Union Pacific Adds Environmental Sustainability as Philanthropic Priority
The Nature Conservancy Selected for Freshwater and Restoration Collaboration
Omaha, Neb., November 10, 2022
Union Pacific Railroad is adding Environmental Sustainability as a fourth pillar for its Community Ties Giving Program, extending the company’s bold commitment to reducing the impacts of climate change and building a more sustainable economy to its community investments. The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a nonprofit dedicated to conserving the lands and water on which life depends, has been selected to help further the mission of the new pillar for the next three years.
“Adding Environmental Sustainability as a priority area for Union Pacific’s Community Ties Giving Program ties into our overall ESG strategy,” said Beth Whited, executive vice president – Sustainability and Strategy and Chief Human Resource Officer. “We are deeply committed to reducing our impact on the environment through several internal and external initiatives outlined in our Climate Action Plan. Extending this commitment to our community investments will allow us to make an even bigger impact in communities across our 23-state footprint.”
TNC was selected because its work aligns closely with the railroad’s goals and objectives, which are to: preserve and restore nature; protect and enhance water or air quality; reduce waste; develop environmental stewards; and advance a green economy.
Union Pacific will donate a total of $3 million across three TNC projects over the next three years.
- Protecting and enhancing grassland within the upper Elkhorn River watershed (Omaha, NE). The project will help landowners who own marginal row crop acres enroll in a long-term conservation program that involves restoring those acres to grass and trees. This work will increase water quality, capture carbon, reduce local flooding and reduce downstream flooding.
- Rewilding the San Joaquin Valley (Tulare County, CA). The project will "rewild" former agricultural lands that are voluntarily being fallowed to reduce water use and restoring them to upland habitat for critically threatened and endangered species.
- Reconnecting Critical Landscapes for Watershed Health in North Texas (Dallas, TX). The project will improve watershed health, climate resilience and expand grasslands restoration in the Upper Basin of the Trinity River, the watershed of the fastest growing metroplex in the United States. Bringing together multiple conservation strategies and partners, this work will advance community resilience, protect biodiversity, secure water supplies, and build a more resilient future for people and nature across North Texas.
“The Nature Conservancy is deeply grateful for Union Pacific’s support in addressing the impacts of climate change,” said Suzanne Scott, Texas state director of The Nature Conservancy. “From improving water quality and protecting key places to creating more resilient communities, this collaboration will help make a difference in Nebraska, California, and Texas. We’re excited to work with Union Pacific and demonstrate just how powerful nature can be as a climate solution.”
The other three pillars in Union Pacific’s Community Ties Giving Program are Safety, Workforce Development and Community Spaces. Like these pillars, the company will offer local and regional grants under the Environmental Sustainability pillar. More information is available at UP.com/CommunityTies.
About Union Pacific
Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) delivers the goods families and businesses use every day with safe, reliable and efficient service. Operating in 23 western states, the company connects its customers and communities to the global economy. Trains are the most environmentally responsible way to move freight, helping Union Pacific protect future generations. More information about Union Pacific is available at www.up.com.
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Clymer Meadow Preserve, located northeast of Dallas, Texas, contains some of the largest and most diverse remnants of the Blackland Prairie and is part of a larger conservation area owned by The Nature Conservancy. Photo courtesy: Jacqueline Ferrato, TNC