Eastman Recognized for Environmental Excellence
Eastman Recognized for Environmental Excellence
BALTIMORE, MD, November 25, 2013 /3BL Media/ - Employees at Eastman Chemical Company’s Texas Operations received international recognition for their contributions to conservation education at the Wildlife Habitat Council’s (WHC) 25th Annual Symposium, Celebrating Corporate Conservation. Eastman demonstrated its commitment to environmental stewardship by achieving Corporate Lands for Learning certification at its Texas Operations.
Achieving initial Corporate Lands for Learning certification in 2013, Eastman’s Texas Operations’ longstanding environmental education program provides site-based outdoor learning opportunities to numerous groups throughout both Gregg and Harrison Counties and beyond. Partnering with environmental entities such as Texas A&M Forest Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the education program reaches hundreds of students and informal learners each year.
“We are honored to receive this award for our conservation education programs,” said Mark Bogle, vice president and general manager, Eastman’s Texas Operations. “Our Nature Trail and Demonstration Forest programs have enhanced our ability to connect with the community and the education process to promote Eastman’s commitment to environmental stewardship.”
Mainstays of the program are the Forest Awareness Tours, which are half- to full-day events that utilize both Eastman’s 0.6 mile nature trail and its nearly 40-acre “Demonstration Forest” to highlight its wildlife habitat enhancement projects. During these tours, elementary to high school-age students explore the site and visit several interactive learning stations, covering topics such as forestry, bees, birds, soil and water. Employee volunteers work alongside local experts to ensure a great experience.
Eastman’s Corporate Lands for Learning program also promotes education to group leaders by hosting annual Project Learning Tree® training events in which local teachers, Education majors and employees are encouraged to attend. This workshop introduces educators to various activities that utilize the on-site trail as an outdoor classroom and provides them with the necessary lesson plans and other materials to effectively conduct these activities with their own students.
“Eastman Chemical Company is being recognized as an industry leader in corporate conservation,” said Margaret O’Gorman, WHC president. “It is a model for how we at the Wildlife Habitat Council connect corporations and communities to create habitat and increase biodiversity on corporate properties for the benefit of all. Through its certification programs of private lands owned by the corporate sector, WHC has set the standard for conservation programs on privately held land for more than 25 years.”
A partnership with local scout troops has led to the successful completion of multiple Eagle Scout projects including the construction of additional outdoor classrooms, new fencing around the parking area and the installation of raptor perches. Additionally, scouts work with employees to monitor and maintain the roughly 30 bird boxes throughout the property and perform various activities to achieve merit badges.
Eastman’s Texas Operations also serves as a host site for the Texas State Envirothon®, which is an academic competition where high school teams of five students work together to answer questions focusing on aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife and current environmental issues. In the past, seven Texas high schools have sent multiple teams to this event. Besides these events, the Corporate Lands for Learning program also includes biennial deer and bird counts.
Looking ahead, the Corporate Lands for Learning team at Eastman’s Texas Operations has set goals for the next three years to continue to develop the environmental education program and to improve the on-site infrastructure to allow for even greater learning experiences by all attendees. The program is expected to provide value to the community for years to come.
Texas Operations was one of 65 programs recognized at the 2013 Symposium as meeting the strict certification requirements of Corporate Lands for Learning. In addition, 255 programs received Wildlife at Work certification. Certification requirements are strict and require that programs apply for periodic renewal. Wildlife at Work certification recognizes outstanding wildlife habitat management efforts at corporate sites, and offers third-party validation of the benefits of such programs. Corporate Lands for Learning certification provides programs with third-party recognition for educational programs. Since 1990, WHC has certified 668 Wildlife at Work and 161 Corporate Lands for Learning programs worldwide.
Eastman is a global specialty chemical company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With a portfolio of specialty businesses, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. Its market-driven approaches take advantage of world-class technology platforms and leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. Eastman focuses on creating consistent, superior value for all stakeholders. As a globally diverse company, Eastman serves customers in approximately 100 countries and had 2012 pro forma combined revenues, giving effect to the Solutia acquisition, of approximately $9.1 billion. The company is headquartered in Kingsport, Tenn., USA, and employs approximately 14,000 people around the world. For more information about Eastman, visit www.eastman.com.
The Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) is a nonprofit, non-lobbying organization dedicated to increasing the quality and amount of wildlife habitat on corporate, private and public lands. WHC devotes its resources to building partnerships with corporations and conservation groups to create solutions that balance the demands of economic growth with the requirements of a healthy, biodiverse and sustainable environment. WHC-assisted wildlife habitat and conservation education programs are found in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and 11 other countries. To learn more, visit www.wildlifehc.org.