Ecolab Foundation commits $5 million for sustainability research and education
Ecolab Chairman and CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. and University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler today jointly announced a $5 million gift from the Ecolab Foundation to the University-wide Driven campaign in support of environmental sustainability research and education.
A cornerstone of the Ecolab Foundation gift is $2 million for the establishment of an endowed chair for the Institute on the Environment to ensure sustainability thought leadership for years to come.
“Ecolab is committed to making the world cleaner, safer and healthier, and in doing so, protecting people and vital resources in communities around the globe,” said Baker. “We operate at the nexus of business and sustainability, and this investment in the University and the Institute on the Environment is a model for collaboration with local and global leaders and will help us both work toward a more secure, sustainable future for everyone.”
“For decades, University of Minnesota researchers and students have focused on finding scientific and social solutions to tackle the most important challenges facing our state, nation and world,” said Kaler. “Through public-private partnerships, like this one with the Ecolab Foundation, we are able to accelerate research into practices that ensure abundant, safe water; clean, renewable energy; healthy landscapes and sustainable food.”
The contribution will count toward Driven: The University of Minnesota Campaign, a comprehensive fundraising effort that has raised more than $3 billion toward its $4 billion goal.
The Ecolab Foundation will also invest more than $1 million in undergraduate scholarships in science, engineering, and other environmental and sustainability-focused majors and minors, providing renewable awards of $7,500 for diverse and talented students beginning in their sophomore year. Additional Ecolab Foundation investment will support immersive student experiences with global and local partners focused on energy, water quality and supply, sustainable development, and public health.
Recognizing that future business leaders will be called on to catalyze sustainability efforts across communities and industries, the Ecolab Foundation’s donation will also support undergraduates in the University’s Carlson School of Management by funding scholarships and international learning experiences that equip students to address the real and growing risks to our environment. Another portion of the Ecolab Foundation gift will underwrite a major conference series to engage top industry and academic experts in collaboratively driving forward progress on major environmental challenges.
“Public-private partnerships are essential to making real progress on sustainability and addressing the impacts of climate change,” said Jessica Hellmann, director of the Institute on the Environment, who will become the first Ecolab Chair for Environmental Leadership. “The global economic impact of climate change and other stressors make this work truly imperative, for Minnesota and around the globe.”