Pam Golding Properties takes to heart CE’s challenge to each plant a tree

Each year millions and millions of people around the globe unite to support Earth Hour, which is said to be the largest environmental event in history.

In 2011 alone, over 5000 cities and towns across 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour, which sent a powerful message for action on climate change. This also ushered in a new era with some organisations going 'Beyond the Hour' to commit to lasting action for the planet.

This year (2012) one such initiative was undertaken by the Pam Golding Property group, with CE Dr Andrew Golding committing to plant 1000 trees if each staff member planted one. Staff and agents of the Pam Golding Property (PGP) group enthusiastically took up his challenge to think green and plant a tree in the spirit of the ‘I Will If You Will’ Earth Hour campaign.

While many more trees were planted by PGP employees in all regions around the country, photographs showing over 50 trees being planted by staff of PGP offices in various locations were received electronically and posted up on the Earth Hour Photo album on Facebook.

Among others, 14 staff members at PGP’s Grahamstown office each planted a tree; nine trees were planted in Heidelberg by the local PGP office; agents from the Richards Bay office planted six indigenous trees at a local school; five trees were planted by the Brackenfell office, while in Underberg the planting of a tree aroused considerable interest and hopefully approval from a herd of cows.  

Meanwhile in Cape Town, the first batch of trees will soon be planted as part of Dr Golding’s commitment. Twenty indigenous trees are to be planted at a childhood development centre in Mfuleni in Cape Town through a local NGO, Afrika Tikkun. This non-profit organisation operates nationally toward the transformation of previously disadvantaged South African communities by focusing on vulnerable children, their guardians and environment. In Mfuleni, Afrika Tikkun operates in partnership with the City of Cape Town, and in this community an early childhood development centre, multi-purpose hall, media library, sporting facilities and extended office space are being constructed. The Property Foundation is providing project management support for the development.

The response from members of the public via social media and the PGP website regarding the company’s ‘plant a tree’ campaign was exceptional – in fact PGP’s Facebook post -  outlining Dr Golding’s Earth Hour challenge to plant 1000 trees and encourage staff to do their part - became the company’s most viral post in the last year. Online interactions via Twitter and Facebook by the official Earth Hour body as well as the World Wildlife Fund SA helped spread the word about PGP’s initiative to over 200 000 people globally.

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