Hire firm on the road to creating a greener planet with UK woodland scheme

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An industrial equipment hire firm is on the road to helping create a greener planet, by helping to plant more than 3,342 acres of new woodland.

Family firm Astley Hire, based in Leigh, is among the signatories to a pioneering scheme set up to help businesses offset the carbon emissions from their vehicles.

It means every time Astley Hire’s vehicle fleet fuels up, a percentage of what they pay goes to the scheme to help plant more trees in 57 new woodlands around the UK.

Astley Hire is on track to have contributed more than 700 trees within 20 years, based on the fuel used by their fleet of three cars, five vans and truck.

It’s a step towards eventually becoming a carbon zero business, says Astley Hire MD Stephen Dorricott, who is trying to encourage all his staff to operate in more eco-friendly ways, at the company’s headquarters in Jury Street.

“We are very environmentally aware as a company and so when we heard about this scheme we were very keen to try it,” said Stephen

“I thought this was a great way of working towards reducing our carbon footprint.

“We signed up for it last autumn and we’ve just had a certificate recognising that we contributed our first six trees in November and December 2016, so potentially we are on track to have contributed 36 trees in 2017.

“At this rate we will have contributed at least 720 trees in 20 years – practically our own Astley Hire forest!”

“We also thought it was a good way to demonstrate to our staff and customers that we are keen to be an eco-friendly company.

“We are all becoming more aware of the environmental impact we are having, and as a business this sets a good example and engages staff in the process.

“Our newest vehicle is a Mercedes truck and that was purchased with the environment in mind, with its Euro 6 engine that’s complies to latest European standards on emissions that helps reduce harmful pollutants from vehicle exhausts”

“We hope in the creation of new woodlands in the UK will not only capture, over time, the CO2 emissions from our vehicles, but will also provide significant other environmental and social benefit to the UK.”

Astley Hire is an industrial equipment hire business, with equipment for hire including access machines, industrial cleaning machines, heaters and coolers, and general tools, as well as equipment safety training courses across the North West.

The company has been in business 50 years and employs 26 staff across seven divisions at its Jury Street Headquarters in Leigh.

The EcoPoint tree planting scheme was set up by fuel card provider Allstar, of which Astley Hire is a member, and is run in partnership with Forest Carbon, the UK’s leading developer of voluntary carbon woodland schemes certified under the Woodland Carbon Code.

As a result, new woodland totaling 1,786,833 trees and covering 3,342 acres are being created and protected by Forest Carbon on behalf of Allstar’s EcoPoint members.

The aim is for the trees to provide significant multiple benefits to society, over the next 100 years, including carbon dioxide capture totaling approximately 2 tonnes, habitat for biodiversity, flood mitigation, cleaner rivers, and air, recreation space and employment creation.

The woodlands are certified to ISO standards under the UK government Woodland Carbon Code, and meet international environmental and carbon project rules.

To find out more about Astley Hire visit: www.astleyhire.co.uk or find them on Facebook or Twitter.

Businesses wanting to sign up to the EcoPoint scheme can find out more by visiting:

www.allstarcard.co.uk/fuel-card-services/ecopoint/ and information about the work of Forest Carbon is available at: forestcarbon.co.uk

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