* Funding is part of $400,000 campaign focused on sustainability, environmental efforts across Palmetto State.
* Grant supports South Carolina Floodwater Commission in mitigating stormwater impacts by planting native trees in floodplains across state.
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Duke Energy today celebrates national Arbor Day by awarding a $100,000 grant to PowerPlantSC, an initiative by the South Carolina Floodwater Commission and the S.C. Tree Farm Committee to help communities plant trees to create greater resiliency strategies for the Palmetto State.
This funding is part of a monthlong initiative by Duke Energy to highlight organizations and programs that enhance and promote a sustainable future for South Carolina. This campaign has provided nearly $400,000 to numerous nonprofits and governmental agencies and highlights global efforts like Earth Day and Arbor Day at the local level.
"Duke Energy has a long history of working with communities along shared river basins to ensure that both lively economies and a thriving natural habitat can co-exist," said Mike Callahan, Duke Energy's South Carolina state president. "Supporting PowerPlantSC and the efforts of organizations across the state who are laser focused on building up the resiliency of our communities and our economy is critically important to Duke Energy and we are proud to play our part in these efforts."
Since Earth Day 2021, PowerPlantSC has organized individuals and communities to plant millions of trees across South Carolina. The funding from the Duke Energy Foundation will help coordinate and execute the planting of more than 20,000 native tree species this year in the high-risk, flood-prone regions of the state.
"Duke Energy's support for PowerPlantSC cannot be overstated. Their generosity for conservation in our great state is long-standing and meaningful," said Dr. Tom Mullikin, chairman of PowerPlantSC. "Duke Energy sets the highest standards for responsible corporate citizens and through their assistance has established South Carolina as a national leader in economic and environmental sustainability."
"We commend Duke Energy for their gifts to celebrate Earth Day and appreciate their contributions to preserve our state's most precious resources," said Benjamin Duncan, chief resilience officer of South Carolina's Office of Resilience. "We look forward to continuing to partner with Duke Energy to support ongoing resilience and conservation efforts in South Carolina."
Earlier this month, Duke Energy kicked off the initiative by providing PalmettoPride $100,000 to support the programs in local communities managed by the 37 Keep South Carolina Beautiful affiliate organizations, who focus on litter pick up and beautification throughout their areas.
The campaign continued by highlighting TreesUpstate and the Energy Saving Trees Program. Since 2016, Duke Energy Foundation funding has supplied more than 15,000 free trees through the Energy Saving Trees Program, and most recently provided $78,000 in grant funding to support expanding the program through outreach to underrepresented Hispanic communities and translating materials into Spanish.
On Earth Day, the initiative provided $100,000 in grants to organizations that will use the funding to improve trail access in natural areas under their care. South Carolina State Parks, The Nature Conservancy in South Carolina, Palmetto Trail and Foothills Trail each received $25,000 for these efforts.
Duke Energy also provided $35,000 in surprise microgrants to community organizations across the state that manage, maintain and support neighborhood parks. These "surcee" grants recognize the important gaps these typically smaller agencies fill in the neighborhoods they serve. The funds will be used for landscaping, beautification, facility upgrades and repairs. Each park received $5,000.
Duke Energy employees and retirees also volunteered their time and efforts throughout the month with these and other organizations to support programs in their local communities.
Duke Energy Foundation
The Duke Energy Foundation provides more than $30 million annually in philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The foundation is funded by Duke Energy shareholders.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America's largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 28,000 people.
Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business and at least a 50% carbon reduction from electric generation by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The 2050 net-zero goals also include Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 emissions. In addition, the company is investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage, and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2022 "World's Most Admired Companies" list and Forbes' "America's Best Employers" list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Media contact: Ryan Mosier