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Balfour Beatty Commits to Sustainability by Planting One Tree for Every Employee
November 19, 2021
Through One Tree Planted, Balfour Beatty will commit to nearly 3,537 trees across the nation.
Envision holding a tiny tree seedling in your hand and then planting it gently into the soil. Now, think ahead 10, 20 or even 50 years and imagine the magnificent tree it will become. For Balfour Beatty employees, those trees are a reality.
As part of Balfour Beatty's long-standing commitment to sustainability, we recently contributed to purchasing one tree for every employee in the company through One Tree Planted, a non-profit organization based in Vermont whose mission is to make it simple for anyone to help the environment by planting trees. The contribution totals an astonishing 3,537 trees targeted to grow in key communities where we build and work.
"Trees are critical for many reasons not only to our industry but also the environment," says Keith McCoy, Balfour Beatty's senior vice president of safety. "In the construction industry, we use many elements derived from trees. But, more importantly, we need trees to sustain our world. Trees help clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink and provide habitat for wildlife. Forests also provide jobs for more than 1.6 billion people worldwide and supply key ingredients in 25% of medications. We must ensure the replenishment of this natural resource that contributes to our business as well as the world."
More than 150 tree species can be found in the Appalachia, making it one of the most diverse ecological regions in North America. Over the years, an estimated 83 percent of the local habitat has been lost due to mining and timber operations. To contribute to the diminished forests, Balfour Beatty has committed to donating nearly 1,000 trees in Appalachia.
Known for its abundant woodlands, California is home to 33 million acres of diverse forests that have been devastated by increasingly intense and frequent fires. Balfour Beatty has committed to donating approximately 814 trees across the state.
To improve the health of Florida’s forests, Balfour Beatty has committed to donating 200 trees for the state. In recent years, Florida’s forests have become increasingly unhealthy, a condition that is characterized by the presence of off-site species or genetically undesirable trees, overstocking (too many trees), a preponderance of old declining or dying trees, excessive mid-story vegetation and/or fire fuels (woody debris, flammable species, etc.).
These unhealthy forests are a significant contributor to Florida's disastrous wildfires and unprecedented outbreaks of the southern pine beetles, an insect that eventually can block water and nutrient transport within trees. The region, which is frequently affected by intense storms and hurricanes, has suffered long-term damage to its vital forest resources.
According to a recent analysis the Oregon Wild and the Center for Sustainable Economy conducted, forests are shrinking on both state and privately-owned land. Balfour Beatty is replenishing 1,523 trees across an estimated 522,000 acres of forest cover that have disappeared since 2000.
With deep roots in sustainable construction, Balfour Beatty is committed to environmental preservation from coast-to-coast. We are proud to make this donation that furthers our global commitment to sustainability and leaving a positive legacy for the communities in which we are privileged to live, work and build.