Wyndham Worldwide (No. 27 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) commemorated five years of sustainability leadership with a milestone tree planting ceremony through its partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, the largest environmental nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. In an outdoor ceremony including Wyndham Worldwide executives and partners from the Arbor Day Foundation, the company celebrated the fulfillment of its goal to plant one million trees and reinforced the commitment to reducing its environmental footprint by 25 percent by the year 2025.
“At Wyndham Worldwide, we work every day to minimize the environmental impact of doing business,” said Faith Taylor, senior vice president, corporate social responsibility, Wyndham Worldwide. “Our success in planting one million trees was driven by the Wyndham Vacation Ownership team of associates and owners led by Sam Buckingham, vice president, resort renovation & design.”
Wyndham Worldwides’s partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation is part of the Wyndham Green sustainability program and embodies the company’s commitment to reducing its environmental footprint, preserving natural resources, and developing innovative solutions to manage climate change. Additionally, as a global hospitality leader, Wyndham Worldwide has been named for the fourth consecutive year to the North American Dow Jones Sustainability Index for operating in a socially, environmentally and economically responsible way. Equally impressive, Wyndham Worldwide is the only hospitality company in North America to be named to this year’s list.
“We applaud and congratulate Wyndham Vacation Ownership for their one million tree milestone,” said Matt Harris, Arbor Day Foundation chief executive. “Because of their stewardship, communities and forests across the nation are now able to enjoy the myriad of benefits that trees supply. It is our hope that Wyndham will serve as inspiration to others in helping in our mission to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.”
Since 2009, Wyndham has implemented several innovative sustainability programs in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, across more than 200 Wyndham Vacation Ownership (WVO) resorts and corporate offices. These initiatives have greatly contributed to the achievement of planting one million trees:
– Rain Forest Rescue Project: This project supports shade-grown coffee served in WVO resort units and corporate offices. Last year, this specialty coffee preserved 27,204,388 square feet of invaluable rain forest through the purchase of more than 264,120 lbs of coffee annually. This coffee also helps to provide coffee growers with access to fair wages, health care, better housing, and schooling for their children.
– Carbon Offset Program: Owners and guests at WVO resorts can voluntarily offset their carbon emissions from their stay and plant a tree in one of the nation’s state or national forests. To date, 1,400 carbon-neutral room nights have been purchased by WVO owners to offset their vacations.
– Lied Lodge & Conference Center Renovation: In 2014, WVO collaborated on a large-scale, multi-million dollar renewal of the Lied Lodge in Nebraska City, Nebraska. WVO donated more than $1.2 million in labor and purchased products to the project. With environmental programs that focus on trees, conservation and environmental stewardship, Lied Lodge & Conference Center serves as a resource for conservation-related organizations, businesses, educators, forestry professionals, and others from around the globe wishing to benefit from and enjoy the facility.