- A $1 million donation from Lowe's will help support more than 40 community service projects through Keep America Beautiful's annual Great American Cleanup.
- The funds will go toward projects in multiple states focused on illegal dumping, planting trees, the construction of an urban farm and much more.
- Since 2011, Lowe's has provided about 350 grants worth a total $5.4 million and sent nearly 1,800 employee volunteers to participate.
The Great American Cleanup marked its 18th year in March and activates an estimated 5 million volunteers in thousands of communities across the country. These funds from Lowe's will go toward 2017 events as planning has already begun.
Like some other major retailers, Lowe's has been active with community programs, but has struggled to meet some of its sustainability goals. Through a partnership with Call2Recycle, the company collected an estimated 650,000 pounds of rechargeable batteries in 2015 and saw increased tonnage for some other recyclable items. Overall, the company aims to reduce its tons of waste per net sales by 40% (from a 2010 baseline) by 2020. So far Lowe's has seen a 12.6% reduction.
A company's ability to reach sustainability goals doesn't invalidate efforts on local cleanups, public recycling bins or any other community projects but their progress is worth watching. As some cities are beginning to learn, reaching these kinds of ambitious reduction goals can be tough and the proposed solutions may not be as simple as advertised.