The Green Bay Packers First Downs for Trees program will enter its fourth season this year and is now presented in partnership with two environmentally-conscious companies, SCA and Green Bay Packaging Inc., both which have local manufacturing operations.
First Downs for Trees is a cooperative effort with the Packers, the U.S. Forest Service, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Public Service. One of the Packers' Green Team initiatives, the program donates trees to participating Brown County communities based on the number of first downs achieved by the Packers in the previous season.
Last year, the program received a $48,000, two-year grant from the U.S. Forest Service as a part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. It's the second grant the program has received from the U.S. Forest Service. With the additional grant money, the program is able to plant more trees for each first down earned during the regular season. This will be the third year that the U.S. Forest Service has been involved with the program.
The program's two new corporate sponsors have sustainable efforts of their own, and will work with the Packers to further the First Downs for Trees program in addition to their own efforts. For more information on SCA's efforts, please visit sca.com/en/us/Sustainability1/. For more information on the efforts that Green Bay Packaging is making, please visit gbp.com/corporate/environmentsustainability.
With the new partnerships, the Packers are able to increase the number of trees planted in the community.
"The Packers are looking forward to more trees going into our communities with the help of our first downs," said Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy. "We are excited to further our efforts this season with the additional help of our two new partners, SCA and Green Bay Packaging."
"We are excited to partner with the Packers and SCA on the First Down for Trees program," said Green Bay Packaging executive vice president Bryan Hollenbach. "We are always looking for ways to enhance the environment and this is a unique, fun program that gives us another reason to root for the Packers and more first downs."
"SCA's roots in sustainability began more than 80 years ago and today we are one of the world's largest owners of private forests," said Joe Russo, SCA vice president of sales & marketing, away from home professional hygiene North America. "Partnering with the Packers to promote sustainability through the First Downs for Trees program shows our commitment to environmental stewardship locally, as well as globally."
First Downs for Trees complements the team's recycling and landfill diversion programs at Lambeau Field through carbon sequestration.
Since the 2010 season, the program has received more than $100,000 in support which has resulted in the planting of more than 2,000 trees, providing total lifetime benefits in excess of $9 million through stormwater runoff reduction, CO2 reduction, energy savings, air quality improvement and property value increase. Over their lifetime, the tree benefits exceed the costs of planting and care, representing a 300 percent return on investment. Tree benefits increase over time, highlighting the importance of not only planting trees, but of providing ongoing maintenance and protection.