At Kia Motors we don’t just see our corporate responsibility as being global in scale but also local. Starting with Walking Bus in 2000 and with Red Nose Day since 2009, Kia’s commitment to corporate responsibility has been expanded to include a new environmental partner – Trees for Cities.
Set up in 1993 Trees for Cities is an environmental and social charity that works with communities to plant trees in cities and areas that need it most; delivering community focused tree planting projects in deprived urban areas.
By partnering with Trees for Cities, Kia can make a significant difference to local areas across the UK and involve staff and dealerships with projects in their areas.
Michael Cole, Managing Director of Kia Motors UK Ltd., ‘We are pleased to be supporting Trees for Cities and being able to make such an important impact on local communities within the UK, making urban spaces a green and more pleasant area for their residents. We look forward to expanding our support with Trees for Cities so that more areas in the UK can benefit from greener spaces’
Kia has already contributed to various projects across the UK mainly focused around Trees for Streets – a section of Trees for Cities – that focuses on changing the attitude to streets from being a thoroughfare to becoming a vital community space which engages the local community whilst also providing a positive impact on the local environment.
A recent project in London – in conjunction with the Mayor of London’s street trees initiative – saw 100 trees being planted in the ward of Coldharbour – covering Clapham and the surrounding areas. Trees for Cities consulted heavily with local residents and community groups to ensure the right trees were planted in the right place. For example, Voltaire Road in Clapham was chosen after a resident was so passionate about trees being planted on her street that she spoke with other residents and got signatures in support of tree planting and sent it through to Trees for Cities.
Commenting on the partnership Sharon Johnson, Chief Executive from Trees for Cities said: “Thanks to Kia’s ongoing support, Trees for Cities has planted more than 285 street trees in urban areas that need them most. Rather than simply planting trees, Trees for Cities work with the local community to engage local residents and businesses, create social cohesion and make our busy urban areas better places to live for many years to come. As well as having a positive impact on the local environment, street trees have a narrowing effect, slowing cars and making streets safer.”
Plans for 2012 and beyond are already in process with plans to expand support into areas such as Trees for Food, Play and Learning as well as edible playgrounds – helping to reintroduce trees grown for their fruits and nuts into more urban areas as well as teaching children about their natural environment.