Business Charity Awards 2016: Charity Partnership, Energy & Industrial - RPS Group with Tree Aid

For an outstanding partnership between a company in the energy and industrial sectors and a UK charity

RPS expertise has brought benefits to the Bongo District
RPS expertise has brought benefits to the Bongo District

What is the partnership?

Tree Aid approached the environmental and energy consultancy the RPS Group for help funding a project to protect river banks using trees and shrubs in the Bongo District of eastern Ghana. RPS saw an opportunity to engage its employees in a way that went beyond traditional corporate social responsibility, offering technical expertise and input into the design and delivery of the project, as well as funding.

What did the company do?

Local builders had already constructed weirs to hold rainwater, but these were not strong enough to withstand heavy seasonal rain. RPS called on experienced volunteers from across the company to design and supervise the construction of appropriately engineered weirs in collaboration with Tree Aid, local builders and other volunteers. As part of its work, RPS staff mapped 72 square kilometres of river basin, an area for which no detailed maps previously existed, and trained Tree Aid's west Africa staff.

Why did it win?

RPS has so far provided technical support to the value of £115,000, while donating £470,000 in funding to the Bongo River Trees Project. The project provides permanent benefits for local communities and 18,000 farmers. Three weirs were successfully built in 2015, with a fourth due for completion in 2016, and these are now a source of great pride to the local communities.

Finalists

- British Gas with Shelter

- EDF Energy with Marie Curie

- ScottishPower with Cancer Research UK

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