Employee Forests Sprouting Nationwide
What do you get when a global technology and industrial solutions company joins forces with the nation’s largest non-profit tree planting organization?
A greener planet, one seedling at a time.
Johnson Controls, Inc., is the latest partner to team up with the Arbor Day Foundation for an initiative called the Employee Forest program. Through this initiative, some of Johnson Controls’ nearly 60,000 North American employees will plant trees in the communities where they work and live – so far, spanning from Montana to Wisconsin and points beyond.
The relationship between the two organizations developed in Spring of 2011 when Johnson Controls provided a much-needed mechanical solution for the Lied Lodge & Conference Center chiller system. From there, the two companies further explored the overlap of their respective core values of environmental stewardship and sustainability. The result: the 2013 launch of the Employee Forest program.
Through the program, teams of Johnson Controls employees identify community parks, schools, and other public spaces that each would benefit from having 52 additional trees planted. The employees then coordinate efforts with local tree boards and community groups to carry out an organized plan of tree planting – volunteering 100+ hours to do so and improving their communities with each tree planted. To date, 20 Johnson Controls locations in the U.S. have signed on to participate in the Employee Forest program with more expected to follow suit; so far in Nebraska, cities benefitting from the program include Omaha, Lincoln, and Kearney.
“The Employee Forest program is meaningful on a couple of different levels,” said Doug Farrar, Vice President of Arbor Day Farm. “Any initiative that gets employees working together outside their typical work setting, collaborating and engaging in meaningful activities is key in building camaraderie and workplace buy-in. The Johnson Controls Employee Forest program specifically engages Johnson Controls employees in the good work of tree planting, which is an immediate win for these communities and a long-term win for the overall environment we all share.”
Farrar continued, “This partnership with Johnson Controls is just one example of corporations ‘doing the right thing’ for our environment, and the model is one that can be repeated across multiple industries. We look forward to expanding this initiative for a greener planet.”