Sapling

Why we're planting 1,000 trees this Autumn

Pete Miller, Renewables

17th October 2017

We’ve very proud to announce we're partnering with the United Nations to improve the air quality around the UK.

It’s just the beginning of our work to support the worldwide BreatheLife campaign. We’re kicking things off this month and next by planting 1,000 native, broadleaf trees around the country - and you can help us.

What is BreatheLife?

 BreatheLife is a coalition between the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Environment Programme, and the Clean Climate and Clean Air Coalition. By sharing air quality learnings and resources between cities internationally, it’s hoped that there will be improvements on air quality around the globe.

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has made sure the capital is signed up - London is one of the most polluted cities in the UK. In fact, the latest research from London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory shows that every single borough exceeds WHO’s limits for air quality. Shockingly, nearly 95% of London’s population live in areas that exceed the limit by 50% or more.

It’s putting a generation of Londoners at risk, exposing them to tiny particles of toxic dust that can result in lung problems, like asthma, and ultimately shortening life expectancy. Unfortunately, that’s a trend that is seen throughout cities in the UK.

So, why the trees?

Practically speaking, reducing emissions is one way of increasing air quality. Increasing the number of trees available to absorb the harmful CO2 gases is the other way. And while we’re working every day on the former, we’re also keen to do what we can regarding the latter. 

Initially, we promised to plant a tree for every new customer that joined us on June 8th, World Environment Day. But we don’t like to do things by half – why plant 250 trees, when you can plant 1,000?

How can you get involved?

We’re currently in the process of planning where these trees should go, and we’d love to hear from you. If you know a school or local community space that would benefit from a bit more greenery, let them know about our plans and ask them to email us at trees@octopus.energy, and we’ll take it from there. 

What next?

Transparency is an important value for us, and sometimes that means things like clearly explaining your energy usage, and sometimes that takes a different form altogether. 

In this case, transparency looks like a map of trees. When we’re finished planting, you’ll be able to see exactly where these trees have been planted, thanks to the interactive map of planting locations.  And your local community hub could be on that map!

image of Pete Miller

Pete Miller

Head of Customer Experience

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