The deal, signed last year, will see more than 12,000 trees planted in a six-hectare woodland in The National Forest over the next three years.
CHEP HR director Lucy Mitchell said:
"The event was a great success, everyone was in great spirits and the smiles were infectious."
After seeing a presentation on the progress of The National Forest, and learning how the company’s support will help its future development, the team travelled to the new site, near Normanton outside Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire, and planted 340 trees, a combination of oak, field maple, cherry, ash and silver birch.
NFC head of fundraising Lynne Richards said:
"We plant trees all the time, but it is always rewarding when people who haven’t planted before come out with us and have such a good time. They worked really hard and planted the trees carefully and well. CHEP’s support is invaluable and we look forward to future events when they will continue to help with the transformation of The National Forest."
CHEP is using the tree-planting sessions as employee team-building events within its wider sustainability programme to engage its 1,000 UK and Ireland employees.
The National Forest is now well underway with woodland cover having increased from a mere 6% in 1991 to more than 18% today. More than 7.8 million trees have already been planted, through the restoration of almost 6,000 hectares (14,800 acres) of derelict coalfield land and mineral workings, and through converting farmland to woods. Other wildlife habitats are also being created or brought back into proper management.
Additional benefits of The National Forest include the stimulation and diversification of the rural economy through the creation of a wide range of new enterprises and jobs, especially at visitor attractions as part of a rapidly growing tourism sector. Uses for the timber are being explored to ensure the woodland economy is viable and sustainable.
CHEP were the first pooling company in the world to hold both an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) multisite certification. CHEP estimates that the use of its pallet pools, rather than disposable pallets, reduce timber use by the equivalent of 16 million trees per annum worldwide.