O.C.O supports Tree Planting Scheme to complement its Carbon Capture technology
For more than 8 years now, O.C.O Technology have been
permanently capturing CO2 in their manufacturing process and, in
that time, have locked up more than 44,000 tonnes. Our ambition is to grow that figure as we
expand our business across the UK and around the world. We estimate that, by 2023, we will be
permanently locking up over 15,000 tonnes of CO2 each year which is
the equivalent of planting over 3,000 hectares of forest – 3 million trees –
each and every year.
Add to that the fact that we have already produced well over
1 million tonnes of carbon-negative aggregate – enough to build almost 10,000
3-bedroom houses. Our aggregate replaces
the need for virgin materials in the construction industry and is a ‘pure’
example of the circular economy in action.
What sets O.C.O apart from other carbon capture processes is
that we are utilising CO2 to treat and stabilize a range of
hazardous ash wastes from Energy from Waste plants. Over 400,000 tonnes of APCr have been
processed through the existing three plants in the UK – all of which would have
inevitably gone to landfill otherwise.
While the industry as a whole struggles with defining and implementing
a commercial solution for carbon capture and storage (CCS), O.C.O Technology is
progressing in its programme of expansion of its existing UK operations as well
as developing similar solutions with and for various overseas partners.
To further cement our commitment to the circular economy,
O.C.O have teamed-up with Trees for Cities to support the vital work that they
Trees for Cities is a leading UK charity working at a
national and international level to improve lives through planting trees in
cities. They engage with local communities to cultivate lasting change in
their neighbourhoods – whether it’s revitalising forgotten spaces,
creating healthier environments or getting people excited about growing,
foraging and eating healthy food.
Of the partnership, Steve Greig O.C.O Technology’s Managing
Director, said “we are delighted to be able to support Trees for Cities in
their endeavours to improve lives by planting trees. Their work, and that of their volunteers, not
only enhances local communities but strives towards the same goals as O.C.O in
reducing the impact of carbon dioxide on the planet as a whole”.
The first project
that we are working with Trees for Cities on is the planting of a small
woodland at a comprehensive school in Port Talbot.
Port Talbot has the
second-lowest canopy cover in the county (8.2% in 2013) while 3 of the 4 Wards
of Aberavon are within the top 200 most deprived areas of Wales. Woodland
creation here will benefit local communities, school staff and pupils through
increased potential for outdoor education activities, improved air quality and
other known health and well-being benefits.
This project saw a total of 1,000 trees planted on the grounds of St. Josephs’ Comprehensive School in the town. The creation of new woodland habitats in this area will also benefit wildlife, through increased food source, space for nesting and nectar for pollinators. Likewise, woodland creation will reduce flood risk, help lower temperatures and manage the micro-climate and store carbon.
The hope had been for members of O.C.O staff to assist with
the planting itself but, due to COVID restrictions, this was not possible. Instead, Trees for Cities used their own
contractors, and the planting was completed recently.
Rory Field, Corporate Partnerships Director for Trees for
Cities says “We are delighted that a leading carbon capture business such as
O.C.O is actively doing even more to reduce global carbon emissions by
supporting our work. This partnership
with O.C.O will help to bring alive the project in Port Talbot and we very much
look forward to working with them on this and future endeavours.”