Wednesday, 06 September 2017

Samsonite spreads ‘green love’ for Arbour Day and Tourism Month

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Rob Kunze (Samsonite director) planting at Zandspruit Primary School with Miss Earth SA 2017 finalists, Dikeledi Mokwane and Rose Mantsho

 Samsonite Southern Africa – the local arm of global luggage giant – planted indigenous trees at the Zandspruit Primary School in Johannesburg during September to commemorate Arbour Day 2017 and Tourism Month.  

Rob Kunze, director of Samsonite Southern Africa, said that the initiative is being  implemented in conjunction with local environmental leadership programme Miss Earth, which is committed to creating leaders who can grow environmental and sustainability awareness and help preserve South Africa’s natural heritage.  He said that 10 trees were planted on September 1. The remaining 20 will be planted in within the next few weeks in other deserving areas.   

Arbour Day, which has been celebrated worldwide for over 100 years in spring, not only marks the first day of spring but also celebrates the importance of trees and the role they play in our environment via tree planting ceremonies. In modern times, it also aims to highlight an educate people on the dangers of deforestation and the dangers of climate change. Tourism Month is celebrated annually in September and aims to encourage South Africans to explore their own country in order to grow domestic tourism.

Kunze said that Samsonite Southern Africa had grown its business considerably as more and more South Africans are travelling. Last year, according to a study by Grant Thornton International, South Africa’s outbound tourism has grown by 6,2 percent. This is expected to continue despite tough economic times.

Samsonite Southern Africa is the market leader in the local luggage sector with brands such as Samsonite, American Tourister, Lipault and TUMI.   He said that the downside was that an increase in travel - and in air travel, in particular - meant more greenhouse gas emissions.  “As beneficiaries of the growth of air travel and as responsible corporate citizens who can make a difference by improving the school environment for the learners at Zandspruit Primary School by providing a better aesthetic environment and shade in the playground in future years, Samsonite can make a difference for generations to come,” he said.  

Director of Miss Earth SA, Ella Bella Leite, pointed out that September was not just about planting trees but was also both tourism and heritage month. “This gives us an opportunity to recognise our role in the environment. Our natural heritage - the environment - is in need of citizens to care, conserve and take responsibility. The Miss Earth SA programme aims to develop young leaders in the environment who will implement this ethos and change behaviour. By partnering with Wild Route Environmental Consultants, Gebco Compost and Samsonite, we were able to reach communities and bring a little ‘green love into their lives,” she said.  

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Published in Energy and Environment