02 December 2021
Viessmann employee Vikki Robbins has led an initiative that saw 200 trees planted at the company’s headquarters in Telford.
Robbins, a contract support and promotions supervisor, was inspired by the work of national Shropshire-based charity Small Woods Association and a desire to remember a former Viessmann colleague who died suddenly in 2020.
The initial plan was to plant just one tree, with Vikki offering to bring her spade if Viessmann could provide the land and buy the tree. The result was a Sunday spent planting 200 trees supplied and supervised by social enterprise, Telford Woods, and the Friends of Ketley Paddock Mound, together with fellow Viessmann colleagues and their friends and families.
A remembrance plaque dedicated to David Hughes, an engineer at Viessmann, has also been installed next to the trees. David’s wife, Janet Hughes, has said she and her girls are honoured and grateful that he is being remembered in this way.
Thanks to a recommendation from Councillor for Telford & Wrekin Council, Carolyn Healy – who is also the Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Green Spaces, Natural and Historic Environment – the new woodland has been included in the Queen’s Green Canopy tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.
Vikki Robbins, who is a member of RSPB and a “little picker” volunteer for Telford and Wrekin’s Street Champions, explained her motivation: “Thousands of new homes are being developed in my village and as a keen dog walker, I see first-hand the vast destruction of trees and reduction in wildlife habitat going on to make way for them. I wanted to play a small role in replacing some of them here and encouraging others to plant more trees wherever they can.”
Graham Russell, managing director of Viessmann in the UK, said: “Viessmann is a family-owned business with a strong heritage in looking after the environment. With our low carbon and renewable heating products, we are on the frontline of reducing emissions from the heating of buildings and it’s great to be able to make a contribution to the planet on a very local level by working together with Telford Woods and Small Woods.
“We were very saddened by the loss of a member of our Viessmann family, David Hughes, last year. David’s wife and children and our team here will hopefully be comforted by remembering him here in an environment that will thrive with wildlife for years to come.”
Councillor Healy said: “It’s great to see companies connecting their industrial grounds with local green spaces in a sustainable and secure way. We’re proud to be putting Telford on the Queen’s Green Canopy map today with 200 trees added to what we hope will become a national dedication to Her Majesty that depends on our actions at a grass roots level. You can even apply for free trees for your school or community from the Woodland Trust.”
Small Woods is a national charity based in Shropshire, striving for woods alive with people, wildlife and work. Telford Woods project officer, Tristan Haynes said: “It is fantastic to watch Viessmann take such positive steps to enhancing the natural environment and consider its environmental impact. We have put in a good mix of trees here, including oak, beech, wild cherry, crab apple and horse chestnuts, to provide nuts and berries for birds and small mammals.”
Viessmann runs its own corporate global initiative #ViMoveForClimate that encourages people to do something for their health and the environment by planting a tree for every kilometre of exercise activity logged on the company’s intranet app. To date, employees have enabled the planting of 1 million trees.