WASHINGTON, D.C., November 14, 2000 —Two legendary institutions— Ford Motor Company and the National Geographic Society—are coming together to address pressing conservation issues facing planet Earth through a multi-faceted public awareness campaign called EarthPulse.

National Geographic Society President John Fahey and Ford Motor Company Chairman William Clay Ford, Jr. announced this global cross-media initiative today. The announcement coincides with the 14th annual Geography Awareness Week, this year encouraging conservation.

Beginning in January, 2001, the campaign will examine and report on Earth’s “vital signs”—its oceans, its freshwater, its living creatures and more. EarthPulse will come to life through innovative educational activities and special editorial content throughout 2001 in National Geographic magazine, on National Geographic Channels International and a new National Geographic Channel in the United States launching in January 2001, and on

EarthPulse is a first for National Geographic—the first time a single corporation has sponsored an extensive Society-wide initiative.

“We’re very pleased to partner with a world-class organization like the National Geographic Society to address the issue of conservation,” Ford said. “Enlightened corporations are beginning to understand that environmental issues are business issues as well—that successful businesses can only be successful if the communities and environments in which they do business are also successful.”

In every country in the world, and in an increasing number of languages, the famous yellow-border logo of the National Geographic Society is a symbol of adventure and quality. The National Geographic Society began the 20th century determined to explore the world and to broadly disseminate knowledge about it.

“These days we find that many of the places, cultures and natural resources we’re examining are seriously threatened,” Fahey said. “So we enter the 21st century with the same determination to explore, but with an added purpose: To encourage better stewardship of our planet. National Geographic is fortunate to have Ford Motor Company as our partner as we launch EarthPulse.”

The latest Roper Green Gauge 2000 Survey, conducted in June, found that concern for the environment has risen sharply in the last year, with 22 percent of Americans naming pollution of air and water as a top concern, up seven points since 1999. The survey also revealed that Americans overwhelmingly believe individuals can make a difference in protecting the environment; however, they aren’t sure how to do it and sometimes are influenced by myths. EarthPulse is designed to correct this misinformation. The Society will harness its vast network of media—magazines, television, books, videos, maps and interactive media—to take on the challenge.

To kick off EarthPulse in 2001, 10 copies of a first-of-its-kind world “eco-regions” map and educator’s guide, created with the World Wildlife Fund, will be donated to every one of the 113,000 public and private schools in the United States. The map is richly illustrated to highlight the wonder and diversity of life on Earth. The map and its related Web site will educate students on Earth’s diverse habitats—areas critical to conservation. Along with the map gift, other programs and activities designed to raise awareness of critical conservation-oriented issues will be conducted throughout the year including:

Shared quarterly conservation themes across National Geographic magazine and The content will examine Earth’s “vital signs.”

Special conservation programming to appear on National Geographic Channels International and on the new National Geographic Channel in the United States. Programs include a 26-part series and short portraits of environmental heroes such as National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Jane Goodall and Sylvia Earle.

Kickoff of a new National Geographic Society Conservation Trust to support conservation projects, another first at the Society.

A symposium of leading corporations and environmental stakeholders to tackle critical topics such as leadership roles and responsibilities in the conservation arena.

Two interactive online contests designed to reward awareness and understanding of conservation issues.

Few companies are as closely identified with the history and development of America throughout the 20th century as Ford Motor Company, and perhaps no other American firm is as well known around the globe. That Henry Ford played a pivotal role in helping to put the world on wheels is universally known. Perhaps less well known was Ford’s interest in and commitment to conservation and preservation of the Earth.

Those same interests remain part of the culture at Ford.

For example, Ford Motor Company is the first and only automaker to certify all of its plants around the world under ISO 14001, the international management standard that regulates and independently audits air, water, chemical handling and recycling. Ford’s adherence to the standard in all its facilities is saving millions of dollars in energy, water, material and waste-handling costs. With 140 Ford factories in 26 countries all held to the same green standards, Ford is also requiring its suppliers to meet these same standards.

In 1998, Ford Motor Company became involved with “Heroes for the Planet,” a long-term commitment recognizing people who make a difference for the planet Earth. On January 7, 2001, Ford Motor Company will honor the National Geographic Society as a “Hero for the Planet” in a live televised celebration at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C. The program will pay tribute to the Society and its efforts in conservation. The program will air live on the new National Geographic Channel, which premieres that day, and simulcast on CNBC.