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Bayer Corporation to Partner with United Nations on World Environment Day in North America

Submitted by: Bayer

Categories: Environment, Community Development

Posted: Apr 10, 2008 – 02:45 PM EST


Sponsors International Children’s Painting Competition, Awards at Chicago Botanic Garden

Apr. 10 /CSRwire/ - PITTSBURGH - April 10, 2008 – To help today's students understand their role as tomorrow's environmental stewards, Bayer Corporation announced today it will partner with the United Nations Environment Programme's Regional Office in North America (UNEP RONA) to help sponsor the 36th annual World Environment Day celebration. This event will take place on Thursday, June 5, at the Chicago Botanic Garden, the North American regional host venue.

Commemorated each year on June 5, World Environment Day is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. With thousands of events in the six UNEP regions of North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, World Environment Day is considered the largest environmental event of its kind.

Here in North America at the Chicago Botanic Garden, the daylong celebration will be tied to the global World Environment Day theme, Kick the CO2 or Carbon Habit! Toward a Low Carbon Economy. It will include a series of activities aimed at both adults and children, highlighting resources and initiatives that promote low carbon economies and lifestyles, such as improved energy efficiency, alternative energy sources, forest conservation and eco-friendly consumption.

Bayer AG is a global partner of UNEP. In North America, Bayer Corporation will sponsor a portion of the youth program at the Chicago Botanic Garden, including bringing the North American International Children’s Painting Competition (ICPC) Exhibition, a signature World Environment Day initiative, to the Garden. Bayer also will host a special awards ceremony for ICPC entrants from North America and Chicago and will bring the Second Place North American winner to the event.

In addition, after spending the morning participating in a series of climate change-related, hands-on activities at the Garden, Bayer will treat kindergarten through fifth grade students from Chicago area schools to a visit with Chicago native and hometown hero, Dr. Mae C. Jemison. Former director of the Jemison Institute of Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College and founder of the international science camp, The Earth We Share (TEWS), Dr. Jemison is a scientist, educator and the nation’s first African-American female astronaut.

Finally, Bayer, through the Bayer USA Foundation, also will award a community grant to a local Chicago nonprofit organization to enable students to work on a yearlong project that addresses this year's World Environment Day theme. The grant recipient will be announced on World Environment Day.

"Bayer has long been committed to sustainability and corporate social responsibility, and environmental education projects are one important part of that commitment," said Dr. Attila Molnar, President and CEO, Bayer Corporation. "We are extremely pleased to join with our parent company, Bayer AG, and UNEP to help bring World Environment Day to millions of people, especially students, and shine a light on climate change -- one of the most critical global issues of our time that science and science-based companies like Bayer will play a key role in helping to solve."

Dr. Molnar explained that, last fall, as part of the company's Making Science Make Sense(R) initiative, Bayer Corporation partnered with UNEP RONA to bring the International Children's Painting Competition to the company's site communities in North America, including Pittsburgh; the San Francisco Bay Area; Northern Indiana; Morristown, N.J.; the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan area; and New Martinsville, W. Va.

More than 700 entries were received by UNEP RONA in February, from which the first and second place winners from North America will be selected and announced on Earth Day, April 22, 2008. On June 5, the First Place winner will travel to Wellington, New Zealand, while Bayer will bring the second place winner to Chicago for World Environment Day festivities.

"We're delighted that Bayer Corporation has joined UNEP in North America in our efforts to help educate the public and raise awareness of the issues associated with environmental protection and climate change," said Amy Fraenkel, Director, Regional Office for North America, UNEP. "The painting competition is particularly important in this regard because it reaches out to our youngest citizens, engaging them early on in important environmental issues and giving them an appreciation for the world they will inherit."

Other World Environment Day activities at the Chicago Botanic Garden will include a "Knowledge and Action" marketplace on the Esplanade where nonprofit, academic and student, government, cultural and environmental organizations will demonstrate the many ways that individuals, businesses and governmental bodies can help reduce their carbon footprint. In addition, an afternoon plenary session will bring together local, regional, national and international experts on global warming and climate change to discuss steps individuals from across the region, the nation and the world must begin to take to reduce their carbon footprints. Included in the panel will be Dr. Ashok Khosla, a former director of the United Nations Environment Programme and the 2002 recipient of the Sasakawa Environment Prize.

About the International Children's Painting Competition

The International Children's Painting Competition on the Environment is part of UNEP's TUNZA strategy for children and youth. TUNZA is a word in Kiswahili that means to "treat with care." The program aims to provide young people with information and tools on how to "treat Mother Earth with care" and how to act for a better world.

This annual competition is jointly organized by UNEP, the Japan-based Foundation for Global Peace and Environment (FGPE), Bayer and Nikon. The painting competition has been held since 1990 and in that time has received over180,000 entries from children in more than 100 countries.

Each UNEP Regional Office (Bahrain, Bangkok, Geneva, Panama City, Washington and Nairobi) chooses regional winners. The selection of the global winners will be made by a jury comprising representatives of all the organizers. The global winners will be announced at the main international World Environment Day celebrations in Wellington, New Zealand.

About Bayer 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 2004, Bayer and UNEP signed a framework agreement to globalize this partnership that was extended in August 2007 for three years. 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. Bayer Corporation in the United States supports UNEP’s World Environment Day activities in North America.

Further information on the partnership between UNEP and Bayer is available on the Internet at: www.unep.bayer.com.

About Bayer Corporation

Bayer Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is a subsidiary of Bayer AG, an international health care, nutrition and high-tech materials group based in Leverkusen, Germany. In North America, Bayer had 2007 net sales of 8.1 billion euros and employed 16,800 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 USA Foundation

The Bayer USA 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 the environment and sustainability; education and workforce development; arts and culture; and health and human services, the foundation creates and supports partnerships that improve communities in which Bayer employees live and work, as well as society at large. The Bayer USA Foundation is one of three Bayer foundations worldwide, including the Bayer Science & Education Foundation and the Bayer Cares Foundation.

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