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KT&G to build forest to help tackle climate crisis

KT&G staff and campaign partners took part in the tree planting proejct in Daegwallyeong in Gangwon Province. (KT&G)
KT&G staff and campaign partners took part in the tree planting proejct in Daegwallyeong in Gangwon Province. (KT&G)
South Korea‘s top tobacco maker KT&G plans to build a forest as part of their efforts to help tackle the global climate crisis.

The opening ceremony for the project took place last Wednesday with officials from KT&G, Eastern Province Forest Service and social enterprise Tree Planet.

The new project is designed to contribute to carbon neutrality with trees planted to pull in carbon dioxide and fine dust, helping reducing greenhouse gas.

Once the forest has been built, the plan will see a collaboration between the three parties to maintain the green space and raise awareness of the seriousness of climate crisis, the company said.

Located near Seonjaryeong, a mountain in the country of Pyeongchang in Gangwon Province, work on the project will begin sometime this month. Some 1,000 spreading yew trees will be planted across land spanning 1.5 hectares.

The company explained the spreading yew was chosen as it can withstand strong wind which is common in the area known as Daegwallyeong.

KT&G employees took part in securing the trees for the forest by participating in plogging – an act of jogging and picking up trash, the company explained.

The project was also funded by donations from the employees, the company added

“By creating this forest in Daegwallyeong and taking part in plogging for example, we are expanding the scope of our eco-friendly management through environment campaigns and ocean cleanup activities,” one official at KT&G said.

“We want to continue acting against climate crisis and protect the environment and take part in various activities in solving environmental issues, leading the charge in sustainability,” the official added.

The forest project in Gangwon Province is the latest in a series of environmental projects the company has launched in recent years, both on the corporate and staff level.

Some 150 million won, which was raised by KT&G staff through Sangsang Fund, was donated to non-governmental organization Green Asia Network to help tackle fine dust in Mongolia and combat desertification in the country. The fund was used to create a forest in Mongolia.

KT&G employees voluntarily took part in the process, the company said, and also participated in the process of planting trees.

At home, another project has seen the company build some 400 smoking facilities at places such as airports and train stations across the country since 2011 in an effort to prevent people from littering cigarette butts.

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)
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