In recent years, the topics of climate change, global warming and carbon emissions, amongst others, have been gaining more and more traction, with notable figures such as David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg speaking out about preserving the environment and changing our habits for the better for future generations.
At Porthaven, we understand our responsibility and we are proud to have achieved accredited carbon neutral status in 2020, thanks to our involvement in two projects which promote renewable energy and sustainability. The first project involves planting a willow tree for each of our 800 residents at Grizebeck in the Lake District. Our saplings will form part of a scheme covering 14 hectares of former grassland benefiting people, the local wildlife and the environment. As the trees grow, they will not only remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but they will also increase biodiversity, provide shelter for wildlife, prevent soil erosion and reduce flooding. In years to come, the trees will be harvested to provide biofuel and will be replaced by new growth.
In addition to the tree planting scheme, Porthaven has contributed to the Musi River Hydro project in Indonesia. The hydro-electric power scheme generates renewable energy in the form of electricity for the national grid on the island of Sumatra, using the powerful flow of the river. The project provides valuable employment opportunities locally, and the wider benefits include reforestation of the local area, together with building infrastructure to include a new orphanage, market place and roads. Porthaven’s contribution has removed the equivalent of 1,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and will provide sustainable economic development on the island while also safeguarding the natural environment.
In celebration of our new carbon neutral status, we hosted a tree planting ceremony, planting a purple sand leaf cherry tree, chosen by our residents, as a reminder of our commitment to the environment. It was our pleasure to welcome Robin Thomas, Vice Chair of Stokenchurch Parish Council, along for the occasion to help us with the planting in front of a handful of our residents and staff. Our tree will provide years of pleasure for our residents and is just a small part of Porthaven’s wider campaign to help conserve the environment.