The growing urgency of supporting environmental and social justice efforts around the world has fueled a new commitment by UPS to plant more than 50 million trees by 2030, in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals period (2015-2030).
The new effort brings UPS’s commitment to environmental stewardship and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to a new level. While planting 50 million trees will have a measurable impact on the environment, UPS has evolved its strategy to focus on improving lives in Black and underserved communities in the U.S. and developing areas around the world. Through this new commitment, UPS will help to address environmental injustices by improving air quality, fostering better health outcomes, more job opportunities, more social engagement and creating safer and healthier neighborhoods.
Over the next 12 months, tree planting projects will get underway in more than two dozen metropolitan cities in collaboration with non-profit organizations. Around the world, UPS is supporting more than 50 environmental projects, working with leading environmental organizations including Arbor Day Foundation, Earth Day Network, Keep America Beautiful, The Nature Conservancy, National Park Foundation, the Student Conservation Association and World Wildlife Fund.
“Through our collaborative programs with leading environmental organizations we’ve learned the critical importance and positive impact on the health of our communities. We are launching this effort to focus our environmental programs in low-income and underserved communities,” said Eduardo Martinez, President of The UPS Foundation and UPS Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. “By taking this approach, we are using the power of our commitment to social justice, equity and the environment to bring life-enhancing changes that can restore the ability for our communities to thrive.”
The new commitment follows UPS’s success in surpassing 20 million hours of volunteer service in communities, and planting more than 15.4 million trees across 66 countries on six continents in collaboration with our environmental partners. More than 170,000 of the trees were planted by UPS employees, who often brought families and friends to join the effort.
Earlier this year UPS pledged to provide one million hours of volunteer service in support of mentoring and educational programs in underserved Black communities globally, which have long been disproportionately affected by environmental inequity. The planting projects in city environments will support health and well-being, provide an economic uplift, and create a better space to live and work. Other projects include Boreal forest plantings that help support indigenous communities; support for farmers to reduce soil erosion, increase yields, and generate greater economic conditions and healthier environments, and other projects to create a rebound from natural disasters and the long-term impact of poverty.
UPS is also participating in research studies, such as the Green Heart Project in Louisville, Ky., a multi-year initiative which will provide critical data on the importance of trees on health and well-being in city environments.