Biodiversity the winner at 235 sites nationally through Officeworks partnership

Officeworks is sharing the benefits of seven years of its Restoring Australia initiative and is revisiting one of its key tree planting sites to see and celebrate the positive impact its land restoration program with Greening Australia is having for local farmers and Australia’s natural environment.

Planted in 2018 through Restoring Australia, these trees are only five years old but showing great growth! Image credit: Annette Ruzicka.

Launched in 2017 as part of Officeworks’ commitment to make a positive difference to people and the planet, the Restoring Australia initiative plants two trees for every one ‘used’ based on the weight of paper products customers purchase at Officeworks.

The Restoring Australia initiative is on track to meet its goal to plant two million trees nationally by 2025 and by working with Greening Australia, has planted 1.45 million trees to date in projects that aim to reverse the impacts of tree and habitat loss over time.

The initiative not only improves the biodiversity of Australia by creating habitat and wildlife corridors, it also supports landholders and farmers in their interests and way of life.

Alice Armistead, a landholder in the Victorian Volcanic Plains, runs one of 235 Restoring Australia sites and has experienced the support, benefits and improved biodiversity that tree planting provides. Since the first planting took place on her property in 2019, 12,772 trees have now been planted across 21 hectares of varying landscapes.

Alice Armistead checking up on the 2019 plantings. Image credit: Annette Ruzicka.

Alice and her family run cattle and raise calves ready for sale. Having lived in the Volcanic Plains region for 17 years and on their current property since 2016, they care deeply for their ‘adventurous’ landscape and everything this brings, including the wildlife.

Alice said: “Since welcoming Greening Australia and the Restoring Australia initiative onto our property, we have seen huge changes in the landscape and an improvement in grazing and shelter for the cattle. As the habitat has expanded, we’ve seen more birds return to the property and we now see an abundance of pelicans, ibis, and seagulls in the swamps. We also see a lot of echidnas  due to the increased protection the plantings have provided.

Officeworks and Greening Australia worked with us on our preferred planting locations and provided the manpower to plant thousands of trees during their planting days. We would not be at the point we’re at on the property if it wasn’t for the support of Officeworks and Greening Australia and partnerships like the Restoring Australia initiative.”

Officeworks Chief Financial Officer Brendan Hargreaves said: “It’s great to see our Restoring Australia initiative is having a positive impact across the country. We’re seeing an impact beyond just improving vegetation; our plantings have created habitat, animals have returned to the areas, and we’ve helped restore environments for a range of at-threat species including the endangered Wedge-tailed Eagle in Tasmania, and the threatened Sooty Owl in Victoria.

The striking landscape of the Victorian Volcanic Plains, where Greening Australia and Officeworks have planted thousands of native, biodiverse trees since 2017. Image credit: Annette Ruzicka.

“Our team members are also really engaged in causes that help support Australia’s natural environment. We hold a number of planting days throughout the year, where team members from all levels of the business can get involved in giving back to the environment and the landholders in the communities where we live and work.

“It’s another way we’re supporting our customers to make more sustainable choices when shopping with us at Officeworks.”

During the past six years, more than 1,900 hectares of land has been restored, spanning 235 sites nationally. In FY2023, more than 210,000 native trees were planted across four locations and 10 planting sites, spanning 196 hectares of land, helping to restore Australia’s natural landscape and biodiversity.

Greening Australia Director of Strategy and Impacts Hugh Wareham, said: Greening Australia has been working with Officeworks since 2017 through the Restoring Australia partnership. It’s one of our longest and most important relationships. Together we’ve been able to plant more than 1.45 million trees across Australia and achieve positive environmental impact at scale. Their ongoing commitment and enthusiasm to invest in nature supports us in our ambitious goals to restore landscape and tackle the twin challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change.”

To learn more about Greening Australia’s Restoring Australia partnership with Officeworks click here