CSRwire - Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire

U-Haul moves to save California forests and clean air


PHOENIX -- U-Haul is proud to announce the purchase of verified greenhouse gas emissions reductions from three California forests owned and operated by The Conservation Fund. The Big River, Garcia River and Salmon Creek forests—all in the redwood region of California's North Coast—are helping to safeguard habitat for wildlife, provide jobs for the local community and trap carbon dioxide as they grow.

The partners will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by protecting carbon-dioxide-absorbing redwood and Douglas fir trees that otherwise would have been harvested. The U-Haul investment is offsetting 22,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the Big River, Garcia River and Salmon Creek forests—a portion of which (15,000 metric tons) was retired immediately, thanks to customer donations.

The new support for California forests is the latest project in a fruitful four-year relationship between U-Haul and The Conservation Fund. In April of 2007, U-Haul began working with the Fund to facilitate customers' donations to the Fund's Go Zero program, which plants trees to trap carbon dioxide emissions. The partnership with U-Haul has resulted in 100 percent of customer's donations totaling nearly $2 million going toward the Fund's Go Zero program. As a result, more than 200,000 trees—covering the size of 535 football fields—have been planted with help from generous U-Haul customers. Today, the relationship is growing to help protect trees, not just plant them.

'U-Haul is committed to conducting business in a socially responsible manner to protect the environment and benefit the communities where we live and serve,' stated John 'J.T.' Taylor, president, U-Haul International, Inc. 'The partnership with The Conservation Fund has been very beneficial in achieving that objective.'

The redwood region of California's North Coast is known for its raw beauty and rich wildlife, but decades of intensive timber harvesting, changing timber owners and encroaching development have diminished this unique landscape. The impact has heavily affected spotted owls, salmon and other species that call this region home.

As the owner and manager of the California forests, The Conservation Fund will ensure that these lands never will be converted into vineyards or second-home developments. By changing how forests are managed, the Fund will help raise additional revenue to support ongoing forest and stream restoration work, stimulate jobs within the community and help clean the air we all breathe.

'The support and generosity demonstrated by U-Haul and its customers for our Go Zero program and for California's forests has been tremendous,' said Jena Meredith, director of The Conservation Fund's Go Zero program. 'Together we can deliver real, measurable results for our nation's air quality, forests and wildlife.'

U-Haul continuously looks for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle, and implement effective programs and policies to conserve energy and resources and to protect the environment.

U-Haul Corporate Sustainability Initiative
U-Haul was founded by a Navy veteran who grew up in the Great Depression. Tires and gas were still rationed or in short supply during the late 1940s when U-Haul began serving U.S. customers. Today, that background is central to the U-Haul Sustainability Program: 'Serving the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.' Our commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle includes fuel efficient moving vans, neighborhood proximity, moving box reuse, moving pads made from discarded material and packing peanuts that are 100 percent biodegradable. Learn more about these facts and others at www.uhaul.com/sustainability.

The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect your favorite places before they become just a memory. A hallmark of our work is our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. Top-ranked, we have protected nearly 7 million acres across America. www.conservationfund.org.

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