U-Haul, the largest do-it-yourself moving company in North America, wanted to give its customers renting equipment at more than 21,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada and on uhaul.com a simple way to make their move a little bit greener. Beginning in 2007, the company partnered with The Conservation Fund to offer customers a chance to donate $3, $5 or $10 at checkout to plant trees and offset their moving-related emissions.
“Since 2007, our partnership with U-Haul has served as a model for corporate social responsibility programs aimed at engaging customers and inspiring employees, and it’s rooted in a continued commitment by U-Haul and its customers to conservation and community.”
—Jena Thompson Meredith, Vice President, Business Partnerships
In 2013, U-Haul also began supporting urban restoration, starting with Rouge Park in Detroit where 1,600 trees were planted over 2 acres. The plantings were done in partnership with Greening of Detroit as well as volunteers from Quicken Loans and CSX. To support green job creation, we also launched the Growing Detroit’s Green Economy Fund which is making small grants to Detroit organizations that support entrepreneurs who use natural resources responsibly.
Following the success in Detroit, in 2014 U-Haul pledged $375,000 over three years to our Parks With Purpose program in Atlanta. The company’s support has helped create Lindsay Street Park, the first park in the English Avenue neighborhood of downtown Atlanta, as well as Vine City Park and Boone Park West. These parks will bring cleaner air and water, safer places to play and more job opportunities to an underserved neighborhood. And the establishment of the Growing Atlanta’s Green Economy Fund, funded by U-Haul, is building long-term sustainable solutions for at-risk populations through grants to green or entrepreneurial programs working in some of the city’s most underserved neighborhoods.
In 2017, U-Haul began expanding its urban restoration efforts to additional cities:
- In the Marlborough community of Kansas City, Missouri, U-Haul is helping develop public green space around a wetland basin built by the city, which will include community gathering space, playground areas, an outdoor amphitheater, recreational opportunities and native gardens, all designed with extensive input from the community. Support from U-Haul also provides workforce training opportunities for residents and will generate additional economic investment within walking distance from the green space.
- U-Haul and The Conservation Fund are supporting the efforts of Pogo Park, a grassroots community development corporation working in Richmond, California’s tough, inner-city Iron Triangle neighborhood, to transform broken and neglected local parks into safe, green and vibrant public spaces. U-Haul is providing support for the expansion of Pogo Park’s Harbour-8 Park on the Richmond Greenway.
- As part of a two-year commitment to support urban conservation and green job creation in Chicago, U-Haul and The Conservation Fund have teamed up with Space to Grow, a program of Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands, to transform schoolyards from gray to green, starting with Nathan S. Davis Elementary School in the Brighton Park neighborhood. These improved schoolyards benefit the entire community by providing beautiful and functional spaces to play, learn and be outside. The schoolyards also use special design elements to help reduce neighborhood flooding.
In its home state of Arizona, U-Haul designated a portion of customer donations to the Upper Granite Creek Aspen Restoration Project in Prescott National Forest. This collaboration with the National Forest Foundation is helping reduce the threat of wildfires by hand-thinning 150 acres of aspen and surrounding pine forests. The project also improves trail conditions to minimize erosion and enhance recreation opportunities. In 2018, U-Haul received an Environmental Excellence Award from Arizona Forward for its support for the Upper Granite Creek Aspen Restoration Project.
Most recently, U-Haul embarked on an initiative to protect forest-based supply chains by working with The Conservation Fund to measure its wood fiber use—from pulpwood to cardboard paper products (e.g. U-Haul’s top-selling boxes)—and create equivalencies to help offset portions of that use. Through this effort, U-Haul is helping to conserve 8,700 acres of working forestland surrounding Success Pond in Northeastern New Hampshire. With the ongoing production of responsibly harvested timber, the land will continue to support more than 20 local and regional jobs for loggers, truckers, foresters and road contractors, while providing timber to mills in New Hampshire, Maine and Canada. The Success Pond Forest is located within the Mahoosuc Gateway Initiative, a broader conservation effort of 30,000 acres that includes protection of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in New Hampshire’s North Country region, which is considered a scenic gateway between Maine and New Hampshire.
- Press Release: U-Can Do It: U-Haul Makes It Easy For Customers To Offset Emissions At Checkout (Sustainable Brands)
- U-Haul Sustainability
- U-Haul: Tree Planting Partnerships
AT A GLANCE
- 756,000 trees planted across more than 1,900 acres at six National Wildlife Refuges;
- 82,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide trapped by protecting working forests along California’s redwood region;
- An estimated 448,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide trapped over the next 100 years;
- 1,600 trees planted in Detroit’s Rouge Park and the establishment of the Growing Detroit’s Green Economy Fund;
- 7 Parks With Purpose created in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City (MO) and Richmond (CA);
- Conservation of 8,700 acres of working forest in New Hampshire that will create a more sustainable supply chain.