Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna recently praised U-Haul customers on her social media page for helping protect the environment.
This praise was in recognition of U-Haul Company’s collaborative partnership with Tree Canada. The nonprofit is dedicated to the pursuit of a greener and healthier living environment through planting and also nurturing trees.
Trees provide many benefits to the communities U-Haul serves, and the planet as a whole. They clean the air by reducing particulate matter, as well as by capturing carbon and reducing greenhouse effects. They help reduce noise pollution and provide food for people and animals. In addition, they provide shade and beautify the landscape across Canada and beyond.
When a U-Haul truck- or trailer-sharing transaction occurs, customers have the option at checkout to assist Tree Canada. Tree Canada receives 100 percent of the donations for tree preservation and planting. To date, U-Haul customers have contributed more than $414,000, enabling the planting and protecting of more than 40,000 trees.
Brigitte Bavousett, project coordinator for U-Haul Sustainability, has been an integral steward of the Company’s partnership with Tree Canada. Since its inception in 2011, she has watched the program grow into nearly every corner of Canada.
“In the beginning, we had a few years where we were preparing and collecting contributions from customers. But we still didn’t have enough for actual planting,” Bavousett stated. “Now, we are consistently collecting enough donations to support two to three plantings every year. We’ve funded plantings located in eight of our Canadian marketing company regions. We are extremely proud and grateful for the enthusiastic and generous support from our U-Haul customers.”
The tree planting program has made significant progress in the last seven years, but U-Haul aims to do much more.
“Our goal is to protect and plant trees across all of Canada,” Bavousett said. “We have four more regions to go, including a tree-planting project scheduled this summer in Nova Scotia. There will always be a need for this partnership.”
Making an Effort
Throughout Canada, members of Team U-Haul are working hard to promote a more sustainable future. By inviting each U-Haul Truck Share customer to make a small monetary contribution to Tree Canada — as well as by spreading customer awareness through the prominent display of Tree Canada posters and other promotional materials — U-Haul Team Members are helping to ensure their local communities’ participation in the creation of a greener, more sustainable Canada.
To keep Team Members motivated to grow the program, Bavousett collaborates often with U-Haul management in various regions.
U-Haul efforts to raise customer awareness of the partnership have garnered a favorable reception from Tree Canada employees. Some have had the chance to see the program in action from the viewpoint of a U-Haul customer.
“We received feedback from people who work at Tree Canada after their own moving experiences at U-Haul,” Bavousett said. “They noticed the posters and promotional items in the U-Haul store. Then, as they were checking out, Team Members offered the opportunity to make a donation to Tree Canada. Of course they chose to donate!”
Finally, with continued efforts to increase awareness at all U-Haul stores in Canada, the partnership with Tree Canada will continue to make the world a better place — one tree at a time.