IKEA Canada celebrates National Tree Day with school children nationwide

Partnership with Tree Canada educates young Canadians about the importance of keeping communities green and how nature nourishes

BURLINGTON, ON, Sept. 23, 2015 /CNW/ - This week IKEA Canada, in partnership with Tree Canada, is hosting Canadian youth at community events across the country in celebration of National Tree Day. The program has been designed to engage and inform young Canadians about the benefits that trees provide to society and how nature nourishes.

"At IKEA, we strive to make a positive impact on the communities where we do business," says Stefan Sjostrand, President, IKEA Canada. "We've enjoyed a special relationship with Tree Canada for more than 18 years, and believe that National Tree Day is a great occasion for our co-workers to celebrate our commitment to sustainability and roll up our sleeves with young Canadians from across the country to appreciate all that nature has to offer."

IKEA Canada co-workers are volunteering their time at community events in schoolyards, parks, and other green spaces in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Ottawa – each of the cities where IKEA Canada stores are located.

The students will enjoy a scavenger hunt about how ecosystems work, plant a seedling in a self-decorated IKEA pot to care for at home, and learn about responsible forestry practices and the environmental impact of their dietary choices, among other activities.

IKEA customers can also support the program by purchasing a SOCKER greenhouse, designed for growing vegetables, herbs, and other plants on a window sill or kitchen counter at home. For each SOCKER greenhouse sold at IKEA Canada stores or through www.IKEA.ca from September 19 to September 27, IKEA Canada will donate $5.00 to Tree Canada to support its education programs.

"Tree Canada is thrilled to have IKEA Canada as a sponsor and partner to celebrate National Tree Day. Together, we are connecting Canadians to the importance of trees in our society," said Michael Rosen, President of Tree Canada. "They improve human health, beautify our communities, naturally cool our cities in the summer, and combat climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide emissions and producing oxygen."

Since 1997, IKEA Canada co-workers have volunteered their time alongside Tree Canada to plant approximately 28,000 mature trees and shrubs to restore urban tree canopy in the communities around its stores across the country, providing cleaner air, reducing noise, preventing erosion, providing wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and shaded public spaces. The related CO2 emission savings from these trees are equivalent to taking about 4,600 cars off the road for one year.

IKEA's sustainability direction is outlined by its "People + Planet Positive" strategy: to inspire and enable millions of people to live a more sustainable life at home; to pursue resource and energy independence; and to take the lead in creating a better life for people and communities where it operates. IKEA believes that children are the most important people in the world, and IKEA Canada's community involvement and social impact focus is to support childhood development through projects that enlighten about how nature nourishes.

About IKEA Canada
IKEA is a leading home furnishings retailer with 361 stores in 50 countries worldwide, which are visited by 821 million people every year. IKEA Canada has 12 stores which are visited by over 25 million people every year. Last year the IKEA.com websites attracted 1.1 billion visitors. Founded in 1943, IKEA's business philosophy is to offer a wide range of products of good design and function at prices so low, the majority of people can afford them. For more information on IKEA, please visit: www.IKEA.ca.

About Tree Canada
Tree Canada is a not-for-profit charitable organization established to encourage Canadians to plant and care for trees in urban and rural environments.  Tree Canada engages Canadian companies, government agencies and individuals to support the planting of trees, the greening of schoolyards, and other efforts to sensitize Canadians to the benefits of planting and maintaining trees. Since 1992, nearly 80 million trees have been planted, over 550 schoolyards have been greened, and Tree Canada has helped organize eleven national urban forest conferences. The next Canadian Urban Forest Conference will take place in Laval, QC in 2016. More information about Tree Canada is available at www.treecanada.ca.

SOURCE IKEA Canada

For further information: Tanya Bevington, Corporate Communications Manager, IKEA Canada, tanya.bevington1@IKEA.com; Richard Walker, Director of Communications & Program Development, Tree Canada, rwalker@treecanada.ca

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