Phoenix-based U-Haul International Inc., a provider of self-storage, truck and trailer rentals, and other moving-related services, has achieved “Gold Level Sponsor” status with Tree Canada, a nonprofit dedicated to planting and nurturing trees in rural and urban environments in Canada. The self-storage operator raised $100,000 over the last 12 months through customer donations. It’s one of only seven companies to reach the gold level, according to a press release.
During checkout, U-Haul customers have the option to contribute a dollar amount of their choice to plant trees and offset a portion of the greenhouse-gas emissions produced from their move. Tree Canada receives 100% of the funds donated at Canadian U-Haul locations to help restore the health of forests, protect mature urban trees from pests, and plant edible trees for schoolyards and communities nationwide.
“I am incredibly proud of our alignment in values and accomplishments with our partners at Tree Canada,” said Jake Spelic, district vice president for U-Haul in Canada. “The result of achieving this milestone clearly indicates our customers share these values. Together, we are reducing our carbon footprint while continuing to serve our communities as a critical essential infrastructure provider.”
U-Haul began its partnership with Tree Canada in 2011. Although the company has seen growth in customer contributions each year, it’s the first 12-month period it qualified for gold-level recognition. To date, 27 planting and tree-protection projects have been completed using U-Haul customer contributions, including nine forestation projects and 18 community projects. More than 100,000 trees have been planted or protected as a result of these efforts, the release stated.
“We applaud U-Haul for their ongoing commitment to sustainable practices, ensuring the health of our urban and rural forests and the communities that rely on them,” said Tree Canada CEO Danielle St-Aubin. “Tree Canada and U-Haul have been proud partners since 2011 and, since that time, together we have greened communities across the country and educated Canadians about the importance of trees. Through our combined efforts, our work has been instrumental in growing cleaner and greener spaces that communities and future generations will be able to enjoy for years to come.”
In 2016, Tree Canada honored U-Haul with its prized Eterne Award, presented to companies that exemplify the very best in environmental stewardship. “U-Haul has a decades-long history of providing support to the communities we serve,” said Michelle Sullivan, corporate sustainability manager for U-Haul. “Leveraging that support and our need-based business with the contributions of thousands of customers each year creates a ripple of positive impacts across all of Canada and beyond.”
Through its programs, research and engagement efforts, Tree Canada has helped restore tree cover in areas hit by natural disasters, guided communities in managing their urban forests, supported 700 schoolyard greening projects, and organized urban forest conferences. To date, with its community partners and sponsors, it has planted more than 83 million trees.
Established in 1945, U-Haul owns and manages more than 66.7 million square feet of storage space nationwide.
U-Haul, Tree Canada Receives $100,000 from U-Haul Customers in Last Year