The rest will be planted by Food & Trees for Africa (a non-profit organisation that addresses food security, environmental sustainability and greening) in the ensuing weeks.

"Every year, Bridgestone contributes to the well-being of the communities in which we operate," says Chantel Baxter, consumer operations manager at Bridgestone Southern Africa. "Along with Food & Trees for Africa, we aim to build a lasting legacy and contribute to a better future for all."

"Many school children have inadequate nutrition, which is known to have a negative impact on productivity and learning ability. We want to help ensure learners have access to healthy, nutritious fruits that can also be shared with the surrounding communities. In addition to creating a healthier, more food secure environment, tree planting also helps to preserve the environment for future generations," adds Baxter.

The award-winning non-profit programme sustainably plants trees in shared spaces for a healthier, greener environment. This initiative aims to educate communities about the benefits of trees while offsetting carbon emissions and transforming the surrounding environment.

The schools were selected based on their proximity to the plant, their location in poor communities, as well as for the fact that most of the employees working in the Brits factory reside in these areas.

In 2021, Bridgestone Southern Africa donated school equipment to schools in Brits including:
  • desktops
  • uniforms, and
  • stationery.
The company says that it regularly supports community initiatives in Northwest and Gauteng with events like the Pink Drive, which promotes awareness and early detection of and screening for gender-related cancers.

"Our purpose remains to contribute to society's advancement," Baxter adds. "This year, in line with our commitment to the environment — which forms part of the Bridgestone Essence Framework — we are focusing on sustainable solutions that help to reduce climate change, decrease soil erosion, purify the air and bring comfort and peace of mind to communities."

The Bridgestone Group says that it intends to be even more ambitious in its activities in response to the continued importance of social and environmental issues. In addition to helping to curb food insecurity and help with nutrition, this initiative will educate and encourage young South Africans to start planting their own gardens.

"There are many benefits to planting a tree," concludes Baxter. "Not only does it help restore quality of life in your community, contribute to the environment and help fight climate change, but it also sets a good example for others. Rather than being just a tyre manufacturer, our goal is to support the realisation of a sustainable, healthier society."

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