Companies and Employees Celebrate Earth Day

April 22, 2004
Today, April 22, is Earth Day. And companies and employees around the world are taking steps to clean up the environment, conserve energy and recycle.

At footwear and apparel manufacturer Timberland Co., approximately 3,300 Timberland employees, business partners and consumers will volunteer their time and energy to community service projects in 16 countries as part of this year's Earth Day celebrations. The combined projects will generate more than 20,000 hours of service, benefiting 100 communities worldwide.

The company's Earth Day projects address a number of social and environmental needs, and will benefit local parks, beaches and community centers. In a special effort to encourage students to become more active in their environment and communities, Timberland has launched its Adopt-a-School Program in the United States. Thirty schools will receive up to $500 in funds for Earth Day project supplies and will nominate a local environmental agency to receive a $1,000 Timberland grant.

"Earth Day gives people of all ages the chance to actively participate in their communities," says Jeffrey Swartz, president and CEO of the Timberland Co. "People all over the world come together with one common goal to protect and nurture our planet. It's invigorating to know that so many people not only appreciate the world we live in, but have a passion to improve it for future generations."

Some of Timberland's Earth Day projects include:

  • Portsmouth, N.H. Trail building, litter removal, pruning and clearing at a 180-acre state-run wildlife sanctuary and education center.
  • New York Landscaping and trail building in Pelham Bay Park, one of the largest parks in the city.
  • London, England Cleaning and removing litter along Thames River banks.
  • Hong Kong Removal of fishing nets that harm the lives of already endangered animals.

Timberland's Web site,, also offers consumers the opportunity to participate in community projects throughout the year through a database of nearly 30,000 nationwide volunteer opportunities.

Volunteers from AT&T Wireless are cleaning, beautifying and improving the environment in 12 cities to celebrate Earth Day and National Volunteer Week.

In Paramus, N.J., AT&T Wireless employees will help to clean out a wooded area near Paramus High School that will eventually be used for an environmental center for students. The local activities are part of an estimated 30,000 Great American Cleanup activities that are happening this spring nationwide in more than 14,000 communities.

AT&T Wireless employees are joining the efforts of 2.3 million volunteers who are participating nationwide during Keep America Beautiful's Great American Cleanup, March 1 - May 31, the nation's largest annual community improvement program. As part of its national sponsorship of the Great American Cleanup, more than 600 AT&T Wireless employees in 12 cities will tackle eyesores and build a sense of pride and ownership of their local community environments.

PECO Energy, parent company Exelon Corp. and sister company ComEd together recently made a $1 million, 4-year commitment to support the work of the Nature Conservancy at West Branch Wilderness in north central Pennsylvania and Emiquon in Illinois. West Branch Wilderness is part of the largest forested area between New York and Chicago, and Emiquon is the largest wetland restoration project of its kind in the United States.

Earth Day is a busy time of year Toyota in Canada. "Toyota's Canadian operations recently earned recognition for their environmental performance in The GLOBE Award for Environmental Excellence in the Corporate Competitiveness category," notes Kenji Tomikawa, president and CEO of Toyota Canada Inc. "Environmental excellence is not new for Toyota. We have a long history of demonstrating that respect and care for our Earth can go hand in hand with building a successful business. Through our environmental activities, we believe Toyota is setting an example for other companies to follow."

Toyota was a co-sponsor of the gala kickoff reception of for a major television series about climate change, "The Great Warming," produced by Stonehaven productions, with the support of Swiss Re, Environment Canada, the Canadian International Development Agency, Discovery Channel and Ark Angel, and narrated by Keanu Reeves and Alanis Morissette. David Anderson, federal minister of the environment, took part in a roundtable discussion following the screening on April 21. Other panellists include Toyota Canada's managing director, Stephen Beatty, plus representatives from Swiss Re, the Canadian International Development Agency and the Youth Round Table on the Environment.

Toyota also launched Earth Day scholarships in 2003. The program awards $5,000 each to 15 graduating high school students from across Canada entering colleges or universities. Recipients must demonstrate both academic excellence and distinguished environmental community service. This year's national scholarship winner (chosen from the regional winners), will be announced on Earth Day.

Since 2000, Toyota has pledged $4.1 million to Evergreen, a national, non-profit environmental organization that distributes grants to schools to purchase native trees, shrubs and plants to turn asphalt school grounds into natural play and learning spaces. Through this program, Toyota has distributed funding, offered hands-on design support and other assistance to more than 350 school ground greening initiatives across Canada.

To find out more about Toyota's environmental activities, visit

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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