April 28, 2010 (ST. LOUIS) - The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation will plant its 5 millionth tree in 2010 as part of the 50 Million Tree Pledge, a private/public/nonprofit partnership between Enterprise, the Arbor Day Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service. For the fifth consecutive year since the program's launch in 2006, 1 million trees will be planted in national forests in countries in which Enterprise operates.
Enterprise works with the Arbor Day Foundation each year to determine the planting projects that represent the greatest and most immediate needs. This year's projects were selected to help rebuild and preserve several forests that are essential to local water sources, including two forests in California, where 50 percent of the water supply originates in the state's national forests.
Demand for water continues to increase rapidly. The United Nations estimates that in 2017, nearly 70 percent of the global population will have problems accessing fresh water. And in 2025, approximately 40 percent of the world's population will be living in water-scarce regions. The plantings will help improve the health of watersheds, which are important to the drainage of rainfall into streams, ponds, rivers and lakes.
The tree planting projects for 2010 include:
o Flathead National Forest, Montana - 250,000 trees
o Sequoia National Forest, California - 271,000 trees
o San Bernardino National Forest, California - 300,000 trees
o Payette National Forest, Idaho - 79,000 trees
o Manitoba Forest, Canada - 50,000 trees
o Cowal and Trossachs Forest District, Scotland - 50,000 trees
The plantings in the Flathead, Sequoia, San Bernardino, Payette and Manitoba Forests will be completed in spring of 2010; the planting in Cowal and Trossachs Forest District will be completed in the fall.
"Restoring and protecting national forests is just one of the ways Enterprise contributes to environmental sustainability in the countries in which our company operates," said Enterprise Holdings Chairman and CEO Andy Taylor. "The planting of our 5 millionth tree in 2010 demonstrates our long-term commitment to this issue."
Each year until 2056, with funding provided by the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation, the Arbor Day Foundation will work with the U.S. Forest Service to plant 1 million trees in national forests that have the greatest and most immediate needs around the U.S., and in international locations where Enterprise does business.
Enterprise launched the 50 Million Tree Pledge - a commitment to plant 50 million trees over 50 years at a cost of $50 million - in 2006 as part of its environmental stewardship platform. The kickoff of the initiative also commemorated the company's 50th anniversary.
Since the effort was launched, more than 4 million trees have been planted across Alabama, California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and Scotland.
"Enterprise's 50-year, 50 million tree commitment is essential to our reforestation efforts," said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Each year, we observe the tremendous impact to the flora and fauna of these forests that has been made possible by this program. The next 45 years of plantings in partnership with Enterprise will continue the revitalization of our forests, and aid the Forest Service's focus on restoration in order to improve watershed health and increase water quality."
The 50 Million Tree Pledge complements a range of other environmental initiatives by Enterprise Holdings, which operates the Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental brands, including:
o Offering consumers the world's largest fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles.
o Embracing new, clean fuel and engine technologies such as hybrid vehicles and E85-capable FlexFuel vehicles.
o Funding renewable fuels research through a $25 million gift that created the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels at one of the world's leading plant research centers.
More information about Enterprise's environmental initiatives can be found at www.keystogreen.com.
About The Arbor Day Foundation
The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation organization of more than one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org.