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Honda TreeFund Grows to 200,000 Native Trees

Honda TreeFund Grows to 200,000 Native Trees

Regional Councils throughout New Zealand are celebrating the funding of 200,000 native trees – or the equivalent of more than 500 rugby fields of forest – through Honda TreeFund, a nationwide programme designed to offset vehicle greenhouse gas emissions.

The 200,000-tree, or $1 million, milestone was reached this week, only two and a half years after the programme’s inception. Honda New Zealand Managing Director Graeme Seymour says the funded trees will offset the CO2 emissions of around 8700 vehicles every year [1].

Honda TreeFund finances the planting of ten native trees for every new Honda sold. Members of the public are also encouraged to contribute to the TreeFund.

The programme was created as a measurable way to absorb some of New Zealand’s motor vehicle emissions and their impact on the environment for Honda customers. Around 40 per cent of the country’s Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions, which contribute to New Zealand climate change problems, are from vehicles.
The Ministry of Economic Development predicts that transport use – and therefore greenhouse gas emissions – will increase by 35 per cent over the next 25 years if drastic changes aren’t made to the way New Zealanders use vehicles.
Health experts say asthma attacks and bronchial problems will almost certainly increase as levels of pollution rise and it’s estimated that around 400 New Zealanders die every year from vehicle emissions.

Planting trees is an effective way to counteract environmental damage as the trees, which need CO2 to survive, act like a natural ecological sponge.

Mr Seymour says the TreeFund programme is an important – and distinctly kiwi – component of Honda’s global commitment to lead the car industry into a more environmentally conscious age.

Honda works with Regional Councils who distribute plants in the region the funds are accumulated. The plants are New Zealand natives and are used to support the establishment of tree populations, water run off or erosion control, beautification, coastal or biodiversity protection and restoration and urban stream enhancement.

“It’s easy to be cynical about environmental concerns and initiatives but I challenge anyone to look at the sobering statistics on climate change and not be genuinely moved to help be part of the solution. At Honda we really do believe that business needs to be both responsible and accountable for the impact it has on the society, economy and environment it operates in. We’re not afraid to address and right the less-pleasant realities of living in a manufacturing age,” says Mr Seymour.


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