Team Mannok’s ‘Kick the Carbon’ Live Tree Planting Wins Best Sustainability Initiative Award at UK Construction Week 2021

Mannok returned to the UK’s largest built environment event, UK Construction Week, in October with a “Kick the Carbon” sustainability initiative which stole the show.

With a huge team effort from both sides of the Irish Sea, Mannok created an impactful and interactive live tree planting experience to highlight the company’s core value of sustainability and help the show’s visitors to offset their carbon footprint for attending the show.

The unique experience was a show highlight for many attendees and Mannok were announced as winners of The Best Sustainability Initiative award as a result. The Mannok team on the stand in Birmingham’s NEC were connected live via video link to their colleagues back in Northern Ireland, who braved the elements for the three-day event to plant 600 native Irish conifers. Visitors to the show watched the team at Mannok’s Fivemiletown quarry plant the trees in their name on a life size video wall on the Mannok stand and were able to chat directly with the tree planting team back in NI whilst each tree was tagged and a virtual “Kick the Carbon” certificate issued to the delegates.

Nathan Garnett, Event Director of UK Construction Week, presented Mannok with the Best Sustainability Initiative Award, commenting, “I think the Mannok stand is brilliant, and we have had lots of great feedback from visitors on the idea you have come up with. The live tree planting is really clever and being very well received.”

The unique tree planting experience saw Mannok commit time, resources, land and money to provide an authentic experience where the company’s own people rolled up their sleeves, donned their wellies and got digging!

One visitor in particular who enjoyed planting a tree at Mannok’s stand was Architectural Designer and TV Presenter, who has a passion for sustainable construction, Charlie Luxton. As Charlie spoke to the team planting his tree in Northern Ireland, he praised them for their commitment to “Kick the Carbon”, particularly in the challenging wet weather on the day. He went on to congratulate Mannok for the company’s sustainability achievements, saying,

“I really enjoyed planting a tree remotely and the Scots Pine is beautiful species! Mannok’s stand is a testament to the shift in focus for the whole construction industry. More and more people are understanding the role that the climate and environment plays and are actually rising to the challenge. I understand Mannok is starting to really tackle the energy intensity of cement and the heavy building goods industry, we need these materials, and we need them to be made as sustainably as possible.”

Also speaking at the event on the importance of sustainability for the company which led to this live tree planting initiative, Kevin Lunney, Operations Director of Mannok said,

“It’s great to be able to bring our sustainability messages to UK Construction Week. The message we are getting is we must be sustainable, and our products must be sustainable. For our staff and community at large, it is an extremely important message, and it will be our key message for the next ten years: that we have a sustainable business in all its capacities, in terms of our people, planet and partners.”

“We recently launched our Natural Assets Action Plans and they have been very well received locally and across the UK. It has been very exciting to develop these in conjunction with Ulster Wildlife, who have guided and directed us in terms of the correct way to approach the whole biodiversity and carbon capture space. We have a number of projects coming out of that, including tree planting and rewilding in the various land assets that will see the biodiversity of the whole business improve dramatically over the next ten years.”

The six hundred Scots Pine trees Mannok planted during UK Construction Week marks the start of a large tree planting programme which will see the company plant tens of thousands more trees in the next five to ten years.

The Award for Best Sustainability Initiative came just weeks after Business in the Community announced Mannok had achieved Silver Accreditation in the Business and Biodiversity Charter, a symbol of responsible business practice and commitment to improve biodiversity conservation. Pertinently, the announcement was made at the launch of the company’s biodiversity roadmap, its Natural Assets Action Plans (NAAP), a comprehensive and forward-thinking biodiversity report produced by Mannok’s Environmental Team in partnership with Ulster Wildlife. The NAAP were developed to roadmap the conservation, restoration and enhancement of every area of Mannok’s 2,000 acres of land to help the company achieve its ambitious sustainability targets.