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Focus on Trees for Industry

Project type: 
Million Tree Challenge

Industrial Focus Group

What are the barriers for Industry in London to planting trees on their properties? ReForest London wanted to find out first hand so we invited a group of London industrial leaders to a Focus Group about just that subject at Labatt on September 18, 2014. It was a lively, interesting and educational event with resource people from the City of London, ReForest London, LEDC, UTRCA, VMPCP, plus a few businesses who have already planted on their property.

There was a good turnout and smaller groups discussed three main questions: 

  1. What benefits of planting trees do you think your company might find meaningful enough to plant more trees on your property?
  2. What do you feel the barriers are to planting more trees on your property?
  3. What would make it easier for your company to plant more trees on your property and how do you think we can move forward the idea of planting on industrial land?

Everyone had no trouble seeing the many benefits of planting more trees. There was a consensus that the perception of one’s business starts when people drive into your parking lot and a more attractive, green and welcoming business site would definitely be an advantage. Top reasons for tree planting included:

  • enhanced professional image, especially for business partners
  • public recognition as a leader
  • being a good community citizen
  • employee engagement and team building
  • employee retention
  • cost-savings
  • importance of environmental stewardship

The barriers to tree planting were a bit surprising as it is always assumed that cost would be number one. But a barrier stated most often was: not knowing what is possible. There was also a lot of interest in understanding the options and having a multi-year plan.  

ReForest London can help with a step-by-step site-specific plan of options for each interested property owner. Every business has different needs, including: budgets, available land, natural and manmade features, time and goals, which are all considered during the planning of an industrial land planting. 

Nonetheless, cost is always a consideration. Luckily, thanks to a grant from TD Green Streets, ReForest London is currently able to offer subsidies on the cost of trees.

What would make it easier for companies to plant trees on their property? And how can we move this forward? Knowing what is possible by consultation and providing a plan is the answer. Education about any barriers, either real or perceived, is paramount. It was agreed that people care and want to do something meaningful and tree planting is of universal benefit.

Holding this Industrial Focus Group in the John Kinder Labatt Room was a great fit. Labatt is an environmental leader doing great things in London for energy and water savings, and for greening their surroundings with a four-year planting plan. Each year is different type of planting with varying cost, time commitment and employee involvement. Big thanks to Labatt for hosting and thank you to everyone who took time out of their day to attend and give us your insights and opinions.

Participation with a tree planting initiative has many benefits your company can realize. Current subsidies might be an attractive option and we can tailor a plan to your property, budget, and desired result. Virtually all businesses and industry have areas of their property where there are no plans for future development and which would benefit from additional trees. It is surprising how little space is needed to create a mini-woodland and generate great benefits for your property, employees, community and London's environment. Shade trees around hard surfaces also have high value and relatively low cost to install.

ReForest London is dedicated to finding solutions that work for everyone and help industries plant trees and be greener. We can show you what is possible. If you are interested in learning more, contact Nathan Lundrigan at 226-700-8412 or  And of course, any trees you plant count toward London’s Million Tree Challenge. 

Focus Group Reception
Focus Group Reception Reception