STERIS IMS planting trees for the next generation
At STERIS we try to select responsible suppliers to work with and through those decisions we make, if we can contribute towards environmental contributions then all the better.
One such supplier relationship was derived in March 2015. We began working with Fruitful Office to provide fresh fruit across all our STERIS IMS facilities.
Fruitful Office have a strong environmental ethos. They commit to plant one tree in Malawi for every basket of fruit sold. For STERIS Instrument Management Services this has totalled an impressive 29,059 baskets to date. This means 29.059 trees have been planted on behalf of STERIS Instrument Management Services since March 2015.
Fruitful Office minimises its carbon footprint by excluding air freight to transport the fruit. Instead it comes from Western European countries.
It doesn’t end there! Any surplus fruit is donated to local UK charities.
Planting Fruit Trees in Africa
Fruitful Office works with RIPPLE Africa (a UK charity working in Malawi). RIPPLE mainly focuses on planting Guava and Papaya fruit trees as well as trees for firewood (Senna Siamea, Pine and Blue Gum).
The trees are grown by students from local schools, households, farms and farm cooperatives. On average they plant:
- Households: 35 tree seedlings
- Schools: 10,000 tree seedlings
- Farms: 20-30,00 seedlings in a nursery
The households, schools and farms are provided with seeds and tubes and in some cases even equipment. They are also provided with training and the trees are monitored constantly during the year to ensure as many tree seedlings as possible survive.
Once the tree seedlings have grown, come the rainy season they are then planted out in orchards, woodlots and around household perimeters.
Deforestation is a huge problem in Malawi. Every 10 minutes, an area of forest the size of a football pitch is being cut down.
This is happening for a number of reasons:
- Shifting cultivation – trees are cut down to grow crops due to increased population and exhausted soil.
- Cooking fires – it is typical for Malawians to cook using a three-stone fire. This consumes on average three bundles of firewood per week.
- Firing bricks – using a huge amount of firewood.
- Timber – for building and furniture making.
This scheme is not only great for the planet as it is providing more trees. It is also helping the local communities.
- Fruit trees are providing a valuable source of nutrition for the poor families in Malawi.
- The trees for firewood which are grown in the woodlots and farms to be sold are helping to provide a sustainable livelihood for future generations.
- For over five years now, Makwalakwata Primary School has been growing and planting trees, and the results are inspirational to other schools in the area. In one year alone, 10 pupils successfully grew 2,200 trees from seedlings planted.
- One commercial farmer, Mr Msiska, has raised 112,000 tree seedlings and is employing 20 people which is creating job opportunities for local people.
Not only is Fruitful Office leading this amazing tree planting scheme, every fruit basket that is delivered is also completely plastic free!
Smaller items of fruit such as raspberries or blueberries are stored in carboard containers within the baskets to keep them safe. Additionally, each basket is wrapped in corn starch wrapping, this is completely compostable!
Find out more
To find out more about our other sustainable initiatives, check out our global sustainability page:
To find out more about Fruitful Office and their amazing scheme, head over to their website: www.fruitfuloffice.com