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Dauphin HumanDesign® Group, a leader in providing office seating solutions, will plant 650 trees through Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) during Arbor Month (September 2014) for the residents of Khutsong, Carltonville in Gauteng's West Rand, as part of the company's carbon neutral initiative. This will create an urban canopy with 16.25 hectares of forest in an area with thousands of RDP houses that is currently barren.

Climate change is an urgent issue that affects all and will impact on the quality of life of all communities around the world and their environment. Offsetting carbon emissions is one of the crucial steps towards a lower carbon future.

A variety of carbon offsetting programmes enable companies, like Dauphin, to play a part in the fight against climate change. FTFA has two international recognised programmes that offer carbon offset opportunities in South Africa through voluntary or verified channels.

Debbie Arnoldi-Radford, Managing Director of Dauphin, explains: “Dauphin embarked on a carbon neutral program a number of months back, first by establishing our carbon footprint, and then by looking at ways in which to offset this footprint. FTFA has been supported extensively by our Bidvest Group, due to the sustainability of the programmes it runs. As September is Arbor Month, it's the perfect time to raise awareness of how this programme greens, educates, offsets carbon emissions and transforms schools and other community centres into healthier and more sustainable environments.”

Khutsong is a settlement on the West Rand of Gauteng and is situated close to the town of Carletonville, in the Merafong City Local Municipality. Of around the 8 400 households in Merafong, over 2 500 residents of Khutsong inhabit low cost RDP houses.

“This area was chosen because its thousands of RDP houses are built on a barren and bare landscape that negatively impacts the quality of life for all in the area," said Tinashe Mutoredzanwa, FTFA programme manager. "There has been little consideration in these low cost settlements of the need to create leafy suburbs through developing recreational spaces and parks, and planting trees. Therefore we are grateful to be working with Dauphin HumanDesign® Group towards our goal of a green and sustainable future during this year's Arbor Month, to improve the lives of those less fortunate," said Mutoredzanwa.

This is far from the first greening initiative undertaken by Dauphin. The company has also introduced the dat-o chair, which is manufactured using more than 50% recycled materials. The chair features no hazardous substances, is PVC, chrome VI, lead and mercury-free and all its expendable parts, cushions and upholstery can be replaced. It is manufactured using CFC and CHC-free breathable foams. Even its cardboard packaging contains 30% recyclable material and water-soluble inks.