Wright Service Corp. launched a nonprofit organization in December 2020 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 will run independently from Wright Service Corp. and its family of companies but takes its priorities from the knowledge and passion of regenerative agriculture, forest management, and broader environmental concerns and industries with which the family of companies works.
The foundation 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. 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.
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.
“I am particularly interested in improving and enhancing the urban canopy to drive positive changes in air, water and soil quality,” said Scott Packard, chairman of WFSI.
WFSI will sustain its mission by fundraising and grant-making. Along with an initial contribution from Wright Service Corp. to hit the ground running, the foundation will accept donations from organizations, corporations and individuals that support the cause. Donors can give funds directed to a specific initiative or a general donation to support the foundation’s mission.
WFSI will offer at least one competitive grant period 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.
WFSI’s Board of Directors has successful, tenured careers in the agriculture and forest management industries, as well as philanthropy efforts. The foundation leverages their united passion for creating sustainable and renewable practices that reduce environmental risk to our communities to make the world a better place today and tomorrow.
Robert Riley, a director of the foundation and founder and chairman of Riley Resource Group, is motivated by the foundation’s mission. “I believe in the carbon emission mitigation methods the foundation champions and its goal to positively impact climate is one of the biggest issues of our time.”
In its infancy, WFSI will focus on projects in Iowa where Wright Service Corp. is headquartered and in surrounding midwestern states. The foundation hopes to announce its first open grant period later this spring.
To learn more and stay informed on WFSI’s impact, visit wrightfortomorrow.org.