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Planting of trees to benefit 31 farmers across Australia

The Officeworks team planting trees at Restoring Australia’s one-year celebration at The Stoney Rises, Alvie on the Victorian Volcanic Plains.

Planting has kicked-off for the second year of Officeworks’ initiative, Restoring Australia, with partner Greening Australia aiming to have 326,000 trees in the ground across 650 hectares by the end of 2018, supporting 31 farmers and landholders.

Launched as an Australian-first in August 2017, Restoring Australia sees two trees planted for every one used, based on the weight of paper-based products that customers buy at Officeworks.

Native seeds and seedlings are being planted across the Tasmanian Midlands, Southern Highlands in New South Wales and Victorian Volcanic Plains, as well as Kangaroo Island and Lake Eyre in South Australia.

These are regions where 85% of the natural landscapes have been lost and were once called home by endangered wildlife. Together with Greening Australia, Officeworks has helped establish native plants in the landscapes, that will increase water quality and restore bushland which in turn is helping local wildlife flourish.

The initiative’s one-year celebration took place yesterday at The Stoney Rises, Alvie on the Victorian Volcanic Plains, where the previously grassy woodland had been over-cleared. Thirteen types of seeds and seedlings are being planted, helping to create an ideal environment for the common and threatened species who call the land home including Growling Grass Frog, Corangamite Water Skink and Brolga.

Greening Australia CFO, Stephen Unerkov, with Officeworks CFO Michael Howard, and Officeworks National Business Development Manager, Justin McKernan.

Restoring Australia kicked-off in the Tasmanian Midlands last year on the land of farmer Julian von Bibra. A total of 153,000 trees will be planted throughout the Midlands by the end of the year, making a huge impact on the area’s biodiversity. Julian said, “It’s really beyond us, and suddenly big business comes in and they give us a leg up, that makes it all come together.”

Greening Australia CEO, Brendan Foran said “We are so proud of what we’ve already achieved in the first 12 months of this initiative. To have more than 200,000 trees in the ground now, and much more by the end of 2018, is a testament to the hard work of our restoration experts, scientists, researchers and planting team. And of course, Officeworks’ customers.”

Officeworks Corporate Affairs & Brand Manager, Alexandra Staley said: “We’re delighted to be entering the second year of Restoring Australia. Officeworks has a duty to operate our business responsibly and this initiative is our long-term commitment to making bigger things happen in the communities where we live and work.”

A family of Brolgas. One of the many species that will benefit from on-ground work.

Restoring Australia is one of the many ways Officeworks aims to give back to the environment, with many tech and ink and toner cartridge recycling programs currently in place. The current plastic bag ban implemented by many retailers across Australia comes ten years after Officeworks eliminated single-use plastic bags nationwide in 2008.