Drive begins on the UN declared International Day of Forests – March 21 – with the plantation of 10,000 saplings in the presence of Hon’ble Environment Minister, Thiru Siva V. Meyyanathan
Renowned artist, Padam Shri awardee, Sudarshan Patnaik welcomes HCCB’s announcement by creating a sand sculpture at Puri beach on 25 lakh trees
Chennai, March 21, 2022
HCCB (Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages) - one of India’s top FMCG companies – announced today that it would plant 25 lakh trees to mark 25 years of its incorporation. HCCB, incorporated on February 14, 1997, operates pan India and is the country’s largest pure play beverage company. The drive to plant 25 lakh trees began today with a plantation program at Alamathi Village, Sholavaram Block, Thiruvallur district. Thousands of volunteers, HCCB employees, women self-help groups, community elders, villagers, pollution control board and forestry department officials came together in the presence of Hon’ble Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Youth Welfare, Thiru Siva V. Meyyanathan to plant 10,000 saplings on a 10-acre arid land parcel in Alamathi. The event also marked HCCB’s commemoration of the International Day of Forests as declared by the UN and celebrated every year on March 21, since 2012.
The event was also graced by Thiru S. M. Nasar, Hon’ble Minister for Milk & Dairy Development; Mr S. Sudharsanam, MLA, Madhavaram Constituency; Mr A. Udhayan IFS, Chairman, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB); Dr Alby John Varghese, IAS, District Collector, Thiruvallur; Mr K Ram Mohan, IFS, District Forest Officer, Thiruvallur; Mr R. Kannan, Member Secretary, TNPCB; Mr Tamil Vaanan, Panchayat President, Alamathi village.
Speaking about HCCB’s target of 25 lakh plantations, Kamlesh Kumar Sharma, Chief Public Affairs and Communication Officer, HCCB, said, Pattnaik Ji said, “Pattnaik Ji said, “When we were deliberating the various ways of celebrating our 25th anniversary, our employees proposed that we create a carbon sink and draw an ambitious plan to top up the 50% green energy usage that we already leverage.” We gave ourselves the challenge of planting 25 lakh trees! It is heartening how so many partners have already come forth to help us realize the ambition. In equal measure is the magnanimity of all the people who are cheering for us. On behalf of HCCB, I extend my regards to Thiru Siva. V. Meyyanathan and all the dignitaries who have kicked off the proceedings. It is a long road ahead, but we are sure that everyone has our back, and we will reach the target.”
Among the saplings planted today are mango, coconut, gooseberry, sapota (chikoo), guava, lemon, custard apple and jackfruit. Once mature, these trees will also aid the income of the people in Alamathi, in addition to acting as a carbon sink in the district.
In a related development, celebrated sand artist and Padam Shri awardee Sudarsan Pattnaik built a sand sculpture on “25 years, 25 lakh trees” at the Puri beach and welcomed HCCB’s announcement. The sculpture depicts two hands nursing a tree to cuddle and protect Mother Earth.
Speaking about the sculpture, Shri Pattnaik said, “The idea was to express that each one of us has the power to save the Earth and make it a better place. And it doesn’t need very much. A mere sapling planted by each of us is already a significant amount of carbon emission mitigated, rainfall captured, oxygen generated and wildlife sustained. I congratulate HCCB on their 25th anniversary and their noble gesture of willing to plant 25 lakh trees.”
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