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Copier company ‘branches’ out
The contingent of volunteers from the office print and document management company planted 2,510 trees on Motuihe Island in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.
Ricoh sustainability advisor, Margie Barriball, says the company has been planting trees on the island since 2004 and since 2006 in the Nga Taikorapa area on the south west end of the island
“We are the only group that has planted in that area so we have a real connection to it,” she says, “The small trees we planted in 2006 are now almost two metres tall. We’ve planted over 17,000 trees on Motuihe and of these, nearly 14,300, are in the area now nicknamed ‘Ricoh Valley’.”
As part of the Motuihe Island Restoration Project, 120 staff, customers and their families spent Saturday, April 29 planting cabbage, manuka, pohutukawa, puriri and karamu trees.
Margie says such events are vitally important for teaching children the importance of sustainability.
“It’s a fantastic, fun family day out and it’s a great experience for the kids. They love to be involved in the planting and learning about our environment. This year they went away with a certificate and an activity sheet with questions and puzzles about Motuihe.”
The Big Green Day Out has been beneficial for both business and the environment, she says.
“Thanks to initiatives such as this, we can say, hand on heart, that we are giving something back to the environment and making a real difference. We have customers who vouch for that and have been coming every year since we started inviting customers in 2007. They really look forward to it.
“For me, it’s not just about how many trees we can plant, but also about the whole island experience that we can give to staff, clients, suppliers and their families and friends,” says Margie.
Last year, stormy weather bought a halt to the Motuihe project and, instead, the company assisted a DOC project to restore dunes at Duder Regional Park. A small shower this year did not dampen spirits and it was back to Motuihe.
“It also rained in the late afternoon after we returned to the city, which was ideal as it gave the newly-planted trees some moisture.”
Ricoh’s ‘growing plan’ is paying off.
In 2010 the company planted 3500 of the colonising trees which were in root trainer trays.
“These are small, fast growing trees that are planted initially to provide protection or cover for when the canopy trees are planted a few years later,” Margie says.
Ricoh New Zealand managing director, Mike Pollok, says the Big Green Day Out is part of the company’s commitment to corporate responsibility, with a strong environmental focus.
“The Motuihe Island Restoration Project is a huge success story, and Ricoh is proud to have been an ongoing contributor.”