Equity Bank surges ahead with its green initiative program

Equity Group Chief Commercial Officer Polycarp Igathe (left) with Kenya Forest Services Chief Conservator of Forests Julius Kamau (right) water a tree seedling at the Wangari Maathai Institute of Peace and Development Studies in Upper Kabete.

Equity Group Foundation and Kenya Forest Service joined University of Nairobi in their annual tree planting exercise at a drive to plant 7,000 trees at various campuses as they enhance efforts to mitigate against adverse effects of climate change.

 The effort is in line with Equity’s ambitious conservation project to plant 35 million trees across the country, and also to support the government’s goal of increasing the country’s forest cover to 10% by 2022.

Commenting during the launch of the initiative, University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Prof. Stephen Kiama said, “As a university, we recognise that each of us has a big role to play in contributing to environmental conservation. What started out as a plan to plant 200 trees has been up scaled 35 times through our collaboration with Equity Group Foundation and Kenya Forest Service. We are proud to work with like-minded partners in this noble tree planting event and urge all Kenyans to plant a tree this rainy season.”

 The 7,000 trees are estimated to cover at least 5 hectares of land and is a mix of indigenous and fruit trees. A preference selection made based on their ability to survive longer, their resistance to diseases and the low cost of maintenance.

 “By planting trees today, we are securing the future, lives and livelihoods of our children and their children. Equity Group Foundation focuses on promoting the conservation of natural resources through expanding forest cover, improving water security and providing renewable energy and energy sufficient technologies as smart alternatives to traditional and polluting energy sources.” said Polycarp Igathe, Equity Group, Chief Commercial Officer.

 As of April 2021 Equity had planted over 4 million trees and distributed 260,000 clean energy products through EGF’s Energy and Environment Pillar and is set to plant another 5 million trees through its branch network of 190 branches by end of year. “We have tasked each Equity branch to collaborate with KFS, the communities and institutions around them to plant trees and achieve this target. We shall also be adopting more forest blocks for rehabilitation and working with communities to reduce reliance on forests as a source of wood-fuel and adopt agroforestry.” added Polycarp.

The tree planting exercise was launched at the Wangari Mathai Institute of Peace and Environmental Studies while the other 8 campuses planted their set of trees concurrently with support from KFS and Equity branches.