Did you know that energy suppliers that offer ‘green’ or ‘renewable’ plans have to do more than just buy renewable energy? Ofgem asks us to go a step further, and make a positive environmental change too. Here at OVO, we see this obligation as an opportunity. And we started by asking you, our customers, what to focus on.
We ask some of our Greener Energy customers about the added benefit they’d like to see from our Greener Energy plan. The response was about having more of a positive impact on people and the environment here in the UK. With this in mind, we got to work, and designed a programme to help local people and organisations to improve their local green spaces.
OVO has joined forces with environmental charity The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) to start a special volunteer-delivered planting programme that will make greener spaces better places to be.
Last year, we:
Planted over 158,000 trees across 560 sites.
Enabled 39,000 hours of volunteering from 509 community groups.
Saved a potential 79,000 tonnes of CO2 thanks to 1,360,000 sq metres of newly planted trees.
This year, we’re growing our ambitions, and by April 2017 we plan to:
Plant 250,000 trees.
Enable 62,000 volunteering hours.
Make a difference in over 1,250 local green spaces – that’s schools, community spaces, parks and urban riversides.
Plant 5 trees per customer – instead of 3.
Read even more about our plans for I Dig Trees here.
Trees are beautiful – of course – but our I Dig Trees programme is about so much more than aesthetic improvement.
Trees absorb rainwater runoff and prevent erosion. They encourage greater biodiversity as a home and food source for birds and insects, including critical pollinators like bees. And according to the experts at Carbon Footprint, each of our UK native deciduous broadleaf trees could absorb up to 1 tonne of CO2* over their lifetimes.
Thanks to customers who’ve chosen OVO’s Greener Energy plan, 2016/17 will see us plant enough native broadleaf trees to capture around 125,000 tonnes of CO2*. And as well as providing a practical way to counter carbon emissions, all these trees make green spaces better places to be.
More fun. More beautiful. More interesting to birds, beasties and people. After all, a tree can be home to a woodpecker, base for the best game of tag ever, and your ‘I’m nearly at 5k’ marker on your morning run, too. So why not take a look at our great value Greener Energy plan and make next year’s I Dig Trees plant-out even bigger?
*Based on Carbon Footprint’s calculation of 1 tonne of CO2 per native deciduous broadleaf over its 100 year lifetime and a 50% survival rate of the trees planted.