DUBAI, UAE, 7th February 2011 – To demonstrate the Emirates Group’s ongoing commitment to the environment, a tree planting ceremony was conducted at The Sevens cricket pitches Thursday, 3rd February 2011. The ceremony coincided with UAE Environment Day on 4th February 2011, which this year was themed the Living Desert. The first tree was planted by Jim Fitzsimons, General Manager at The Sevens, and Paul Zissermann, Emirates’ Manager Environment Affairs. It will be followed by another 140 trees to be planted around the cricket pitches by Emirates staff on Earth Day, 22nd April 2011.
“This is the very first step in a much broader tree planting program,” said Fitzsimons. “The initial 140 trees to be planted at The Sevens will provide much-needed shade to spectators at the cricket pitches for many generations to come. The trees will also provide habitat and food to local insects and birds, and will play their role in reducing wind erosion at the site. Our plan is to follow up this initial planting every year with further plantings in other parts of the site – coinciding with UAE Environment Day each year,” he added.
The Emirates Group has a wide range of ongoing environmental initiatives, from billion dollar investments in modern, low emissions aircraft, to the region’s first carbon-neutral warehouse, large scale commercial recycling programmes, and the support of leading conservation projects – such as the establishment of the 225km2 Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, which takes up almost 5 percent of Dubai’s total land area.“We are proud to support the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water on this important day, and the Living Desert 2011 programme,” said Zissermann. “The concept of eco-efficiency is a cornerstone of everything we do, and this ceremony demonstrates that commitment. Although there is still much work to be done, the Emirates Group aims to be an environmental leader in the aviation and travel industries.”
The tree planting projects at The Sevens are being funded by monies raised from the Group’s considerable recycling efforts, which saw over 3 million kilograms of paper, cardboard, plastic, wood, aluminium and steel recycled in the last financial year.