Bayer Foundation Awards $100,000 to the National Arbor Day Foundation
Bayer Foundation Awards $100,000 to the National Arbor Day Foundation
PITTSBURGH, April 27, 2007 – Bayer Corporation announced today on National Arbor Day it has joined the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign and, through its Bayer Foundation, pledged to plant 100,000 trees to help reverse climate change and reforest America’s national parks.
Bayer made this announcement in the United States in support of the commitment made by its parent company, Bayer AG, which earlier in 2007 pledged to plant 100,000 trees in Nairobi, the global headquarters of UNEP.
To fulfill this pledge in the United States, the Bayer Foundation has partnered with the National Arbor Day Foundation, awarding it a $100,000 grant for its Trees for America program that restores the country’s national forests damaged by drought, fire, disease and disaster.
In addition, Bayer announced it will purchase additional trees from the National Arbor Day Foundation to be planted in various Bayer site communities around the country as part of its own Making Science Make Sense® (MSMS) program. MSMS is Bayer’s company-wide initiative that advances science literacy through hands-on, inquiry-based science learning, employee volunteerism and public education. It is one of 300 corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs Bayer supports globally.
Similarly, protecting the planet’s health and maintaining its sustainability are a primary CSR focus for Bayer.
“As a company that strives to improve quality of life for humankind and the environment through our products and services as exemplified by our motto, ‘Bayer: Science For A Better Life,’ we have long recognized and embraced our responsibility to help improve conditions for people around the world,” said Dr. Attila Molnar, President and CEO, Bayer Corporation. “Two ways in which we demonstrate this social responsibility is by helping strengthen science education through MSMS and by protecting the environment through various sustainability initiatives. These projects help to reduce our collective environmental footprint and foster a healthier planet.”
According to UNEP, trees are vital to a healthy planet. They absorb pollution, protect water catchments, reduce soil erosion, produce life-giving oxygen, mitigate climate change, cool cities, provide habitat for wildlife, are culturally important and are a legacy for future generations.
“Bayer Corporation is proud and pleased to join with two of the leading organizations that are working hard to protect the environment and educate people about the steps they can take, in this case, the simple act of planting a tree to help reverse climate change,” said Molnar. “With this new initiative Bayer is able to demonstrate the vital link between science literacy and environmental protection.”
In a separate announcement in March, Bayer CropScience in the United States said it was donating up to 100,000 trees to the National Arbor Day Foundation through a cause-related product partnership campaign. All together, Bayer globally has pledged to plant up to 300,000 trees in the United States and Africa to date.
Officially launched in November 2006 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Nairobi, the Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign was inspired by Professor Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize laureate for 2004 and founder of Kenya’s Green Belt Movement, which has planted more than 30 million trees in 12 African countries since 1977.
The campaign urges people, communities, organizations, business and industry, civil society and governments to plant at least one billion trees worldwide during 2007. To date, more than 808 million trees have been pledged and more than 10 million planted.
Bayer Corporation’s new pledge in the United States is part of the company’s global commitment to both the Billion Tree Campaign and UNEP.
“We applaud Bayer Corporation for taking action with its generous pledge to help reforest America’s national parks and hope it inspires others to do their part,” said Eric Falt, Director of Communications and Public Information for UNEP. “Forests provide us with vital cultural, environmental and economic benefits. Yet, globally, forest cover is at least one-third less than what it once was. It is time to reverse these trends.”
The National Arbor Day Foundation reports that in the United States, hot and dry weather throughout much of the country has continued to create problems for its national forests. Lingering extreme drought conditions have set the stage for wildfires in many western states, including Montana, Oregon and California. Millions of acres of forestland have burned, forcing residents to evacuate and creating a loss of habitat and food sources for many species of wildlife.
“We are delighted to be able to team with Bayer in this effort to repopulate our national forests with indigenous trees and to help raise awareness about how planting trees in general can help protect the environment and create healthier communities,” said John Rosenow, President of The National Arbor Day Foundation. “We also commend UNEP and the Billion Tree Campaign, whose work is helping to solve one of the major global issues of our time.”
About Bayer and UNEP
Bayer AG is the first company in the world to enter a long-term partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in the area of youth and environment. The partners first began cooperating on youth environmental projects in Asia in the late 1990s. In the summer of 2004, Bayer and UNEP signed a framework agreement to globalize this partnership, and the partners now jointly organize a dozen environmental projects for young people around the world, including the TUNZA International Youth Conference, the Young Environmental Envoys Program, Eco-Minds Youth Environmental Forum and the International Children’s Painting Competition held in conjunction with World Environment Day.
About Bayer Foundation
The Bayer Foundation is an endowed 501(c)(3) entity and is the primary source of Bayer Corporation’s philanthropy in the United States. With a programmatic focus on civic and social service programs, education and workforce development, arts and culture, and health and human services, the Bayer Foundation creates and supports partnerships that improve communities in which Bayer employees live and work.
About Bayer Corporation
Bayer Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is a subsidiary of Bayer AG, an international health care, nutrition and innovative materials group based in Leverkusen, Germany. In North America, Bayer had 2006 net sales of 7.8 billion euros and employed 17,200 at year end. Bayer’s three subgroups, Bayer HealthCare, Bayer CropScience and Bayer MaterialScience, improve people’s lives through a broad range of essential products that help diagnose, prevent and treat diseases; protect crops and enhance yields; and advance automobile safety and durability. Bayer AG stock is a component of the DAX and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: BAY).
About United Nations Environmental Programme
Established in 1972 following the United Nation’s Conference on the Human Environment, UNEP’s mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
About the National Arbor Day Foundation
The National Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit, environmental and education organization of nearly one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.
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