PHOENIX, Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- U-Haul, the largest do-it-yourself moving company in North America, and The Conservation Fund, a top-ranked environmental nonprofit, celebrated a milestone today: the company's one-millionth customer donated to The Conservation Fund's Go Zero® program.
Beginning in 2007, U-Haul offered customers the opportunity to donate $3, $5 or $10 at checkout to Go Zero and support conservation projects around the country. Since then, an astounding one million people have chosen to give back, resulting in the protection and restoration of 1,225 acres—an area almost twice the size of New York's Central Park.
"The one million U-Haul customers that have given back to these valuable conservation projects demonstrate that the sustainability principles U-Haul was founded on continue to align with our customers' values," stated Stuart Shoen, executive vice president of U-Haul International. "My sincere gratitude to U-Haul customers, U-Haul team members and The Conservation Fund for their leadership and commitment to making a difference in the communities where we live, work and serve."
Together with U-Haul, these one million "Heroes of Go Zero" have:
- Raised more than $3.3 million in donations to The Conservation Fund.
- Planted nearly 330,000 trees across more than 1,000 acres at six National Wildlife Refuges for vulnerable species like the Louisiana black bear.
- Protected 225 acres of working forests along California's redwood region benefitting coho salmon and northern spotted owl through the purchase and retirement of 30,000 tons of carbon from The Conservation Fund's Garcia River, Big River and Salmon Creek forests in Mendocino County.
- Supported forests that will trap an estimated 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide over the next 100 years.
- Planted 1,600 trees in Detroit's Rouge Park and helped establish the Growing Detroit's Green Economy Fund, a grant program aimed at supporting green entrepreneurs.
- Furthered the creation of Lindsay Street Park, the first park in the English Avenue neighborhood of downtown Atlanta. The park will bring cleaner air and water, safer places to play and more job opportunities to an underserved neighborhood.
"Today we celebrate and thank the more than one million U-Haul customers who have made a significant and lasting difference on the ground," said Jena Thompson Meredith, director of The Conservation Fund's Go Zero program. "Every Go Zero tree we've planted and each acre of forestland we've protected with these donations are gifts to the planet and people everywhere, made possible by more than one million champions of conservation at checkout. We simply could not have done it without them."
More than 17,000 U-Haul locations participate in the effort, and every dollar collected by U-Haul goes directly to The Conservation Fund.
"Since 2007, our partnership with U-Haul has served as a model for corporate social responsibility programs aimed at engaging customers and inspiring employees, and it's rooted in a continued commitment by U-Haul and its customers to conservation and community," added Meredith. "Three cheers to every U-Haul customer and employee who has made a difference. We can't wait to realize the positive impacts of the next seven years."
To learn more about this milestone, visit http://www.uhaul.com/Articles/Sustainability/369/Tree-Planting-Partnerships.