The partnership will see Danske Bank work with the Woodland Trust, the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity, to work towards mitigating its business emissions over their lifetime – equating to 6,000 tonnes of CO2 through tree planting across Northern Ireland.

The Woodland Trust has been working for 50 years in the UK to champion the role of trees and woods in helping to create vibrant communities, places for wildlife and to support a natural environment that can adapt to a changing climate. Its Woodland Carbon Scheme has been operating since 2012 and aims to help organisations reduce their carbon footprint by locking up unavoidable carbon emissions through planting trees.

Danske has committed to the Carbon Scheme exclusively in Northern Ireland where it plans to enable colleagues to use volunteering time as part of its Danske Time to Give programme to plant trees, which will enhance the landscape and promote biodiversity.

Chris Martin, Danske Bank’s Head of Sustainability said:

“Being a sustainable and responsible business is a key strategic priority for Danske Bank, and we also believe that the financial services sector has an important role to play in helping businesses transition towards a zero-carbon economy. In partnering with The Woodland Trust on their Woodland Carbon Scheme, the trees we’ll plant together will help us to mitigate our business emissions, both helping us to reduce the impact of our operations on the environment as well as boosting biodiversity.

“We’ve come a long way in our sustainability journey, but we know we have a lot still to do. Working with the Woodland Trust and other partners helps us along that journey, and we’re excited to create new, diverse and native woodland right here in Northern Ireland.”

Pip Greensmith, Head of Partnerships for the Woodland Trust added:

“We’re delighted to be supported by Danske Bank, with the partnership helping our work in environmental conservation by enabling new woods in the local landscape, which will play a valuable role in promoting biodiversity and create important wildlife habitats for nature as they grow and thrive.”

Paul Armstrong, Public Affairs Manager at the Woodland Trust Northern Ireland said:

“Trees and woods provide us with a wide range of benefits, they play a vital role in tackling climate change, improving our health and wellbeing, and helping nature to recover. Northern Ireland is one of the least wooded regions in Europe with less than 9% woodland cover. Planting more native trees and woods are vital to support our flora and fauna and provide much-needed havens for threatened wildlife such as red squirrel.

“With Northern Ireland having set a net zero target by 2050, we have much more work to do, this includes significantly increasing tree cover in our fight against climate change. We will need to plant over 1,800 hectares of new woodland per annum if we are to meet the government’s target of 12% woodland cover by 2050. We are thrilled to have the support of Danske Bank which will enable us to plant thousands of trees through our Woodland Carbon Scheme helping us increase native woodland cover in Northern Ireland for the benefit of nature, climate, and people.”