1 April 2022
By Elaine Murphy
Stryker is making a ‘big’ difference with ‘small’ forest planting in Bishopstown Community School, Cork
Stryker is demonstrating its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSE) in Cork and Limerick by reducing carbon emissions and improving biodiversity in urban areas. As a leading supplier in healthcare, Stryker understands that there is a significant connection between the health of our planet and human health. Stryker’s sustainability strategy – to positively impact people and our planet through responsible sustainability practices that create a better, healthier world – influences the decisions it makes as a business.
Back Row: Roisin Hickey, Stryker; James Crow, Teacher; Alma Persson, Student; Ben Foley, Stryker; Edwina Gottstein, Principal of Bishopstown Community School; Front: Zoey Finnerty, Student; Jake O’Sullivan, Student; Annie O’Flynn, Student; Doyvdas Zicius, Student, and Samuel Jurkic, Student, pictured at the small forest planting in Bishopstown Community School Picture: Michael O’Sullivan /OSM PHOTO
Working with Bishopstown Community School in Cork and Limerick City Tidy Towns, and Crescent College in Limerick, Stryker is planting pocket forests that will deliver significant benefits to the environment in these local areas. The initiative is based on a Japanese concept dating back to the 1970s, that has been recognised as an effective approach to improving biodiversity and air quality in urban areas. The dense planting method of these forests means that they grow very quickly, up to five times faster than traditional woodland, and they absorb up to thirty times more carbon.
Stryker has strong ‘roots’ in Ireland, with 8 sites and over 4,000 employees across Cork, Limerick and Belfast. This initiative is an opportunity for Stryker to highlight its commitment to tackling climate change, while investing in the local communities in which it operates.
Speaking at the tree planting, Mag O’Keeffe, Vice President of Neurovascular Manufacturing, said:
“Stryker has an ambitious global sustainability strategy, including a goal to become carbon neutral by 2030. All sites across the island of Ireland now use 100% renewable energy and are on target to achieve this goal. While our targets are important, our local focus is much more than simply achieving these targets.
“A genuine passion to be more sustainable drives local initiatives, like this one that positively impact on our communities. The pocket forest concept brings benefits to the cities of Cork and Limerick at a time when sustainability and climate change are paramount on the national and international agenda. Tree planting is one of the best ways of taking CO2 out of the atmosphere, mitigating against the impact of climate change. Partnering with community groups and schools allows Stryker achieve our plans. We are so grateful to the students and teachers of Crescent College in Limerick and Bishopstown Community School in Cork who have helped make this ambitious project possible.”
Speaking about the initiative in Cork, Ben Foley, Director of Operations & Plant Manager, Stryker Model Farm Road, said:
“Across our site at Model Farm Road, we are implementing changes in how we work and embedding more sustainable ways of working. This approach has become part of our culture, and is influencing many local initiatives like this.
“Developing a pocket forest on our site wasn’t feasible, but working with a local school meant that we could achieve a more significant impact – planting over 150 native trees and shrubs. Working with the students and teachers at Bishopstown Community school has provided a shared learning experience, helping us understand what we can do both as individuals and as groups to improve our local environment. This forest proved to be a valuable learning resource for all of us.”