As a company we work closely with University of Derby who have a ‘DE-Carbonise’ initiative, assisting businesses such as ours to reduce their carbon footprint and environmental impact, in line with this we are looking into all areas which we can do better as a business, so this year we have chosen to opt for a potted real Christmas tree, as it can be planted in our conservation area for re-use! During the re-model and expansion of our logistics centre we selected land which we have designated as a ‘conservation area’. Once the Christmas period is over, we will remove our tree from its pot and plant it, where it will continue to live and grow.

We also found that some companies, such as The Real Christmas Tree based in Nottinghamshire, make charitable donations from the proceeds, such as to Help for Heroes. The Real Christmas Tree donate £1 per sale to Help for Heroes, a charity which is close to home for many of us here at ILC and across the UK.

Every year worldwide millions of trees are cut down to decorate our homes for the Christmas period, it is estimated that in the US alone 33-36 million trees are cut down for decoration, this figure is dwarfed by the estimation of 50-60 million trees across Europe, only to end up discarded on rubbish heaps weeks later. Many of the trees cut down are wild growing, although there are more sustainable options available, for example Christmas tree farms, which plant new seedlings every year to replace those which have been cut down.

This approach is far more sustainable than the use of plastic trees, which are widely made from PVC and coated in fire retardants which may last for many years but will ultimately end up on the rubbish dump once they have gone past their best. From here these artificial trees will take years to decay, and in the process of doing so will release micro plastics and PBDE’s into the surrounding ecosystems, the impact of which can be noted as far away as the Arctic where these substances have been found in the tissue of animals such as ringed seals.

By choosing to keep the root system of our tree intact and secure in a pot, we can ensure that our tree will be able to be re-planted once the Christmas period is over, reducing our carbon and environmental impact for Christmas 2021!