NEW YORK, June 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In recognition of UN World Environment Day, Avon Products Inc. (NYSE: AVP) today announced that it will plant two million trees to restore the Atlantic Rainforest in South America, one of the most critically endangered ecosystems in the world. This commitment is part of the company's Hello Green Tomorrow Campaign, announced in mid-March, to unleash the power of its woman-to-woman network of 6.2 million Avon Representatives and 300 million customers in a global women's environmental movement to nurture nature. In just 80 days, this veritable green army was able to virtually double the company's initial pledge of $1 million dollars, with every dollar going to the planting and restoration of one tree. Sixty countries, ranging from Japan to Mexico to Russia, are participating in the Hello Green Tomorrow campaign – making this the first truly global effort of its kind.
"The two million trees we are planting represent the initial milestone in what will be an ongoing global environmental mobilization effort," said Andrea Jung, Avon's chairman and chief executive officer. "In addition to raising funds to plant and restore trees, we are also leveraging our powerful woman-to-woman network to drive 'green' educational information on the five simple things each and every one of us can do to improve our environment." She added, "This comprehensive Hello Green Tomorrow initiative reflects the company's commitment to environmental stewardship and to doing our part to protect our planet for the next generation."
All trees planted in the Atlantic Rainforest through Hello Green Tomorrow will support the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign. The trees will be planted and the restored forest monitored by The Nature Conservancy, Avon's partner in the program.
"Conserving South America's Atlantic Rainforest is critical for both nature and for the millions of local people who depend on it for survival," said Glenn Prickett, Chief External Affairs Officer of The Nature Conservancy. "The funds raised with Avon will advance The Nature Conservancy's restoration efforts in the forest, which in turn will protect important sources of clean water for local communities and, on a more global scale, help to regulate the atmosphere and stabilize global climate."
Hello Green Tomorrow is Avon's first external effort for an environmental cause, but the company has a long heritage of mobilizing its Independent Sales Representatives and customers to address the issues of breast cancer and domestic violence. Through 2009, more than $725 million was raised and donated for these causes worldwide through the Avon Foundation for Women. Hello Green Tomorrow underscores Avon's commitment to environmental stewardship in areas ranging from greenhouse gas reduction to the use of "green" building standards in new construction. As a reflection of this commitment, in 2009 Avon ranked #25 on Newsweek magazine's first "green" list of the 500 largest US-based corporations.
In conjunction with Hello Green Tomorrow, Avon announced the Avon Paper Promise, a comprehensive policy outlining efforts and goals for promoting sustainable forest use, protecting forests, and reducing demands on forests. Avon's goal is to purchase 100% of its paper from certified and or post consumer recycled content sources within ten years, with a certification preference of Forest Stewardship Council.
To support the educational mission of the Hello Green Tomorrow Campaign, Avon launched a comprehensive website focused on "Five Simple Things" that anyone can do to be green: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink and Replant. The website includes expert tips and blogs, interactive opportunities to share green tips, and information on the Atlantic Rainforest. In addition to the central site, there are local Hello Green Tomorrow websites in many of the 60 participating countries around the world.
For more information and to get involved in the program, visit www.hellogreentomorrow.com.
Avon Products, Inc.
Avon, the company for women, is a leading global beauty company, with over $10 billion in annual revenue. As the world's largest direct seller, Avon markets to women in more than 100 countries through approximately 6.2 million active independent Avon Sales Representatives. Avon's product line includes beauty, fashion and home products, and features such well-recognized brand names as Avon Color, Anew, Skin-So-Soft, Advance Techniques, Avon Naturals, and Mark. Avon is a global leader in the causes of breast cancer and domestic violence, with more than $730 million raised and awarded worldwide through the Avon Foundation for Women and global philanthropic programs. The company is committed to environmental stewardship and was rated #25 on the Newsweek green rankings of the top 500 largest US companies, and Avon is committed to constant environmental improvement worldwide. Learn more about Avon at www.avoncompany.com.
The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) was founded in 1951 and is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The organization is headquartered in the US and works in more than 30 countries and has protected more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide, and they operate over 100 marine conservation projects globally. The Conservancy is a key partner in the Avon Hello Tomorrow Fund program. Working with its Brazil-based team and local conservation partners, The Nature Conservancy will plant and restore the trees as well as monitor the restored forest, ensuring the long-term benefits of the Atlantic Rainforest.
UNEP Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the voice for the environment within the United Nations systems. The UNEP mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. The Hello Green Tomorrow program supports the UNEP Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign, a worldwide tree planting initiative that encompasses people, communities, businesses, industry, civil society organizations and governments in 170 countries. The Billion Tree Campaign will make a substantial contribution to the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity, raising awareness of the importance of biodiversity for our well-being.
SOURCE Avon Products, Inc.