Young Chichester business owner's environmental initiative will see trees planted in Nepal

A young business owner in Chichester has pledged to plant a tree for every job he completes.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 10:31 am

Tom Orchard, 21, who set up Device Doctors after he left Sixth Form, won the Observer Young Start Up Talent competition in 2016.

Tom is keen to take 'an environmental stand', so has pledged to plant a tree everytime he fixes a broken computer, phone or tablet.

He said: "It helps offset carbon for that job.

Tom Orchard, 21, set up Device Doctors after he left Sixth Form

"You don't have to be a massive corporation to do that sort of thing. You can do it as a small business.

"It's something businesses should care about. If everyone did it, then we would all be in a lot better position."

For each repair, with the help of Tree-Nation, the company will be planting a tree called a Patula Pine, in Nepal.

"These trees reach 20-30m tall and have a lifetime CO2 offset of over half a ton at 580 kg," Tom said.

Despite the challenges, the business has continued to thrive during the pandemic.

"We will be planting as part of the Eden Projects, which began in 2015 and has a main focus on restoring forests in areas of critical importance and improving local livelihoods.

"The cost of repair will not change as a result of this, we just want to make sure we are both offsetting our companies emissions and helping to make a difference."

Tom said the company will 'try to reduce emissions where we can', creating the 'most efficient routes to different customers' and making sure electricity isn't wasted.

He stressed that it's not an 'empty promise', as there is a 'strong belief in it'.

Bhima Sharu, one of the nursery directors leading the plantation activities in Nepal

Business has grown in unprecedented times

Tom said he had 'always wanted to start my own business' and began by buying and selling computers whilst at school.

"I really liked the idea of fixing phones and I also built my own computer," he said.

"All my friends have gone off to university so making the choice of doing what I do here has always been a tough one.

"Running a business through lockdown was challenging. Restrictions made life difficult, as there was a lot to comply with."

Despite the challenges, the business has continued to thrive during the pandemic.

Tom added: "I tried to overcome the restrictions and create a service that has value where others couldn't.

"That meant it could grow as a result.

"I decided I wanted to make it a 'we come to you' service. I take the van and visit the customer outside their home to try and make it easier for them.

"It's well suited to Covid as people have been working from home. That went well for a year and we've now expanded to two vans. We're slowly getting there."

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