Home » Firms team up for carbon-cutting peatland project

Firms team up for carbon-cutting peatland project

by Mark Cantrell
An equipment and plant hire business has teamed up with a construction firm to help reduce carbon emissions by restoring peatland in the North Pennines.

An equipment and plant hire business has teamed up with a construction firm to help reduce carbon emissions by restoring peatland in the North Pennines.

Speedy Hire has launched the biodiversity project, partnering with Sisk Group to deliver it. Between them, the two companies have invested £10,000 into the local environment.

As part of the initiative, a team of volunteers from Speedy Hire and Sisk have planted 10,000 cotton grass plants in the North Pennines, England’s largest and most drained bog.

Spanning 10,000sqm of bogland, an equivalent of 40 tennis courts, the cotton grass plants will help to sequester carbon by keeping it in the ground and preventing it from being released into the atmosphere.

The two companies have worked with North Pennines National Landscape (NPNL) on what is the first phase of a new, long-term collaboration focused on biodiversity and peatland restoration.

Sam Westran, chair of the communities committee at Speedy Hire, said: “We are proud to be supporting this important issue and making a direct contribution to peatland restoration.

“The World Economic Forum has considered world ecosystem collapse as a very real risk over the next 10 years, and it is important for businesses to include nature and biodiversity in their ESG plans.

“Climate change and biodiversity go hand in hand, and we at Speedy Hire are committed to working with our partners to restore our country’s natural landscape, while helping to reduce carbon emissions.

“Thank you to all the volunteers from both Speedy Hire and Sisk for their fantastic work in helping to make a difference in restoring the country’s peatlands.”

Christina Nichols, Sisk’s regional social value and stakeholder manager, added: “Undertaking this vital work in the North Pennines National Landscape has been really important for Sisk.

“Together with Speedy Hire’s volunteers, our team enjoyed being part of the project, making a difference in reducing the carbon released into the atmosphere. Projects like this contribute to our target to support the successful restoration of peat bogs as part of our 2030 Sustainability Roadmap.”

Peatlands are the world’s largest terrestrial carbon stores, and are essential to efforts in fighting climate change. While healthy peatlands become carbon retainers and take in greenhouse gases, damaged peatlands do the reverse, turning them into dangerous carbon emitters.

Planting cotton grass plants will help to restore degraded peatlands by supporting vegetation growth, resulting in additional benefits for the surrounding wildlife and biodiversity of the North Pennines.

This new project comes as part of Speedy Hire’s focus on what it calls Nature Positivity, which recognises the importance of biodiversity as part of the green transition, and its role in supporting the company to achieve its ESG goals set by the company’s ‘Decade to Deliver’ strategy.

Rebekah Bainbridge, NPNL’s field officer, said: “The cotton grass plugs that volunteers from Sisk and Speedy Hire planted will work with other restoration measures to help us tackle peatland degradation.

“This reduces carbon emissions and mitigates flood risk while also increasing biodiversity in these important habitats. The volunteers worked really hard in some very challenging weather conditions, which we often have in the high areas of the North Pennines.”

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