Woolworths: Living Wall


A friend of mine forwarded this link onto me this morning on Facebook; I was immediately intrigued, so I decided to share it.

16 October 2010 was World Food Day- the theme for this year was “United Against Hunger.” (Woolworths Trust, 2010) Woolworths’ answer to this theme was to create a virtual ‘living wall.’ In short, this is a wall that has been constructed in such a way that it is able to support the growth of plants/vegetation. Woolworths’ aim is and was; to get people to enter their name and e-mail, select a plant type (basil/spinach/straweberries/tomatoes) and plant a seedling on the virtual wall. Woolworths would translate this into a donation of the real plant to a South Africa school with a “permaculture food garden.” (Woolworths Trust, 2010)

“Permaculture is a world-renowned system of sustainable gardening and farming that’s design-driven, mirroring the healthy patterns of nature’s ecosystems. Permaculture combines plants, buildings, water, landscapes and people in ways that ensure that the particular environment generates more energy than is used.” (Woolworths Living Wall, 2010)

Woolworths, in partnership with several other brands and organisations, assists in something called the EduPlant programme. This teaches local schools how to grow and nuture plants using “resource-efficient permaculture methods.” (Woolworths Living Wall, 2010)

I think this is a very interesting project, and I can appreciate the thinking behind it. To-date over 6800 names and plants have been added to the virtual wall, which should translate into a sizeable donation to the South African school.

I must mention that I hope to receive continued updates on the project, and feel that it is important for Woolworths to show the actual delivery of the plants.  I think that the impact of the project may be reduced if there is not some sort of continuation. In order for projects to be sustainable there needs to be follow up. Driving people to the website, attaining their e-mail addresses and getting them to pick a plant is the easy part. It shall be interesting to follow the developments.

In the meantime, why not lend your name to the cause by donating to the virtual living wall?


This entry was posted in Case Studies, CSI and CSR, Sustainability and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Woolworths: Living Wall

  1. Brendan Loughrey says:

    I think this is a very innovative way of turning our social concerns that we often so valiantly exclaim on our online interconnectivity (but very rarely ‘do’ anything about) into real actions that make a difference in the real world. Excuse the terrible pun but I hope to see that this Woolworths project bares some real fruit and is not just some scheme to get more online activity and conversation around their brand. However for now I remain optimistic that Woolworths is really trying to be ‘the difference’ in the world 😛

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