For Immediate Release
ComEd Media Relations
In collaboration with the Arbor Day Foundation, ComEd has provided over 30,000 free trees and shrubs to date
CHICAGO (April 20, 2022) – In honor of Arbor Day on April 29, ComEd today announced it will donate over 3,300 trees and shrubs to communities across northern Illinois to expand green spaces across its service territory. A collaboration with the Arbor Day Foundation's Energy-Saving Trees program, ComEd recognizes the important role that trees play in maintaining clean air and community spaces, as well as the positive impact on energy efficiency for customers. This year's distribution will provide trees to 255 communities over the next couple of weeks.
Since the program launched in 2015, ComEd has provided more than 30,000 trees and shrubs to residential and municipal customers it serves.
"At ComEd, we are committed to protecting green space and lowering energy usage and carbon emissions for all 9 million people in our communities," said ComEd CEO Gil C. Quiniones. "In collaboration with Arbor Day Foundation, we are donating 3,300 trees this spring for to help neutralize carbon pollution, generate cleaner air, and promote green spaces that enhance quality of life across all our communities."
The Energy Savings Trees program has shown benefits including air pollution improvements, reduced storm water runoff, and lowered energy costs for customers by helping to cool homes. Since ComEd's participation in the program began, it has helped save over 51 million kilowatt hours of electricity and sequester 31.6 million pounds of carbon. This impact equates to taking 4,700 homes off the power grid and 6,700 cars off the road every ststyear, respectively. ComEd's participation is expected to generate air, water, carbon and energy savings valued at $247,000 this year alone, with the long-term impact of ComEd tree donations made to date expected to generate energy savings totaling $7.8 million over the next 20 years.
"Spring is one of the best times of the year for companies and organizations to go out and engage communities around environmental causes," said Dan Lambe, CEO of the Arbor Day Foundation. "ComEd's continued investment in this program means cleaner air and water, and an overall increased savings in energy cost. The trees distributed by the Energy-Saving Trees program will provide innumerable environmental benefits for years to come."
The Energy-Saving Trees program, started by the Arbor Day Foundation in 2011, is powered by i-Tree, a credible research-based forestry tool. Using the i-Tree tool, which includes benefits estimations from the USDA Forest Service, customers can research the environmental impact for a variety of tree species, and where to plant the tree to maximize its benefits.
The annual Energy-Saving Trees program giveaway launched in March, and 2,780 trees were claimed by ComEd customers within the same month. Additionally, ComEd is donating trees and shrubs directly to municipalities, delivering 534 plants this year. One of the recipients is the City of Chicago, which will receive 100 new trees to enhance green space throughout the city.
"The Bureau of Forestry is grateful to ComEd for this annual tree donation, which wholly aligns with Mayor Lightfoot's goal to enhance Chicago's neighborhoods through the planting of 75,000 parkway trees by 2026," said Cole Stallard, Commissioner for the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation. "Trees are a high priority for the City and the department as they provide multiple and long-term benefits to residents, including improved air quality, reduced flooding, shade during the warmer months, and increased property values."
The annual program is an initiative by ComEd's vegetation management team, which performs maintenance and hazard mitigation to ensure safe and reliable power delivery, while protecting our green canopy and surrounding ecosystems. Some of the plant species include: Bayberry, Eastern Redbud, Meadowsweet, Ninebark, Dogwood, Hydrangea and Viburnum. All are low-growing trees and shrubs that will not interfere with power lines.
The annual tree giveaway is just one example of ComEd's strong track record on environmental stewardship. ComEd is making comprehensive investments across the region and through its own operations to help confront the impacts of climate change, including the expansion of clean energy access, lowering waste, recycling, conservation of local habitats and wildlife, and infrastructure upgrades to provide a more climate-resilient grid.
ComEd also joins other Exelon operating companies across the country as an Arbor Day Foundation Evergreen Alliance member in delivering free trees to enhance the local environment. Over the past decade, ComEd, along with its sister utilities Atlantic City Electric, BGE, Delmarva Power, PECO and Pepco, have collectively donated more than 125,000 trees to the communities they serve.
About the Arbor Day Foundation
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than 1 million members, supporters and valued partners. Since 1972, almost 500 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to lead toward a world where trees are used to solve issues critical to survival.
As one of the world's largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. More information is available at arborday.org.