SAINTS have pledged to plant 3,000 trees in the UK over the next four years as part of the club's sustainability strategy known as the Halo Effect.

For every academy player that makes their first-team debut, Saints will plant 250 new trees to launch its Home Grown Initiative.

The numbers are based on three players making their bows for the senior side each season over a four-year period, to help Saints become carbon neutral by 2030.

Based on this forecast, the club has committed to populating Southampton and the wider region with a minimum of 3,000 trees to offset the 3,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, as well as preserving 3,000 trees overseas.

The Home Grown Initiative was kicked off by striker Dan N'Lundulu, who made his debut in a Premier League win over Everton in October last year.

Fellow youngsters Kegs Chauke, Caleb Watts, Ryan Finnigan and Alex Jankewitz all made their senior debuts in last week's FA Cup win over Shrewsbury Town.

This will help offset unavoidable carbon emissions, such as player travel to away games.

The Halo Effect, which is being launched this month, encompasses four key pillars of environmental, corporate, fan and social responsibility.

Tim Greenwell, Saints' chief legal and risk officer, said: “We’re proud to launch the Home Grown Initiative as a unique means of combining our commitment to sustainability with our club's reputation for developing world class talent on the pitch.

"Sustainability has always been important to us but it’s now being further embedded into the club’s culture, values and behaviours across all sites and departments. Everyone now has a role to play to help Southampton reach its goal of achieving carbon neutral status by 2030 from players, coaches and staff at the club.”

N'Lundulu added: "After making my first team debut in October, it’s great to know I now have 250 trees being planted in Southampton in my name this year."