We teamed up with club partner and green energy supplier Octopus Energy to launch a tree planting initiative along with kids’ TV presenter JB Gill at a primary school in North London.
The ex-JLS star helped pupils dig holes for saplings at St Andrew’s primary school in Islington. He was joined by former Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins and our mascot Gunnersaurus.
Air pollution levels in Islington are reportedly up to three times the legal EU limit and both the club and Octopus Energy are determined to make the borough a cleaner place in which to work and live.
Our sports, social and educational wing Arsenal in the Community has devised a special interactive lesson for pupils about sustainability to celebrate the tree planting.
Ten native elder (sambucus nigra) trees (from the Anglo-Saxon ‘aeld’, or ‘fire’ because the hollow stems were used as bellows to blow air into the centre of a fire) will then be planted by the children on school grounds.
Michael Lloyd, Arsenal Deputy Stadium Manager, said: “We are very proud of the work we are doing with Octopus Energy, our official energy partner. Planting trees in the local borough highlights the positive actions we can undertake together to contribute to environmental sustainability in the community.”
Greg Jackson, Octopus Energy CEO said: “It’s horrifying that air pollution is so high in London - every person in the capital is breathing air that exceeds global guidelines for dangerous particles. As a green energy supplier we want to take tangible and visible action to improve air quality and so we’re delighted to be planting over 1,000 trees in UK schools and communities this year.”
On World Environment Day in June, Octopus Energy pledged to plant a tree for every customer who signed up that day and has now committed to plant 1,000 trees in schools and community spaces across the country.
The club recently celebrated a year-long commitment to 100% renewably-supplied electricity through official energy partner Octopus Energy, one of the biggest investors in solar plants throughout the UK. Emirates Stadium also sends all food waste to an anaerobic digestion plant where it is turned into more energy that will in turn supply the club.
Octopus Energy is a partner of Breathe Life London, a WHO and United Nations Environment Programme which aims to mobilise cities and individuals to protect our health and our planet from the effects of air pollution.
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