Submitted by: Bayer
Posted: Nov 12, 2007 – 08:15 AM EST
Company Brings Global U.N. Environmental Initiative to Pittsburgh
Company Brings Global U.N. Environmental Initiative to Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH - NOVEMBER 12, 2007 - Reaffirming its commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, today Bayer employee-volunteers and Chartiers Valley Intermediate School third-graders rolled up their sleeves, grabbed their spades and planted trees on the school's campus, as the company announced that it has joined the United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) Plant for the Planet: The Billion Tree Campaign.
This announcement by Bayer marks the local commitment to the company's global pledge to UNEP's Billion Tree Campaign, which strives to combat climate change by encouraging individuals and organizations to plant at least one billion trees around the world by the end of 2007. Earlier this spring, Bayer AG in Germany pledged to help plant trees in Nairobi. Also, Bayer Corporation in the United States pledged $100,000 from the Bayer Foundation to the National Arbor Day Foundation to help plant 100,000 trees in an effort to reforest America’s national parks damaged by fire, drought, disease and disaster.
In addition, through its local Making Science Make Sense(R) (MSMS) program, Bayer is providing free environmental education CDs to Chartiers Valley Intermediate School students and teachers. The CDs feature fun facts about trees and the environment, hands-on science activities and several MSMS audio series segments, like "Why do leaves change colors?" and "Why do pruned trees grow fuller?"
"Making Science Make Sense is about providing students with the kind of quality hands-on, inquiry-based science education that builds science literacy," said Dr. Attila Molnar, President and CEO, Bayer Corporation. "With the Billion Tree Campaign, we at Bayer are able to help students make the connection between science literacy and climate, while reinforcing the notion that everyone has a responsibility when it comes to environmental protection -- from the largest companies like Bayer that are working to develop innovative and environmentally sound products and practices, to private citizens who can help by carpooling, shutting off light switches, and, in this case, planting trees."
The impact of trees on climate is well documented. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen, enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people. In addition, the net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.
"Trees are vital to a healthy community and planting trees today is helping to leave a legacy for future generations," said Ronald Yasher, principal of Chartiers Valley Intermediate School, which is one of Bayer's partner schools. "We are extremely grateful for Bayer’s strong support for this and other programs."
About Making Science Make Sense in Pittsburgh
Making Science Make Sense (MSMS) is Bayer's company-wide initiative that advances science literacy through hands-on, inquiry-based science learning, employee volunteerism and public education. Currently, Bayer's Pittsburgh site is one of 12 Bayer sites around the country that operate local MSMS programs, which together feature a national volunteer corps of more than 1,000 employees.
In Pittsburgh, more than 150 employee-volunteers take an active role in improving science education in local schools through the Bayer Association for Science in Communities (BASIC). Its goals are to spark and nurture children's natural curiosity, and cultivate a better understanding of what science is and what scientists do. Bayer also has transformed a portion of its 258-acre campus to be used as a Wildlife Habitat Council Corporate Lands for Learning site. Local elementary school students are led by Bayer and Wildlife Habitat Council volunteers in hands-on, inquiry-based environmental learning activities.
In addition, more than a dozen years ago, Bayer created ASSET Inc. (Achieving Student Success through Excellence in Teaching), an independent non-profit organization to implement hands-on, inquiry-based science education reform. Since July 2006, Governor Edward Rendell has awarded $23 million to ASSET to roll out its program to elementary schools across the state of Pennsylvania. Starting with five schools in two districts in 1994, today ASSET serves 160 school districts across 47 Pennsylvania counties and directly impacts more than 4,400 teachers and 180,000 students.
More recently, the company in partnership with Carnegie Science Center's SciTech Initiative and Pittsburgh Filmmakers presents the C.A.U.S.E. Challenge(TM) High School Film Festival. An environmental film festival, C.A.U.S.E. stands for "Creating Awareness and Understanding of our Surrounding Environment."
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. To download Bayer's Sustainable Development Report, visit www.Bayer.com.
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 Bayer and UNEP
Bayer Corporation's joining the Billion Tree Campaign in the United States is part of the company’s global commitment to environmental protection, the Billion Tree Campaign and UNEP.
Bayer AG is the first company in the world to forge a long-term partnership with 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 have jointly organized 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.
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