Mannok returned to the annual three-day construction event in NEC, Birmingham this year with a huge team effort from both sides of the Irish Sea, to create an impactful and interactive exhibition stand which portrayed the company’s core value of sustainability and earned the company The Best Sustainability Initiative award.
As the key theme for Mannok’s stand was sustainability, the artwork throughout the stand displayed the company’s wide range of sustainability achievements including award winning educational partnerships, the company’s own beehives and extensive planting of wildflowers and trees across many sites, the successful introduction of Ireland’s first Kestrel Cam and the company’s carbon, energy and waste reduction initiatives. But the most outstanding and interactive experience on the stand which was a show highlight for many of the twenty thousand industry professionals attending the show, was the unique, live tree planting experience.
With a live video link to the company’s tree planting team back in a field at its Crievehill Quarry in Northern Ireland, Mannok encouraged visitors at the show to “Kick the Carbon” by having a tree planted there and then. A total of six hundred trees were planted for the initiative.
Nathan Garnett, Event Director of UK Construction Week presented Mannok with the award, commenting,
“I think the Mannok stand is brilliant, and we have had lots of great feedback from visitors on the idea you have come up with. The live tree planting is really clever and being very well received.”
In addition to offsetting carbon, visitors who planted a tree also received a certificate and were entered into a competition to win a luxury forest retreat to County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, which included:
The unique tree planting experience saw Mannok commit time, resources, land and money to provide an authentic experience where its own people rolled up their sleeves, donned their wellies and got digging, and earned the company Best Sustainability Initiative at the UK’s largest construction event!
Also speaking at the event on the importance of sustainability for the company which led to this live tree planting initiative, Kevin Lunney, Operations Director of Mannok said,
“It’s great to be able to bring our sustainability messages to UK Construction Week. The message we are getting is we must be sustainable, and our products must be sustainable. For our staff and community at large it is an extremely important message, and it will be our key message for the next ten years: that we have a sustainable business in all its capacities, in terms of our people, planet and partners.”
“We recently launched our Natural Assets Action Plans and they have been very well received locally and across the UK. It has been very exciting to develop these in conjunction with Ulster Wildlife, who have guided and directed us in terms of the correct way to approach the whole biodiversity and carbon capture space. We have a number of projects coming out of that, including tree planting and rewilding in the various land assets that will see the biodiversity of the whole business improve dramatically over the next ten years.”
The six hundred trees Mannok planted during UK Construction Week marks the start of a large tree planting programme which will see the company plant tens of thousands more trees in the next five to ten years.
One visitor in particular who enjoyed planting a tree at Mannok’s stand was Architectural Designer and TV Presenter, Charlie Luxton. Charlie arrived at the Mannok stand on the second day, smiling proudly as he planted his scots pine tree. As Charlie spoke to the team planting his tree in Northern Ireland, he remarked on how wet and rainy the weather looked on that particular day and praised the team for their commitment to “Kick the Carbon”.
While planting his tree and browsing around the Mannok stand, the well-known Architectural Designer and TV Presenter, who has a passion for sustainable construction, congratulated Mannok for its sustainability achievements, saying,
“I really enjoyed planting a tree remotely and a scots pine, I love that tree, it’s a beautiful species! Mannok’s stand is a testament to the shift in focus for the whole construction industry, more and more people are understanding the role that the climate and environment plays and are actually rising to the challenge. I understand Mannok is starting to really tackle the energy intensity of cement and the heavy building goods industry, we need these materials, and we need them to be made as sustainably as possible.”
During the same week, Charlie Luxton was the Mannok sponsored keynote speaker at the BMF Young Merchants Conference. The sponsorship reflects the company’s focus on people and partners as part of its overarching sustainability strategy, which includes a number of initiatives to help attract and retain young talent to the industry. Commenting on the importance of supporting the younger generation in the industry through partnering with organisations such as the BMF, Lee Gillman, GB Sales & Marketing Director, commented,
“It’s very important that we support the industry in bringing more young people into the sector and supporting their skills development. The builders’ merchant industry has never really been viewed as a “sexy” industry to be part of, and it’s always struggled to attract the younger generation. The BMF offer excellent training and development for the long-term sustainability of the industry, so it is absolutely key that we support them in their work with young merchants as they’re the future of the industry.”