Big names in sector invited to join carbon-offset club

Drive to promote carbon-offset club gains momentum.

A unique but unusual group of eco- warriors, including super-rich businessmen, is trying to coax big industry names and firms, such as Sinclair, to join its carbon-offset planting club. The Carbon Footprint Woodland Planting Schemes Partnership is stepping up its drive for new members and more planting initiatives. Richard Thorpe, partner at R&N Plant Specialists in Rugby, started the partnership five years ago and has recruited nearly 30 members, some of whom use their land for plantations. It has identified more than 80ha of land for planting and aims to have dug in 175,000 trees by 2009. Subscribers, either individuals or companies, pay for the planting of trees and in return receive a certificate and the use of a logo. “If a firm like Sinclair came on board, it could plant x number of trees for every 20 pallets of compost sold,” Thorpe said. “Recruits could use the logo for marketing, which would both raise their profile and give them a unique selling point.” The partnership targets various “tree packages”, including a £25 deal aimed at buyers of new cars, which includes three trees to offset the car’s carbon footprint for its first year of use. A 15-tree £103 package is being marketed at long-haul travellers. Meanwhile, ITV’s This Morning gardener David Domoney has teamed up with a new non-profit group to help developing countries cut carbon emissions. Offset Someplace Else is sponsoring Catwalk in Bloom, a fashion show inspired by plants, at July’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Domoney will design the show’s garden.

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