Reckitt Bensicker, the world’s biggest cleaning products group, is planting two million trees in Canada to offset the greenhouse gas emissions that it produces over a two-year period.
The Trees for Change project, which Reckitt Benckiser claims will be one of the biggest of its kind in the world, is a part of what the Slough-based company says is an attempt to reduce the impact of its energy use and emissions.
The project will mean that Reckitt Benckiser spends several million pounds acquiring six square miles of deforested land in British Columbia and planting native seedlings. The individual lots of land will range in size from 50 acres to 819 acres Over their lifetime, the trees will be able to absorb more than one million tonnes of carbon dioxide, or enough to offset two years’ worth of greenhouse gas emissions by the company behind Vanish fabric care and Lemsip healthcare products. Reckitt Benckiser will not derive a financial benefit from the programme, given that it does not have to buy carbon credits.
Bart Becht, Reckitt Benckiser’s chief executive, denied that Trees for Change was part of a marketing strategy to promote his company’s products in a more environmentally friendly light.
He said: “We are not forcing this upon anyone. I would say that at this point in time it’s basically more a case of ‘let’s see what the reaction will be’.”