Beyond Aerospace: Boeing works to improve local communities through environmental programs

April 12, 2023 in Our Environment

Boeing has a long history of making airplanes and more, but Boeing also has its feet firmly on the ground supporting environmental programs.

Why it matters: Boeing has long-been investing in the communities where our employees live and work. One of the ways the company is creating positive change is by encouraging environmental sustainability – not only within our own business – but also by supporting environmental work in our communities.

Broad view: Boeing contributed $5 million to community environmental programs globally last year. This support was given through dozens of unique grants to local organizations.

(Photo credit: Seattle Kraken)

Zoom in: Recently, Boeing helped highlight one regional example during Green Night presented by Boeing at the Seattle Kraken NHL hockey game. There, the company highlighted one of its valued environmental partners, EarthGen.

  • Boeing first awarded a grant to EarthGen in 2012.
  • This year, Boeing has committed an $80,000 grant to help EarthGen engage 2,000 students in its Stormwater Stewards program.
  • Through Stormwater Stewards, middle and high school students learn about the impact of stormwater runoff in their local watersheds, how to lessen its impact, and how to improve water quality.

Giving students a voice: One of the students learning about environmental sustainability through EarthGen is 14-year-old EarthGen Youth Fellow, Jwan Magsoosi. Boeing invited Jwan to ride a Zamboni across the rainwater rink during intermission at the Kraken game. The purpose was to put a spotlight on EarthGen’s important work with the next generation of environmental leaders. 

“I had to leave my home country of Iraq,” said Jwan, whose family moved to the U.S. when she was 5. “There were a lot of climate related issues going on in the country and I’ve seen a lot of people struggling. And I recognize right now, even in Washington, people are still struggling when it comes to climate change and climate justice. So that was a passion of mine. And when I saw that EarthGen had an internship I thought maybe that would be perfect for me!”

Jwan says she learned about something called “climate grief,” which is a sense helplessness or anxiety over climate change-related losses.

“I believe that more people need to be educated about that,” she said.  “People usually have a negative thinking of climate change and they feel like they can’t do anything. I feel like EarthGen has really taught me to be a critical thinker and a creative thinker.”

Jwan believes if more of us take steps to improve climate change, we can have a big impact.

Small changes = big impact: One of the smaller projects that promises to have a big impact is Boeing’s new rain garden project, in partnership with the Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena, with help from Stewardship Partners and ECOSS. Watch the animated rain garden video on Facebook.

It’s estimated that pollutants from runoff account for 70% of all water pollution.

  • Boeing is helping build a water-filtering raingarden in the heart of the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle.
  • The rain garden will collect rainwater from roadways and rooftops, where it seeps through vegetation, which naturally filters out pollutants before returning to the Puget Sound and other waterways.

Long term: These projects represent just a sliver of the many ways Boeing is working each day, partnering with organizations to bring about a healthy change in local communities. We look forward to forging a strong future for our environment – together.

By Jane McCarthy