To commemorate Arbour Month, Liberty Properties and Aveng Grinaker-LTA have teamed up in a venture that seeks to improve the health and aesthetics of several schools across South Africa.
The two companies have committed to provide a greener future for six primary schools. The tree-planting initiative is based on a realisation that many schools have buildings in place but no trees to enhance the environment. A total of seventy trees will be planted by volunteers from both businesses, with the help of children from the various schools.
Managing Director of Liberty Properties, Maurice Mdlolo says: ‘We don’t often stop to think how important trees are in the environment in which we operate. Apart from visual appeal, trees have some very practical benefits: they provide shade, clean air, define recreational areas and generally remain in place for many generations’. He confirmed the project aligns with Liberty’s strategy to support initiatives that, directly or indirectly, promote education. He also emphasised the company’s commitment to being a responsible business, with an obligation to the value of sustainability. ‘It is critical that the next generation adopts a culture of planting and replacing trees for the longevity of our planet.’
Brian Wilmot, Managing Director from Aveng Grinaker-LTA agrees. ‘Our tree-planting exercise presents an opportunity to further enhance the learning landscape for students, leaving a positive and lasting legacy. Apart from the obvious environmental benefits, community upliftment is central to this project.’
The selection of the schools was motivated by the regions where Liberty owns retail and commercial properties and in communities where both Aveng Grinaker-LTA and Liberty Properties are active. Three are in Gauteng, one in Port Elizabeth, another in Pietermaritzburg and one in Cape Town.
Liberty Properties and Aveng Grinaker-LTA have enlisted the help of Food & Trees for Africa to ensure the project is executed sustainably. The social enterprise will provide project support by sourcing the most suitable trees for the relevant spaces, provide instructions on how to plant and maintain them as well as educate the learners around the importance of trees in the environment.
This is not the first time the companies have partnered together on a corporate responsibility project that has its roots in education. They share a successful professional relationship, having worked on several property developments together over the years, and have nurtured a mutual commitment to sustainability and community involvement.