Wyndham Million Trees Project partners plant the symbolic one millionth tree on the Parsippany, NJ campus of Wyndham Worldwide, Sept. 30, 2016. R-L: Faith Taylor, senior vice president, corporate social responsibility, Wyndham Worldwide; Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation President; Steve Holmes, Chairman and CEO, Wyndham Worldwide; Franz Hanning, President and CEO, Wyndham Vacation Ownership; and Matt Harris, Arbor Day Foundation CEO.
The following is a guest post from our friends at Wyndham Worldwide.
In 2011, Wyndham Worldwide made a commitment with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant one million trees in state and national forests, and we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve reached and exceeded our goal in 2016. The Wyndham Million Trees Project grew from our corporate social responsibility program and understanding the impact our Company has on the natural resources of the earth. We are guests in this world, and that’s why we’re committed to working with partners like the Arbor Day Foundation to reduce our environmental footprint, preserve our natural resources, and develop innovative solutions to manage climate change.
Collaborating with the Arbor Day Foundation was a natural fit for Wyndham Worldwide, as we have a shared interest in bringing life back to our forests, helping to restore landscapes and habitat, and protecting water resources. Many of our guests travel to enjoy and vacation at our resorts near and around these natural habitats. Our success in planting one million trees was driven by the Wyndham Vacation Ownership (WVO) team of associates and timeshare owners led by Sam Buckingham, vice president, resort renovation and design at WVO. “Together with our owners and guests, we’re committed to supporting our nation’s forests, and look forward to experiencing the renewed beauty and habitat for years to come,” said Buckingham.
Two main WVO programs that have contributed to the achievement of planting one million trees include the Rain Forest Rescue® Project, which makes Arbor Day specialty coffee available at WVO resorts and offices; and WVO’s Carbon Offset Program, where owners can voluntarily offset their carbon emissions from their stay through donations to plant trees in one of our state or national forests.
To date, more than 1,400,000 pounds of Arbor Day specialty coffee have been purchased through our participation in the Rain Forest Rescue® Project, protecting 27,204,388 square feet of invaluable rain forest last year alone. Through our Carbon Offset Program, over 1,400 carbon-neutral room nights have been purchased by WVO owners to offset their vacations.
The impact of these numbers are being felt in places as close to home for Wyndham Worldwide as our headquarters’ home state of New Jersey, rebuilding the delicate shoreline balance following the destruction of Hurricane Sandy. The positive effects are also making a difference across the country, reforesting fire-damaged forests in Nebraska, Washington, and Florida. Beyond the U.S., the Wyndham Million Trees Project supports coffee farmers in Latin America with incentives to continue sustainable growing practices and a portion of the proceeds provides medical and educational benefits to their families.
One cup of coffee at a time, one carbon-neutral room night at a time, Wyndham Worldwide is proud to partner with the Arbor Day Foundation in reaching our one million trees milestone.