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Cairngorm planters join massive global 'biodiversity' effort from Pernod Ricard

By Tom Ramage

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Cairngorm Mountain have joined together with more than 900 Pernod Ricard employees across Scottish communities to plant trees for the future.

The hill company's own contribution at last Thursday's 10th annual Pernod Ricard's 'Responsib' All Day was to plant mountain woodland, creating habitats for ring ouzel and other mountain bird species, in recreating a more natural upper tree line,

The special day was aimed at helping to protect and restore nature and biodiversity.

Coming together in the Cairngorms to create a more natural treeline on the mountain.
Coming together in the Cairngorms to create a more natural treeline on the mountain.

UK colleagues across the three entities of Pernod Ricard in the UK (Chivas Brothers, Pernod Ricard UK and Global Travel Retail), came together to support projects across England and Scotland.

Chivas Brothers volunteers at Balloch Castle also joined in the big day, which was first launched in 2011. Now a global event, it sees 18,500 Pernod Ricard employees dedicate a whole day to learning, sharing and having a positive and meaningful impact in their communities, bringing to life the group’s Sustainability & Responsibility 2030 roadmap “Good Times from a Good Place.

This year they teamed up with local partners and charities in London and Scotland to learn from them and work on a wide variety of community projects, from planting trees in natural conservation areas, renovating sustainable gardens and urban spaces, planting wetland plants and creating stag beetle loggeries.

Partners around Scotland included Findhorn Hinterland Trust, helping to clear dune health - a rare UK habitat of invasive non-native Lodgepole Pine seedlings.

Ardoch Loch Lomond Ltd removed plastics around newly planted coppices and national parks, as well as invasive species from wetlands, while Robin House Children’s Hospice worked in the hospice gardens set on a six-acre site within the National Park of Loch Lomond.

RSPB Scotland supported general habitat improvements.

Liam Donegan, manufacturing director at Chivas Brothers, led the team at a local project with West Dunbarton Council which included Himalayan balsam and rhododendron removal, as well as tree and wildflower planting at Balloch Castle. Balsam and Rhododendron are invasive species that erode river banks, whilst the planting of trees facilitates carbon absorption, and wildflowers provide food for pollinators and insects as well as food for birds and small mammals during the winter.

He said: “It was wonderful to be a part of Responsib’All Day after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. The team came together and we were able to play a small part in protecting the wonderful nature and biodiversity we have here in Scotland, which is of utmost importance as part of Pernod Ricard’s Sustainability Goals.”

In total, Pernod Ricard employees in the UK donated over 3,200 man-hours to nine projects.

Jean-Etienne Gourgues, CEO and chairman of Chivas Brothers commented: “Responsib’All Day is a demonstration of our commitment to having a positive impact on the places we call home and inspire others to take a positive action.

"With over 1,000 employees in the UK uniting under the common goal of making a difference through protecting nature and biodiversity, we can have a huge impact.

"From the hills of Scotland’s Speyside to the centre of London we are one team working together to build a better future”

Sandrine Ricard, deputy director of sustainability and responsibility for the company in the UK, added: “After a two year pause due to the pandemic, we’re excited to announce Responsib’All Day is back and it’s bigger and better. In line with Pernod Ricard’s commitment to nurturing terroir – our French word for landscapes – this year we aim to help employees understand the importance of the nature around them, contributing to tangible projects near their office and production sites to protect and preserve biodiversity around them."

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