Severn Trent pledges to plant 1.3m trees in next five years, having planted almost 700,000 since 2015

15 August 2019

Midlands water and waste company Severn Trent has today pledged it will plant 1.3m trees across its patch in the next five years to help improve the environment, reduce future flooding and improve water quality, which will also help keep bills low.

The pledge will see the trees planted by 2025 through a variety of schemes, including a partnership with the Woodland Trust.

The company has already planted a massive 700,000 trees in the past five years, most of which are in Derbyshire, in and around the Derwent Valley, but those locations are now going to be widened to include areas such as Shropshire, Leicestershire and Warwickshire.

Severn Trent Chief Executive Liv Garfield said: “Everyone knows that planting trees is great for the environment but they can also really help the quality of our rivers.

“We’ll be working hand-in-hand with farmers across our patch to find the best way to get them to plant more trees and so reduce the run off of chemicals in rivers that then find their way to our treatment works. By doing that, we help keep our rivers cleaner and also reduce the amount of treatment we have to give our wonderful water before it goes to our customers.

“In the long-term, increasing the number of trees in the region will also help reduce flooding as they’re an amazing natural barrier when planted in the right place.

“All-in-all, we’re really excited about this scheme, especially as it backs up the triple carbon pledge we made earlier this year to move to all electric vehicles, all renewable power and zero emissions by 2030.”

The trees, which are all native species, will be paid for by Severn Trent but supplied by the Woodland Trust.

John Tucker, from the Woodland Trust, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Severn Trent on this project. Trees and woods in the right place can deliver a wide range of benefits and with tree planting rates in the UK at the lowest level for a generation, I hope that many others will be inspired by the commitment and initiative of Severn Trent and get involved in similar projects.”

Much of Severn Trent’s existing work has been carried out with Moors for the Future but volunteers from across the business have also planted thousands of trees with Heart of England Forest as part of our employee volunteering programme where every employee is given two paid days off a year to help out in their local community.

The Severn Trent pledge is part of a wider water industry initiative to plant 11m trees across England to support their goal of achieving a carbon neutral water industry by 2030.