Boots has embarked on an initiative to plant 15,000 native woodland trees at a site in Kilnavara, Co. Cavan, to celebrate 25 years of business in Ireland.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, and the Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, Pippa Hackett, were joined by Stephen Watkins, managing director, Boots Ireland, and team members in Cavan, as oak, Scots pine, birch and hazel trees were set to be planted across the 11-acre site.
The initiative is being carried out in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s Woodland Environmental Fund (WEF).
Expanding Ireland’s Native Woodland
The WEF provides an access point for individual businesses to help expand Ireland’s native woodland resource by providing additional incentives to encourage landowners to plant new native woodlands that they may not have otherwise planted, had that additional support not been provided.
Native woodlands are an integral part of Ireland’s natural heritage, history and culture, and unique in terms of their biodiversity.
They are home to a host of specialised woodland animals and plants, including the red squirrel, pine marten, great spotted woodpecker, narrow-leaved helleborine and wood millet, to name but a few.
Native woodlands provide numerous ecosystem services, including the protection and enhancement of water quality, wider habitat linkage, landscape enhancement, opportunities for outdoor recreation and interpretation, and carbon capture.
“We are delighted to be celebrating 25 years of business in Ireland,” said Stephen Watkins, managing director, Boots Ireland.
“We opened our first store in the Jervis Street Shopping Centre, and we now have 90 stores nationwide.”
“Today, as we begin to plant these native Irish trees, we are proud that this is another action on our continued journey to environmental sustainability,” Watkins added.
“Last year our stores and support office reached a goal of operating on 100% renewable energy and reaching 0% of waste to landfill.
“We have also reached a significant milestone in our products’ environmental sustainability journey.
“In 2020 we eliminated 2,020 tonnes of plastic from our Christmas gift ranges by completely removing single-use plastic packaging, and in 2021 we saw many sustainable product innovations.”
As part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability, Boots Ireland has been recertified for Business in the Community’s (BITC) Business Working Responsibly Mark for the fourth year, while in 2021 the business signed up to the BITC Low Carbon Pledge. This is the first dedicated pledge generated by an Irish business to set industry standards on sustainability and reduce carbon emissions.