CLEAN AIR LTD – REDUCING THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF FUME CUPBOARDS, VENTILATED ENCLOSURES AND SERVICE & MAINTENANCE VISITS.
With unrivalled experience, technical expertise, and the widest range of fume cupboard designs available, Clean Air is the authority in safe, reliable fume cupboards, fume containment and fume extraction.
At Clean Air, we understand the importance of reducing our environmental impact and are committed to helping companies achieve their sustainability goals by providing eco-friendly solutions. We believe that every company can make a difference, no matter how big or small, and we’re encouraging all of our customers to do their part in helping reduce the environmental impact of their fume cupboards, ventilated enclosures and service & maintenance visits.
One way to do this is by taking the initiative to plant a tree in ’23 across the United Kingdom in partnership with EForests. Planting a tree not only helps reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere but also helps improve air quality, reduces soil erosion and provides habitats for wildlife.
Clean Air’s ambition is to lead the fume cupboard industry in sustainability. We have a whole toolbox of protocols, initiatives, and working guidelines to help us continue to lower our carbon footprint, and they’re working! Between 2017 and 2022 we lowered our emissions by two thirds – even though turnover doubled!
Gifting trees to areas of UK woodland on behalf of our clients is a way of celebrating how far we have come, sharing our optimism for the future, spreading the sustainability message, and supporting biodiversity.
According to the Woodland Trust, woodland cover in the UK is among the lowest in Europe, and as a country, we need to do more to increase it to help meet the needs of our wildlife. If we don’t protect what we have left and work to sustain the woodlands of the future, we stand to lose more than just trees.
Clean Air is proud to become part of the movement to improve this. We are planting a native tree for every fume cupboard, ventilated enclosure and maintenance visit ordered from us in 2023.
This isn’t about offsetting – while we have used offsetting through a recognised and sustainable organisation as part of our approach to reducing our environmental impact, we acknowledge it isn’t a panacea. Every day in the UK, we all contribute to climate change through our daily activities. Planting these trees is about sharing the joy that nature can bring with our clients and reminding us of the part we all have to play in reducing our carbon footprints.
Each tree can offset up to 0.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide throughout its lifetime. That’s good for you, your friends, wildlife, and the planet.
Where will my tree be planted?
We have reserved space in locations across the country. Although we can’t guarantee a location near you will be available, we will always do our best to ensure your trees are planted in a region near the fume cupboard or ventilated enclosure installation, or the maintenance visit. If we can’t plant nearby, your tree/s will be planted in the nearest available region.
So, what’s the deal?
We have partnered with EForests to plant trees around the UK in community woodlands, nature reserves, community farms and urban areas. For every individual fume cupboard and ventilated enclosure unit in your order in 2023, we will plant one tree on your or (in the case of a Main Contractor) your client’s behalf. We will send a certificate showing its/their location and species. For each maintenance visit order received during 2023, we will plant one tree and send your organisation or (in the case of a Main Contractor) your client a certificate showing its location and species. Please note this applies to the initial service/maintenance visit and does not include extra visits due to access issues etc..
What species of trees are planted?
We partnered with a company that only plants UK-native tree species such as Oak, Rowan, Hazel, Silver Birch, Scots Pine, etc. They also plant UK species of Wild Cherry, Wild Pear, Wild Plum, and other wild fruit trees.
Why only plant native UK tree species?
There is strong evidence of the value of native tree species in supporting biodiversity. For example, in England, native woods and trees support a fifth of the UK’s Priority Species for conservation. Importantly, a 2019 study also concluded that the UK’s native trees have the potential to adapt to future conditions, including those expected due to climate change. Find out more from the Woodland Trust here.
How big are the trees that are planted?
Typically the trees planted are small saplings between 1ft – 2ft (30 – 60cm) tall, depending on the tree species. In their first summer, the saplings can often double in height.
When will my tree be planted?
The new trees are only planted from November to March. Because 100s, sometimes 1000s, of trees are generally planted at any one time, your tree/s will not necessarily be planted when you receive your certificate. However, your contribution to the woodland identified on your certificate is assured.
Can I visit my tree in the woodland?
Yes! We chose a scheme where everyone is welcome to visit the woodlands, and the trees are only planted on publicly accessible land. Some of the woodlands may have access restrictions at certain times. Please check the EForests My Tree page to find full details of where your tree is planted and if there are any restrictions on visiting a particular woodland.
Why are UK trees planted between November and March?
In the UK trees are planted from November to March as this is when they are dormant. They pause their active growth above ground and put their energy into developing and expanding a strong root system below ground. Winter is typically wetter, and water is key to root growth. By establishing their roots during winter the saplings have a better chance of survival through their first dry, summer period.
Which tree is mine?
The trees are not marked to keep the woodlands as natural as possible. You can visit the wood, but you cannot identify individual trees. Each tree dedicated is a contribution to healthy and sustainable woodland. Please check the EForests My Tree page to find full details, including directions, photos and a description of the area where your tree is planted.
How are the trees maintained?
All the trees planted by Clean Air are carefully managed; they’re not just planted and left to fend for themselves. They are only planted with nature reserves/community woodlands, which are just as keen as us and you for the trees to survive and live to maturity. Hundreds of volunteers, working with the nature reserves/community woodlands, help look after the trees at the sites across the UK. On sites with rabbits, voles, or deer, the trees are planted in protective shelters to improve the chances of each tree’s survival.
Each woodland is visited annually to ensure the trees are doing well, and recent photos of the woodland are posted to the EForests website to show how they’re thriving.
The first few years are the most critical to a tree’s survival, and any damaged/dying trees are replaced within the first 5 years.
How long will it take to receive the tree dedication certificate?
Electronic certificates will generally be emailed to you or the recipient in the month after your order is processed. Towards the end of the year, this may mean you don’t receive your certificate until 2024, but rest assured, your tree/s will be planted in your organisation’s name. We will endeavour to send your certificate within four weeks of allocating your tree/s. This may occasionally vary due to planting season, location availability, etc., but we will keep you fully informed if there is any delay.
About The Author
Will Perrott - Managing Director
Will has considerable experience in the laboratory market. He has been MD of a market-leading laboratory furniture design and manufacture company for 20 years, and spent seven years with ELE International, specialising in the sales and marketing of lab equipment and environmental instrumentation