Schneider Electric has announced its participation in the DCs for Bees initiative, in association with Host In Ireland, for the third successive year.
The ‘Orchards in the Community’ initiative accompanies Schneider Electric’s commitment to the DCs for Bees Pollinator Plan, a collective plan of action led by Host In Ireland and executed by 48 partners from across the data centre industry. It aims to save Ireland’s declining bee population and ensure its survival for future generations, along with other endangered species such as flying insects and butterflies.
To help protect bees, increase pollination, and support biodiversity, Schneider Electric, alongside 73 other companies, has pledged to contribute to the planting of over 3,587 mixed fruit orchards across Ireland. As part of the programme, 222 schools and colleges and 171 community groups from tidy towns, retirement homes, community centres, and local sports facilities have received and planted orchards in their communities.
Today these orchards provide vital green spaces in Ireland’s cities and towns. Alongside this, 33% of the country’s 99 wild bee species are at risk of extinction but the new orchards provide them and other biodiverse creatures with vital food as they struggle when emerging from winter.
During the partnership, Schneider Electric sponsored a total of 500 orchards – equivalent to 2,500 trees – over three planting years. In 2023, it further sponsored 100 orchards consisting of three apple trees, a plum tree, and a pear tree in each orchard. 34 orchards have been taken by employees and 66 orchards went to communities who had signed up for the initiative.
Communities that have benefited from the biodiversity benefits of the orchards include Kilmaine Tidy Towns, Monivea Tidy Towns, Gorey Community Schools, Abbeyleix Tidy Towns, Oaktree Court Residence Association, Dromahair Tidy Towns, Holy Rosary College, and Sustainable Community Area Network Milltown.
“Orchards are a focal point for communities to connect people with nature. Growing orchards in the community helps raise awareness of our connection to our food sources and plays an important role in biodiversity and the plight of bees in Ireland,” says Garry Connolly, founder of Host in Ireland. “That spirit of community is alive and well with ‘Orchards in the Community’ as organisations like Schneider Electric come together with biodiversity groups, schools, colleges, tidy towns, and others across Ireland to tackle challenges like biodiversity loss to save Ireland’s pollinators.”