachy) spent half a day in the Trillion Tree’s Nursery and managed to propagate nearly 400 new trees which will mature over the next 6 months ready for the planting season this Winter.
This partnership was initiated by the Managing Director GFWA, so that the company and its employees can contribute and participate in the tree planting program for the future. There were a few options, but Trillion Trees provided the most “hands on” approach and a strong track record. This was the first time we have engaged with Trillion Trees, with the next time planned for the Winter planting season.
The benefits of this tree propagation (and subsequent planting) included the carbon they will capture from the atmosphere, the habitat they will provide for wildlife, the visual amenity they provide, the protection against soil erosion, and the protection against a major concern in Western Australia which is ground salinity. This problem occurs when too many trees are cleared from an area with low-lying aquifers and high mineral content in the ground to provide land for crops. Without the trees to maintain the aquifer level, the aquifer rises and dissolves the minerals, eventually rising to the surface of the ground and sterilising the ground with the salts, making it infertile. Trillion Trees engage with farmers to re-plant land which protects against these impacts, and the area becomes legally protected against vegetation clearing. Other trees are planted within road reserves, parklands, conservation bushland and private lands.
This initiative is particularly timely given the huge destruction to the environment that recent bushfires have had in Australia. The next few years of propagation and forestry management will be of extreme importance to the landscape, with biodiversity being as important as re-forestation.
The #GreenIsGreat’s environmental approach initiated by Soletanche Freyssinet has encouraged the Group’s companies and its subsidiaries to become more committed to the environment. For this reason, GFWA will soon be aiming for an accreditation ISO 14001 to step up its efforts to reduce its environmental impact.
There are a number of management system changes, as well as other initiatives underway to greatly reduce our dust generation in the yard, and investing in renewable energy for the office.
In conclusion this tree planting initiative can be seen to provide a wide spread environmental benefit without having a direct link to our construction activities. This approach emphasises our corporate responsibility rather than just minimising our construction impacts.
To learn more about this organization: https://www.trilliontrees.org/home