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Branching out: Aldi Ireland to plant a million native trees

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Roots: Niall O’Connor, Aldi group managing director with Pippa Hackett, Charlie McConalogue and Imelda Connolly of Green Belt. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Roots: Niall O’Connor, Aldi group managing director with Pippa Hackett, Charlie McConalogue and Imelda Connolly of Green Belt. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Roots: Niall O’Connor, Aldi group managing director with Pippa Hackett, Charlie McConalogue and Imelda Connolly of Green Belt. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Aldi Ireland has pledged to support the planting of one million native Irish woodland trees around Ireland over the next four years as part of its long-term commitment towards the environment.

Aldi is the first retailer in Ireland to commit to this level of partnership with the Department of Agriculture’s Woodland Environment Fund (WEF) – an initiative under which Irish businesses can partner with landowners and the Department to help create new native woodlands in Ireland.

It provides additional incentives to plant new native woodlands and supports the Government’s target to plant 22 million new trees a year until 2040.

Working with Green Belt forestry consultancy, Aldi Group MD Niall O’Connor was joined by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue and Minister of State Pippa Hackett to plant the first of 30,000 oak, birch and ash trees in Aughrim, Co Wicklow.

Planting one million native trees will remove more than 160,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over a 100-year period – equating to roughly 640 million km driven by an average car.

The native tree plantations will create a wildlife corridor for native species and enable grassland to revert to more natural vegetation, further enhancing biodiversity in the area.

“We are delighted to support the Government’s objective,” said Mr O’Connor. “Aldi is committed to minimising the environmental impact of its business.”

Aldi Ireland and Aldi UK have been carbon neutral since January 1, 2019.

Under its €6m ‘Project Fresh’ investment programme, stores will be powered by 100% green electricity..

“As minister responsible for forestry, I am delighted to see Aldi interact with our Woodland Environment Fund,” said Minister Hackett. “It’s one which demonstrates the best of public-private partnership, as it offers firms the opportunity to top up payments to farmers and landowners who commit to Department-funded forestry.”

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