Southampton planted the first trees as part of its Home Grown Initiative, with Redbridge Community School receiving 1,000 trees to mark the first team debuts of Kegs Chauke, Ryan Finnigan, Alex Jankewitz and Caleb Watts.
Launched in January as part of The Halo Effect, the club’s sustainability strategy, the Home Grown Initiative signals the club’s commitment to plant 250 trees in the local area for every Academy graduate that makes their first team debut for Saints, helping to offset the club’s CO2 emissions.
As part of the first phase of planting, 1,000 trees have been planted at Redbridge Community School alongside a further 250 trees that have been planted at the club’s Staplewood training complex to mark Dan Nlundulu’s debut earlier this season.
As well as planting trees in and around Southampton, another 1,250 trees are being preserved abroad in partnership with Carbon Footprint as part of their tree buddy scheme, ensuring the club offsets 1,250 tonnes of carbon emissions.
The club worked alongside the Green City Charter and Southampton City Council to identify Redbridge Community School, a member of Saints Foundation’s Community Champions programme, as the recipient for over 1,000 trees.
The trees will line the school’s perimeter, helping to absorb noise pollution and carbon emissions, while also giving greater privacy for the children and enhancing the school’s outdoor environment and biodiversity.
Ground staff from Southampton Football Club also visited the school to teach the students about tree planting, as well as discussing both the benefits of biodiversity and the positive impact the trees will have on the school.
Caroline Carlin, Southampton Football Club’s Operational Standards and Compliance Manager, said: “We are absolutely delighted to bring The Halo Effect to life through the Home Grown Initiative with the planting of these trees at Redbridge School.
“Alongside Southampton City Council’s Green City Charter, our environmental commitment is to help make Southampton a cleaner, greener, healthier and more sustainable city. We are really pleased to be working towards that goal by planting these young saplings in celebration of our academy debutants.”
kate martinIt's important everyone works together to reduce our impact on the environment
executive direcetor at southampton city council
Kate Martin, Executive Director at Southampton City Council, said: “We are delighted that Southampton Football Club have planted these trees as part of their Home Grown Initiative.
“We are hugely encouraged they have created the initiative to support their sustainability strategy, The Halo Effect. It’s important everyone works together to reduce our impact on the environment and we are seeing more and more businesses, individuals and community groups joining forces to make a difference.
“We look forward to working with Southampton Football Club to ensure we address the challenges that climate change presents us and we welcome more residents and businesses to pledge support to our Green City Charter available online.”
Saints Foundation’s Community Champion at Redbridge Community School, Martin Brain, added: “We are delighted to support the Home Grown Initiative here at Redbridge Community School. Planting the trees at our school will provide the students with a long-lasting reminder of the importance of looking after the environment, and the impact that their actions can make.
“Being personally involved in the planting of the trees really helps make our students feel part of the initiative and has inspired them to continue to act with environmental responsibility throughout their lives.”
Discover how you can help the environment at home by visiting our sustainability partner Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust website, with helpful guides on a wide range of activities that can help you increase the biodiversity of your own back garden, including how to plant your own tree. Sign up to become a Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust member here.
Find out more about Southampton Football Club’s Environmental Responsibility here, part of the club’s sustainability strategy, The Halo Effect.