Volkswagen of America is partnering with The Conservation Fund to help protect and restore forestland in the United States, starting with a project located in eastern Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest.
The automaker is making a $1.25 million donation to The Conservation Fund, which will use a portion of the funds to buy, protect and donate hundreds of acres of land to the U.S. Forest Service. The remainder of the donation will go toward providing community grants in Eastern Tennessee.
"This collaboration in our own backyard underscores our ‘Drive Bigger’ goal of pursuing ideas bigger than ourselves and then taking action,” Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, says in a release. “We feel a responsibility to show how a major automaker can credibly contribute to the greater good.”
Cause marketing is an important tool to reach millennials, according to a July report from the Case Foundation with its research partner Achieve.
A large portion of Volkswagen’s contribution to The Conservation Fund is expected to increase the Cherokee National Forest (CNF) by about 1,500 acres, enhancing statewide efforts to help protect wildlife habitat and cultural resources, improve water quality, and provide additional recreation access and environmental education.
The Conservation Fund and VW Volkswagen also announced a community grant program of $200,000. The two companies will solicit grant requests of up to $50,000 each from qualified nonprofits, schools and public agencies working in eastern Tennessee to help improve water quality, increase access to outdoor recreation, and advance environmental education. The application deadline is Feb. 14.