Unilever adds vitality to America’s National Parks

Unilever's commitment to America's National Parks to exceed $22M in four years. Focus will be on Junior Rangers, recreation and sustainability.

Washington, D.C. -- Adding vitality to America’s National Parks has just gotten a huge boost as global consumer product goods company Unilever becomes a Proud Partner of America’s National Parks pledging a $22M, four-year commitment to the National Park Foundation. As the longest-standing corporate partner of the National Park Foundation, Unilever’s strengthened Proud Partner commitment is expected to bring a 15-year nearly $50M benefit to National Parks.

National Park Service Director Fran Mainella and National Park Foundation President Vin Cipolla joined Mike Polk, Group Vice President, Unilever and President, Unilever Foods, United States in announcing the Unilever Proud Partner commitment. Unilever’s Proud Partner program will focus its monetary and in-kind donations to support the National Parks Junior Ranger Program, Recreation through the Healthy Parks-Healthy Living program supported by Lipton, a Unilever brand; volunteerism through the National Parks America Tour and sustainability through Unilever’s flagship Recycling at Work sustainable grants program.

“Unilever’s mission is to add vitality to life while connecting to our consumers and pursuing sustainable practices in communities where we do business and live. As stewards of America’s National Parks we are fostering a vital and enduring connection between the American people and their historic, cultural and natural resources,” commented Mike Polk, Group Vice President, Unilever and President, Unilever Foods, United States. “As a Proud Partner, Unilever pledges to engage our employees and consumers in the National Parks experience. With our dynamic brand portfolio, we hope to unleash a stable of consumer communications vehicles and brand-supported initiatives designed to support the parks in key areas of sustainability, vitality, recreation and education.”

“Unilever’s Proud Partner commitment is consistent with their position as a go-to partner for the National Park Service. When asked to step-up to the plate – they respond. Unilever’s longstanding partnership has served as a catalyst to propel the next generation of Junior Ranger programs into all 388 National Parks; as a partner for Park Service-wide sustainable practices; as a resource to promote National Parks as vital recreation resources and as a communicator reaching millions of park visitors and enthusiasts.” said Fran Mainella, Director, National Park Service. “Partnerships are essential in our National Parks, and the visitors will benefit from our shared goals.”

“The National Park Foundation Proud Partners Program stands as a testament to how meaningful partnerships result in action and positive change. Unilever, with its tremendous consumer reach and strong corporate values of sustainability and volunteerism, will help the National Park Foundation’s strengthen the enduring connection between the American people and their National Parks,” stated Vin Cipolla, President, National Park Foundation. “We welcome Unilever to the Proud Partner Program and look forward to the next phase of an unprecedented 15-year partnership.”

Unilever’s National Parks Program began in 1994 with its Recycling at Work grants program designed to meet the National Park Service and its own global sustainability mandate. To date, Unilever has donated sustainable, 100% recycled plastic (HDPE #2) lumber to more than 150 National Parks for use in building boardwalks, fishing piers, site amenities and fences while representing more than 14 million of its home, personal care and food product containers recycled rather than landfilled.

As announced today, Unilever’s Proud Partner Commitment will:

  • Activate multi-brand consumer and trade customer programs providing consumer-direct vehicles to gain grassroots-level interest and support in National Parks. On May 15, 2005, Unilever will invite consumers to engage in the National Park experience through the Sunday FSIs - coupons - with two, two-page multi-brand offers with money-saving coupons for 13 home, personal care and food brands (Wishbone® salad dressing, Lawry’s® seasonings and marinades, Hellmann’s® mayonnaise, Carb Options® food products, Snuggle® fabric softener, Wisk® laundry detergent, Caress® skin care; Suave® hair and body care and Thermasilk® hair care) reaching 40 million Americans. Unilever will contribute $0.05 for every coupon redeemed, up to a maximum of $500,000 in 2005.
  • Award Unilever grants to National Parks providing sustainable solutions for infrastructure improvements enhancing the visitor experience.
  • Further the National Park Service’s commitment to the Healthier U.S. initiative through a pilot Healthy Parks-Healthy Living program supporting the recreational attributes inherent in National Parks.
  • Engage consumers, employees and trade customers in volunteer service-to-the-land activities in National Parks through the National Parks America Tour program.
  • Foster a public-private Executive Exchange program designed to expose NPS personnel to a corporate business environment and internship program for college and graduate-level students.
  • Support the National Parks Junior Ranger program through challenge grants and consumer-direct and branded communications.
  • Underwrite the annual Harry Yount National Park Ranger of the Year Award.
  • Grants to the Padre Island Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle Preservation Program.

About the National Park Foundation

The National Park Foundation ( www.nationalparks.org ), chartered by Congress in 1967, is the official non-profit partner of America’s national parks. The National Park Foundation strengthens the enduring connection between the American people and their national parks by raising private funds, making strategic grants, creating innovative partnerships and increasing public awareness. Over the past seven years alone, the Foundation has contributed more than $135 million in total grants and program support to national parks across the country.

About Unilever

Unilever [NYSE: UL, UN], one of the world’s largest consumer products companies, aims to add vitality to life by meeting everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care. Each day, around the world, consumers make 150 million decisions to purchase Unilever products. The company has a portfolio of brands that make people feel good, look good and get more out of life.

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