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New Nonprofit Supports Sustainability Through Carbon Neutrality

WFSI and Sustainability

May 13, 2021

Wright Service Corp. (WSC), a prominent leader and parent company to a family of companies that operate in several environmental service industries, recently launched a nonprofit organization called Wright Foundation for Sustainability and Innovation (WFSI). The nonprofit aims to foster innovative sustainability initiatives that make a positive impact on the planet by reducing carbon emissions and promoting carbon positive practices. WFSI is a separate entity from WSC and will run independently from WSC and its family of companies.

WFSI was created with a passion for regenerative agriculture, forest management and broader environmental concerns and industries with which the family of companies works. Knowledge of the positive impacts toward carbon reduction forward-thinking practices in these areas drives the foundation’s mission.

Supporting Sustainability — Both Big + Small

WFSI supports projects that work to reduce carbon in the atmosphere through initiatives like improving the canopy and renewable agriculture practices that sequester carbon in the soil, like no till, cover crops and use of biochar, to name a few.

The initiative to improve the canopy will include projects such as tree planting in rural, urban and suburban areas. Importantly, WFSI looks for projects that increase tree diversity to not only fight against tree disease and pests that could decimate a tree population, like ash trees and emerald ash borer, but to increase soil diversity and keep temperatures down in urban areas via the shade they provide.

WFSI also supports restoration efforts that create habitats for native flora, fauna and microorganisms to survive. Natural landscapes in rights-of-way, or as part of the agricultural process, promote functioning ecosystems and biodiversity. Biodiversity is a significant aspect to each of foundation’s initiatives. It is an important part of improving the tree canopy and regenerative agriculture practices. Biodiversity ensures sustainable canopies, farming operations and ecosystems into the future.

How to Support the Mission

WFSI will sustain its mission by fundraising and grant-making. The foundation will accept donations from organizations, corporations and individuals that want to support the cause. Donors can give funds directed to a specific initiative or a general donation to support any and all of WFSI’s initiatives.

WFSI will offer at least one competitive grant cycle a year, in which there is an open timeframe for nonprofit organizations to submit applications for consideration. A grants committee of subject matter experts will help determine projects that best fit into WFSI priorities and oversee project implementation. In concert with grant awardees, the foundation will create reporting for each project that show the environmental impact made.

Grant Cycle to Improve the Tree Canopy

For our first grant cycle, we have up to $100,000 that will go toward one or more competitive grants for tree canopy improvement in the Midwest. WFSI is looking to partner with an organization that has a presence in Iowa and the surrounding states involved in planting trees to replace those lost in last summer’s derecho, increasing trees in urban and suburban areas and greenspaces and increasing tree species diversity.

“Lack of trees can have negative long-term effects like increased energy costs due to less shade, more stormwater runoff, and soil erosion that can potentially pollute waterways.” Said Scott Packard, chairman of WFSI. “Increasing and improving the tree canopy has so many benefits, which is why it’s one of the foundation’s priorities, and something we are passionate about.”

WFSI will accept inquiries and applications for the grant starting Monday, May 17, 2021 until June 21, 2021. To learn more about the open grant and how to apply, visit wrightfortomorrow.org/grants.

Learn More or Share the Story

In its infancy, WFSI will focus on projects in Iowa and in surrounding midwestern states. To learn more and stay informed on WFSI’s impact, visit wrightfortomorrow.org.

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Shannon Bussone-Rue

Shannon Bussone-Rue is a marketing and communications professional in Des Moines, Iowa. She is project manager and responsible for marketing and communications for Wright Foundation for Sustainability and Innovation.