PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ACE Group today announced its renewed support of American Forests’ Global ReLeaf® program with the selection of eight national and three international forest restoration projects. This year ACE will sponsor the planting of 18,200 trees, representing one for each environmental insurance policy written globally by ACE in 2014. Since 2007, ACE has sponsored the planting of more than 75,000 trees. ACE’s support of the American Forests program complements the company’s environmental program goals, which include the promotion of a healthy and sustainable environment through corporate philanthropy.
ACE is committed to reducing carbon emissions from its own operations. In 2014, a companywide goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 10 percent per employee from 2012 to 2020 was announced. This commitment follows the successful achievement of the company’s first emissions reduction goal, which was 8 percent per employee from 2006 to 2012. Since 2006, the company’s GHG emissions have been reduced nearly 22 percent per employee. Additionally, ACE is working to implement building efficiency projects in its offices across the globe. In 2014, efficiency projects implemented in ACE’s Sydney office accounted for a reduction in energy usage of about 29 percent.
“We are proud to be able to work with American Forests to support their Global ReLeaf program, now in its 25th year of helping protect and restore both national and global forest lands,” said Craig Richardson, Senior Vice President, ACE Environmental Risk. “ACE’s support of this program further symbolizes the ongoing commitment we make toward minimizing the company’s carbon footprint.”
ACE Group’s contribution will support the planting of 1,600 to 1,700 trees in each of the following 11 American Forests 2015 Global ReLeaf projects:
California (Yuba River Reforestation ReLeaf Project) – This project will restore 200 acres in California’s Tahoe National Forest with 32,000 conifers to help reestablish watershed areas that have been damaged by insect infestations and disease outbreaks. This forest restoration will improve hydrologic conditions that are especially important in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Florida (Box-R Longleaf Pine ReLeaf Project) – The longleaf pine ecosystem once covered an estimated 90 million acres of the southeastern United States. Today, just 2 million acres remain – less than 3 percent of the historic range. This project will reforest 70 acres with 35,000 trees to portions of its native range in Gulf County, FL.
Minnesota (Superior Moose Habitat ReLeaf Project) – Over the last two decades, Minnesota’s moose population has declined dramatically. In 2013, just 4,000 moose were left. This project is planting more than 100,000 diverse species of trees in Superior National Forest, Minnesota’s primary moose range, to increase stand complexity and encourage species diversity.
New Mexico (Valles Caldera National Preserve ReLeaf Project) – The 2011 Los Conchas Fire and 2013 Thompson Ridge Fire burned more than 53,000 acres within the Valles Caldera National Preserve. This project is reforesting 1,000 acres with 50,000 trees to restore riparian areas damaged by the wildfires and help the ecosystem adapt to climate change.
North Carolina (Ledge Creek Watershed ReLeaf Project) – This project will reforest 23 acres in Granville County, NC with 12,000 shortleaf pine trees to reforest abandoned hay fields and improve a watershed that provides drinking water for more than 1 million people.
Texas (Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge ReLeaf Project) – In its 18th year, this project is reconnecting forest fragments by reclaiming agricultural land to bolster habitat for wildlife in one of the most biologically diverse places in North America. Approximately 20,000 trees will be planted across 226 acres.
Washington (South Summit Restoration ReLeaf Project) – This is the first year of restoration on national forest lands in the Carlton Fire Complex of 2014, the largest wildfire on record in the state of Washington. Through this project the Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest will receive 112,600 ponderosa pine and western larch trees to help restore the watershed areas damaged by fire.
West Virginia (Greenbrier River Riparian ReLeaf Project) – In an effort to restore the ecological functions of the trout streams in the Greenbrier River located in Monongahela National Forest, WV, this project is reforesting impaired riparian zones to cool stream temperatures. Fifteen acres will receive more than 3,000 tree plantings to help provide much needed cover for the sensitive aquatic species in this area.
Brazil (Araripe Manakin Habitat ReLeaf Project) – The Chapada do Araripe Plateau, located in the state of Ceara in northeastern Brazil, harbors a small area of unique humid forest habitat that is currently threatened by destruction as the result of encroachment from a growing city. This project is reforesting approximately 10 acres with more than 15 native tree species to restore habitat for the rare and critically endangered Araripe manakin.
Indonesia (Sumatran Orangutan Habitat ReLeaf Project) – This project will plant approximately 27,000 trees across 50 acres to provide habitat for the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan, which is struggling to survive in this area.
Mexico (Forest for Monarchs) – Since 2006, this long-term project has planted hundreds of thousands of trees in Mexico to provide migratory monarch butterfly habitat. This year’s planting will provide 25,000 new plantings across more than 330 acres in Michoacán, Mexico.
ACE is one of the largest and most advanced global underwriters of environmental liabilities and pollution risks. The company has been a pioneer in developing advanced environmental risk insurance solutions designed to minimize bottom line impacts and provide hands-on management for environmental liabilities. ACE’s Environmental Risk divisions in the U.S. and abroad offer a full range of specialized environmental and sustainable property and casualty insurance products and services, promoted as “ACE Green,” including coverages for premises-based exposures, contractors’ and project pollution liability, and renewable energy and environmental cleanup projects. To learn more about ACE Group’s environmental insurance products and services, please visit our website. For more information about ACE’s overall environmental initiative, please click here.
American Forests protects and restores urban and rural forests. Founded in 1875, the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country has served as a catalyst for many of the most important milestones in the conservation movement, including the founding of the U.S. Forest Service, the national forest and national park systems and thousands of forest ecosystem restoration projects and public education efforts. In the past two decades, American Forests has planted more than 45 million trees in forests across the United States and in 44 countries, resulting in cleaner air and drinking water, restored habitat for wildlife and fish, and the removal of millions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Learn more at www.americanforests.org.
About ACE Group
ACE Group is one of the world’s largest multiline property and casualty insurers. With operations in 54 countries, ACE provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance, and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. ACE Limited, the parent company of ACE Group, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACE) and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Additional information can be found at www.acegroup.com, or follow ACE on Twitter, https://twitter.com/ACEGroupNA.