BALTIMORE, Dec. 2 /CNW/ - Ontario Power Generation (OPG) was named winner of the William W. Howard Conservation Education and Outreach (C.E.O.) Award at the Wildlife Habitat Council's (WHC) 21st Annual Symposium, Evergreen: A Celebration of Conservation in a Changing World.
The William W. Howard C.E.O. Award, named in honor of WHC's late president, is the organization's most prestigious award and recognizes a corporate member which has a history of striving for excellence in biodiversity conservation, education and outreach. Different than other WHC recognition levels, this award honors not a single program at a corporate facility, but rather an entire organization for its combined efforts in providing educational experiences, access to quality education opportunities and the opportunity to experience personal contact with the natural world for its employees and the surrounding community.
"The C.E.O. Award recognizes the exemplary effort of a corporation which demonstrates that one of the best ways to ensure long-term sustainability of conservation programs is to have strong engagement on the human level," said Robert Johnson, WHC President. "WHC's conservation education programs like Corporate Lands for Learning(SM) (CLL) and Conservation Education Sites put a human face on those noble efforts, linking them to the local community and to the region. Congratulations to OPG for working to build sustainable partnerships and habitat conservation into their company."
OPG established numerous partnerships with community groups, including schools, scouts, non-profits, conservations groups and government entities. These partnerships allowed the company's CLL programs to successfully engage participants in a variety of on-site and outreach activities that reach a staggering number of people each year.
Habitat restoration is a major theme found throughout OPG programs. Since 2000, OPG and its conservation partners have planted more than 3.8 million native trees and shrubs on more than 1,850 hectares of land, helping to capture carbon dioxide and help woodlands cope with climate change. Many OPG sites host annual habitat enhancement or monitoring events with the community, or are actively involved in outreach events, sending employees to share their knowledge within the community. A number of sites engage in and share scientific research with area colleges, universities and the community. These projects include spotted turtle research, identification of restoration opportunities, marsh monitoring, and studies of the invasive zebra mussel.
Currently 12 OPG sites maintain WHC-assisted wildlife habitat enhancement and education programs, 11 of which implement certified Wildlife at Work(SM) programs. Employees at these facilities also implement four internationally accredited CLL programs. OPG's membership with WHC underscores the company's policy to "encourage learning and help to build a better tomorrow."
"We are honored and humbled to receive the CEO award, which is a crowning achievement for our ongoing commitment to sustainability," said Tom Mitchell, OPG's President and CEO. "This prestigious recognition is a great motivation for the entire company to continue its pursuit of environmental excellence."
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 48 states, the District of Columbia and nine other countries. To learn more, visit www.wildlifehc.org.
Ontario Power Generation produces almost 70 per cent of Ontario's electricity. In 2009, almost 90 per cent of OPG's generation has been from nuclear and hydroelectric sources, producing virtually no emissions contributing to smog or global warming.
SOURCE WILDLIFE HABITAT COUNCIL
For further information: For further information: OPG MEDIA RELATIONS - 1-877-592-4008 or (416) 592-4008; Brad Cardwell, Wildlife Habitat Council, (240) 247-0930, firstname.lastname@example.org