In recognition of Earth Day, Ashland Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ASH) today announced the company’s increased support of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and will donate $25,000 dollars towards TNC’s STEM youth engagement Nature Lab, and an additional $25,000 towards the organization’s Plant a Billion Trees by 2030 forest restoration project
Nature Lab exemplifies Ashland’s Responsible Solvers™ social philanthropic focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). TNC’s hub for youth curriculum provides teachers, students, and families customizable, interactive lesson plans to explore and understand nature. The curriculum platform has 550 scientists helping students learn how nature works while inspiring young people and bringing greater equity to environmental education. Students from ages five through 18 can participate in virtual and hands-on learning. Nature Lab reaches more than 2.5 million users annually in 50 of the United States and dozens of countries. Through a partnership with an online learning platform, TNC offers interactive games for students to use alongside videos as well as a Spanish-language series. Future enhancements include the active participation of young learners to tackle climate change, protect lands and waters, provide food and water sustainably, and build healthy cities.
“Nature Lab is all about inspiring young people and bringing greater equity to environmental education,” said Kate Ireland, director, youth engagement, The Nature Conservancy. “We want every young person to be able to find their place in conservation and to have the tools they need to advocate for change in their own communities and beyond.”
Ashland is also continuing its support of The Nature Conservancy's Plant a Billion Trees forest restoration effort. Ashland’s donation ensures approximately 10,000 trees are planted in key regions where the company operates and there is need for reforestation and sustainable farming education. This includes Brazil, China, Mexico, and the United States.
Separately, Ashland has committed to using certification standards set by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and/or Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). FSC and PEFC certified and controlled wood assures consumers that products can be traced back to responsibly managed sources. These programs embody Ashland’s conscious decision to review and rethink its business practices with the goal to becoming a nature-positive company that positively impacts climate change, biodiversity and just social practices.
“There is no Planet B,” said Guillermo Novo, chair and chief executive officer, Ashland. “We are a vital part of an ecosystem that must be protected for future generations. We believe increasing the number of students pursuing advanced degrees in STEM careers is vital to the health of the planet and to our long-term success as a company. We will continue working with partners to broaden the participation of women and minorities because the more diverse the team, the better the problem solving. Responsibly solving for a better world means innovating while being nature positive. It means doing business in a way that protects and conserves nature, while also giving back to the planet.”
Novo’s comments underscore that for eight years, Ashland has been the title sponsor of the Delaware STEM Educator’s Awards which recognizes a teacher, or team of teachers at the elementary (K-5), middle (6-8), and high school (6-12) levels who demonstrate STEM innovation and excellence through teaching, academic collaboration, and student engagement. Previous educators have been recognized for programs in robotics, hyponic farming, mathematics and more. Recently some of the educators spoke about their work. To view the video and learn more, visit Ashland | STEM Support
This month, Ashland’s focused footprint approach is on display with the announcement of a sustainable guar farming program in Rajasthan, India with partner, SM Sehgal Foundation. Under the company’s Responsible Solvers™ initiative, the program has increased farmers’ yield and income, lowered their production costs, expanded the local economy, and positively impacted the environment. Ashland’s regional teams of solvers have many other initiatives underway, and those plans will be shared in the near future. Creative partnerships like these, focused on local needs in the communities where employees live and work are vital to Ashland’s business success and reinforce its commitment to ESG.
The same is true for Ashland’s support for TNC’s reforestation program. Mature trees can absorb up to 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, and once mature, the plantings supported by Ashland could result in up to 480,000 pounds of carbon dioxide offsets annually*.
“Nature is the most powerful, ready-made solution available to simultaneously tackle two of the greatest crises facing the planet today: climate change and the loss of biodiversity. Planting trees is one of many natural climate solutions that, when implemented alongside global emissions reductions from clean energy, will play a vital role in stabilizing our climate,” said Bill Stanley, state director, The Nature Conservancy, Ohio.
Previously Ashland announced it was aligning operations with the ambitious aim of the Paris Climate Accord to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels. The company is currently validating emissions data to ensure it sets accurate targets for approval. Ashland has also made the UN Global Compact and its principles part of the company’s business strategy, culture, and day-to-day operations.
“We have three core goals when it comes to ESG. We use our focused footprint around the world to have a measurable impact on our communities, we’re conscious of our actions and how we can, with others, use cutting-edge problem solving to impact climate and social issues, and we’re investing in STEM programs and partnerships to create the next generation of Responsible Solvers,” said Guillermo Novo, chair and chief executive officer, Ashland. “When that strategy comes together, we can and will become a nature positive company helping others do the same.”
More than 1 billion people in 193 countries participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. To learn more about Ashland’s Earth Day activities, visit ashland.com/earthday2022