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Planting with a purpose - re-greening local communities

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SOURCE Trees Ontario

Enbridge Gas Distribution thanks its e-billing customers by planting 50,000 trees  

TORONTO, July 17, 2014 /CNW/ - To help the communities it serves that were hard-hit by ice storm damage, Enbridge Gas Distribution, in partnership with Trees Ontario, has just finished planting 50,000 trees across the province.

For residents in ice-damaged communities, restoring forest cover through tree planting initiatives provides countless benefits. New trees will compensate for existing damage to tree canopy, re-beautify local communities, and provide invaluable health benefits to surrounding areas.

The initiative is part of Enbridge's e-billing campaign, designed to encourage customers to switch to paperless billing. As a thank you to its approximately 100,000 customers who switched to paperless billing in 2013, Enbridge committed to planting trees in designated areas of need across the province, including Niagara, Ottawa and Toronto.

Since 2006, more than 400,000 Enbridge customers have opted to switch to paperless billing. To further incent customers, Enbridge often offers cash prizes and other rewards for customers who switch to e-bill. Customers can make the change at www.enbridgegas.com/ebill.

The partnership with Trees Ontario is part of Enbridge's ongoing commitment to support organizations and activities that contribute to the economic, environmental and social wellbeing of the communities where they operate.

"Enbridge's tree planting program is a testament to the organization's support for healthy, sustainable communities," explains Rob Keen, CEO, Trees Ontario. "By encouraging customers to switch to e-billing, and by thanking those customers through large-scale planting efforts, Enbridge is growing their pledge to the environment and contributing to the overall health and wellbeing of local communities."

Over the course of the trees' lifespan, they will continually emit oxygen and sequester carbon, facilitating the improvement of air quality in the local area. Forests and natural landscapes have been shown to improve the general wellbeing and health of people who interact with them. Studies show that this interaction decreases stress, improves mood and reduces the frequency of illnesses, such as childhood asthma.

"We are proud to partner with Trees Ontario to support re-greening efforts in areas damaged by ice storms," says Kerry Lakatos-Hayward, Director of Customer Care at Enbridge Gas Distribution. "There are so many immediate and lasting benefits to planting trees and increasing our canopy cover. Our paperless billing campaign allows us to recognize customers for taking steps to help conserve the environment and has the added benefit of delivering long-term positive health impacts in the communities where we plant."

How do trees support healthy communities?

  • Trees filter harmful particles from the air, improving overall air quality.
  • Studies have shown that the presence of trees directly contributes to a decline in stress levels.
  • Trees literally lift spirits; exposure to forested environments lowers pulse rate and blood pressure and decreases anxiety, depression and anger.
  • Improved air quality contributes to fewer instances of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

About Enbridge Gas Distribution
Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. has a more than 165-year history and is Canada's largest natural gas distribution company. Enbridge Gas Distribution delivers safe, reliable natural gas in more than 100 communities across Ontario and is a leader in promoting energy efficiency programs. It is owned by Enbridge Inc., a Canadian-based leader in energy transportation and distribution and one of the 2013 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations. Enbridge Inc. has been selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers for 2013 and is one of Canada's Top 100 Employers. Enbridge Gas Distribution and its affiliates distribute natural gas to two million customers in Ontario, Quebec, New York State and New Brunswick. For more information, visit www.enbridgegas.com or follow us on Twitter @EnbridgeGasNews.

About Trees Ontario
Trees Ontario is the forest restoration arm of Forests Ontario. Forests Ontario is committed to the re-greening of Ontario through tree planting efforts on rural lands and in urban areas, as well as the renewal and stewardship of Ontario's forests through restoration, education and awareness.

Trees Ontario is the lead delivery agent for the government of Ontario's 50 Million Tree Program. The program significantly cuts landowners' costs of large-scale tree planting and boosts the number of trees planted across the province. Visit www.treesontario.ca or follow us @Forests_Ontario. 

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