GM Recognized As Conservation Leader
HOUSTON - The Texas chapter of The Nature Conservancy gathers at the Hyatt Regency today to honor General Motors with its 2002 Conservation Leadership Award for donating Chevy Suburbans and other GM vehicles to the Texas cause, helping to protect and preserve the Brazilian rainforest, its GM Card Group "Cardmembers for Conservation" program from 1999 and 2000, and other efforts from its ten year commitment to the organization that will exceed $21 million dollars.
"GM has demonstrated the kind of leadership in support of conservation that sets the standard for successful partnerships between corporations and environmental organizations," said James M. Sulentich, the Conservancy's Texas state director. "GM has recognized not only our need for funds to sustain our work but has helped get the conservation message across to people far and wide. GM also clearly understands our practical needs - trucks and SUVs are essential tools that enable us to do the work we do."
For example, the Conservancy's Davis Mountains Preserve in far West Texas is a remote and rugged wilderness area that protects habitat for black bears and elk, along with some animals and plants found nowhere else in the world. In the Davis Mountains, Chevy Suburbans and other GM vehicles enable stewardship activities ranging from biological surveys to trail-building and also provide access to mountains and canyons for schoolchildren who learn about conservation science first hand.
Unprecedented in size and scope for both organizations, GM committed $10 million in cash and trucks over 10 years to the Conservancy in 1994. With a year to go, GM has already donated more than $6.6 million in cash and more than 150 trucks to aid the often-rugged conservation work of the Conservancy. In fact, GM's donated vehicles are now helping on the Conservancy's preserves in all 50 states and many countries around the world.
GM's funding supports many different projects within the Conservancy. Domestically, GM is helping protect the Ives Road Fen Preserve in Michigan, the Delaware Bayshores Preserve in New Jersey, the Edge of Appalachia Preserve in Ohio, the Cosumnes River Preserve in California and the Davis Mountain Preserve in Texas. Internationally, GM is working with the Conservancy's Great Rivers project in China, the Komodo National Park in Indonesia, the Serra Do Divisor National Park in Brazil and the Canaima National Park in Venezuela.
GM provided an additional $10 million to the Conservancy to restore and protect about 30,000 acres of endangered land in the Atlantic Rainforest Restoration Project in Brazil.
In 1999 and 2000, the GM Card Group invited its cardmembers to donate a portion of their earnings to the Conservancy through the "Cardmembers for Conservation" program. Generous cardmembers contributed 19 Chevrolet trucks and $175,000 in cash, for a combined donation total of $768,000.
"General Motors was drawn to the Conservancy because of its dedication to preserving a variety of ecosystems," said Elizabeth A. Lowery, GM vice president of environment and energy. "Its initiatives preserve our landscapes, help local communities and save precious places around the world."
GM also supports the Conservancy's traveling photography exhibit, "In Response to Place: Photographs from The Nature Conservancy's Last Great Places," and GM's employee-giving program that has resulted in $395,000 for the Conservancy since 1998. In addition, GM Chairman Jack Smith sits on the Conservancy's international Board of Governors and co-chairs its billion-dollar Campaign for Conservation.
The Nature Conservancy is a private, international, non-profit organization that preserves plants, animals and natural communities representing the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. To date, the Conservancy and its more than one million members have been responsible for the protection of more than 14 million acres in the United States and have helped preserve more than 80 million acres in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific. On the web at www.nature.org.
General Motors , the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, designs, builds and markets cars and trucks worldwide, and has been the global automotive sales leader since 1931. GM employs about 355,000 people around the world. To learn more about GM's commitment to the environment go to www.gmability.com.
To link directly to an interactive map that showcases Conservancy preserves and GM truck donations around the world, go to: