SHANGHAI, China — For Bill Ford, the company’s enormously successful Conservation & Environmental Grants, China (CEGC) programme is of particular personal significance.
“The reason that these awards are so special to me is that they provide a direct connection between the heritage of our past and vision for our future,” Ford told more than 700 Ford employees from Ford Asia Pacific and Africa and Ford China who attended the 13th awards ceremony of CEGC in Shanghai.
“When my great grandfather Henry Ford founded the company, he wasn’t just pursuing profits; he was pursuing a greater purpose. He wanted to provide personal transportation for the average person, he believed the products that he made should serve customers and society, and he wanted to create value for everyone, but also he wanted to make people’s lives better.”
Ford Motor Company’s executive chairman made a special trip from Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn to attend the ceremony and to award 23 grants in two categories — “Leadership in Environmental Conservation” and “Excellence in Public Awareness Campaigns for Environmental Conservation” — totaling RMB 1.5 million (US$ 240,000) to individuals and environmental organisations.
“Henry Ford was also an environmental pioneer, who recycled crates in the frames for the cars and he powered many factories with renewable energy. The CEGC programme continues that heritage, serving society and preserving the environment,” he said. “I want to congratulate all this year’s winners, the work you are doing is inspiring and encouraging and we are honored to help you move it forward.”
Since 2000, CEGC has awarded grants for projects across China , from tree planting in the Gobi desert to Buddhist monasteries working together to help promote biodiversity; from protecting barhead goose eggs from predators, to funding photographers to document endangered animals and wildlife in remote corners of China. Furthermore, CEGC has helped train more than 420 NGOs and leaders to learn and hone the organisational skills needed to take their programmes to the next level.
"Simply put, Ford supports this programme because it’s part of our DNA," said Dave Schoch, chairman and CEO of Ford China. "At the end of today’s ceremony, CEGC will have distributed more than RMB 14.1 million (US $2.3 million) in grants to 301 of China’s environmental heroes. It is a programme that Ford has run for 13 years — and a programme we are going to accelerate in the years to come."
“Greening Crocodile Island” run by a man from Fujian Province who has spent the past 22 years transforming an uninhabited island called Crocodile Island into a green island oasis, and “The Qinghai 3 River Source Environmental Protection Scheme” a project which runs a diverse range of environmental education modules customised for local farmers, were selected as the winners in their categories and were granted RMB 260,000 and 200,000 (USD 42,000 and 32,000) respectively.
This year’s judging standards placed more emphasis on practical outcomes in order to encourage more tangible environmental conservation results.
“There is no doubt that Ford is the role model for corporates to execute their social responsibility. The automaker has been supporting China’s grassroots environmental conservation for more than 10 years,” said Mrs Shuping Lv, a member of the 2012 CEGC judging panel. “We have adjusted this year’s criteria by raising the bar for applicants and increasing our support to major projects. These measures will enable the sector to grow at a healthy rate.”
“We applied for the CEGC award and received an honourable mention last year, and this year we applied again but didn’t expect to win the top award! We are absolutely thrilled and honoured to be here among such an esteemed group of nominees,” said Dasheng Lin, whose farther is an environmental warrior on Crocodile Island.
“We need grants like CEGC to continue to achieve our green island dream in this barren land with little electricity and water supply. We have lots of work to do, for instance, building a new pier on the island, to procure mangrove tree seeds as well as to plant them, and to print out educational booklets in an effort to promote environmental protection on uninhabited islands near Xiamen. We are so happy and grateful that Ford is helping us move forward.
|Dave Schoch, chairman and CEO of Ford China, saluted an 85-year-old retired soldier, one of the CEGC winners
||A group photo with CEGC winners, judges and Ford executives, Bill Ford (middle), executive chairman, Ford Motor Company, Joe Hinrichs, president, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, (third from left), and Dave Schoch, chairman and CEO of Ford China. (third from right)|
|Bill Ford handed out a trophy and certificate to the first prize winner from “The Qinghai 3 River Source Environmental Protection Scheme.”