April 13, 2009
New national program to engage employees in contributing to their communities and to raise funds to support JGI’s Roots & Shoots global youth action program.

(TORONTO) - World renowned primatologist, environmentalist and humanitarian Dr. Jane Goodall will join Roots Co-Founders Don Green and Michael Budman on Friday, April 17 for the official launch of the company’s new ‘Roots Cares’ employee engagement program. The event will take place at the Roots flagship store in Toronto.

Designed by a committee of Roots staff from across Canada, the Roots Cares program will see employees raising funds and providing volunteer time, with the support of Roots, to help the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada develop the organization’s Roots & Shoots global youth action program throughout the country. Employees will also be directly engaged in initiating and contributing to projects that address issues in their own communities.

“We have always had a commitment to giving back to the community, especially in places in which we operate,” says Roots Co-Founder Don Green. “To add another dimension to those efforts, we recently decided to engage and support our employees more fully in our charitable initiatives. This program represents an opportunity for Roots employees to link arms and make an impact in their own communities. And it’s focused on one of the fundamental core values at Roots: respect for nature and concern for the environment.”

The Roots Cares employee committee selected the Jane Goodall Institute, and specifically the Roots & Shoots program, as their charity of choice. The partnership will see Roots employees helping to extend Dr. Goodall’s work to create healthy ecosystems, promote sustainable livelihoods and nurture new generations of committed, active citizens around the world.

“It is very exciting to see a major corporation like Roots adopting the philosophy of the Roots & Shoots program, and empowering their employees to make a difference in their communities and to act as role models for other young people,” says Dr. Jane Goodall. “Roots and its employees across the country and around the world are to be congratulated. It is initiatives like this one that give me hope that we can and will overcome the huge problems that face our world today.”

Even ahead of this week’s official launch of the program, Roots employees reacted enthusiastically to this new initiative. “When I first heard of plans for this project, I
was not surprised,“ says Debbie Barnes-Scallion, manager of a Roots store in Vancouver who has worked at the company since 1997 and is a member of the Roots Cares employee committee. “The ongoing commitment to community and the environment are one of the many reasons I chose to align myself with Roots. As an employee, it’s very important to me that the company I represent holds the same morals and integrity that I do. I’m so proud to be helping develop a program that every member of the Roots team can participate in.”

The Jane Goodall Institute is a global non-profit organization that empowers people to make a difference for all living things. Founded in 1994, the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada supports community-centred conservation programs in Africa, sanctuaries for orphaned chimpanzees, and the Roots & Shoots program in Canada. Inspired by Dr. Goodall, Roots & Shoots is JGI’s environmental and humanitarian education program and global network of youth from over 100 countries. There are more than 260 Roots & Shoots groups active in Canada, working on projects to benefit humans, animals and the environment in their communities. For more information, please visit www.janegoodall.ca

For more information, please contact:

Robert Sarner
Director of Communication and Public Affairs
Roots Canada
Tel: 416.781.35.74, ext. 4280

Kari Sackney
Jane Goodall Institute of Canada
Tel: 416.978.3633 ♦ Cell: 416.727.6817