As it celebrates 75 years of existence, beer company, Uganda Breweries Limited has boasted of greatly contributing to replenishing of the Ugandan environment through planting of 4.7 million trees in last 16 years.
In 2005, the company under its e-green initiative, UBL launched a campaign to restore depleted forests in the country and as part of this campaign, the company together with government launched yet another campaign targeting to plant 40 million trees countrywide.
Earlier this year, UBL handed over shs330 million to the Ministry of Water and Environment towards the 2021 national tree planting campaign named Running Out Of Trees.
Statistics from the National Forestry Authority show that Uganda lost 2.4 million hectares of forest cover between 1990 and 2015 which translates into an annual loss of 96,000 hectares, which in acres is equivalent to 96,000 football pitches.
According to the outgoing Managing Director, Alvin Mbugua, UBL is in its second year of its ambitious 5-year campaign to plant 40 million trees
The company’s sustainability report says they have contributed to forest cover restoration in Navugulu, Nawandigi and Ggangu Central Forest Reserves.
“UBL has played a key role in the restoration of three of these reserves to date. This is over 200 hectares of forest that UBL has restored! These forests need to be restored as they have been severely degraded by adjacent communities, which have a high demand for forest products. Local communities rely on the forests for firewood to cook and keep their houses warm. They also clear forests to get land for agriculture,” said an official from National Forestry Authority.
“The forests act as water catchment areas, and the more degraded they are, the more the quality and quantity of water supplied is negatively affected. This partnership has been incredibly important to us. “Together with UBL, we worked closely with the local communities and directly involved them in the restoration. The partnership has enabled us to educate the communities on the numerous benefits of trees and change their attitude to the trees. If you visit any of the UBL forest reserves today, you will find a thriving, restored forest.”
According to Mbugua, UBL has fully adopted Diageo's 10-year action plan as the ideal blueprint to scale up their efforts over the next decade as they transition to a green and more circular economy.
“We will be further implementing our substantial investment in greening our facilities, and utilizing clean energy. This includes rolling out biomass boilers in the beginning of 2022 with locally sourced renewable fuel,” Mbugua said.
“Uganda is blessed with significant natural resources, which are vital to the country’s development. As UBL, we are pleased to be at the forefront of the country’s sustainable development agenda integrating our business goals with strong environmental, social and and, community development goals. We will continue prioritizing the fight against climate change with the resources we have the knowledge we continue to build, knowing that doing so will help millions of stakeholders.”