26 September 2022 – Global Payment Technologies (GPT) joined Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) as a Trees for All (TFA) and Afforestation partner at the height of the floods that severely impacted the lives of KwaZulu-Natal residents earlier this year. During this devastating time, the company recognised the need to protect South Africa’s infrastructure, economy and natural environment from the negative impacts of climate change.
Alongside the FTFA team, GPT implemented a smart ESG strategy that directly addresses the leading cause of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), by planting the right trees in the right places.
FTFA’s Trees for All programme is an award-winning programme that sustainably plants trees in shared spaces for a healthier, greener environment. This successful initiative educates communities about the benefits of trees, while offsetting carbon emissions and transforming the surrounding environment. Planting trees – the focus of the FTFA and GPT partnership – is a vital component of the green economy, helping to reduce atmospheric carbon and providing a range of other benefits.
“Investment in our country’s green infrastructure and our people is now more crucial than ever. By supporting ESG projects that enable the green economy, GPT is helping to drive South Africa towards a more sustainable future,” says Chris Wild, Executive Director at Food & Trees for Africa.
Since the establishment of the partnership, GPT has planted over 1000 trees in three provinces. Four hundred and sixty trees were planted in FTFA’s afforestation project in the Eastern Cape, while the Western Cape received 270 trees in August. KwaZulu-Natal has also received 270 trees, and a volunteer day took place at Bright Future Special School in Newlands East on 23 September, 2022. The entire initiative has enabled the sequestration of 369 tonnes of carbon dioxide to date.
These tree planting initiatives not only reduce atmospheric carbon responsible for a changing climate; when planted in public spaces, trees also provide additional benefits to the community and kick-start self-sustaining green economies. Research has linked an increase in urban trees to a reduction in crime, happier people, and improved psychological well being. Indigenous trees enhance the natural aesthetic of the community, while the fruit and nut trees strengthen national efforts towards food security and food sovereignty.
“As a company, we recognise that it is essential we contribute toward mitigating the impacts that climate change has in our communities. People are the centre of our business, and are thus a critical resource that needs to be nurtured, developed and supported. The need to invest in our collective prosperity and enhance every aspect of our world for a greener future has become a critically important imperative.” says Lise Reed, GPT’s Transformation & Human Resources Manager.
FTFA and GPT see investment in South Africa’s natural resources and natural infrastructure as an essential path forward for humanity. The partnership will continue contributing to these net zero carbon cutting investments throughout the year, with more tree planting planned for October and November.