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Nicor Gas announces plan to support the conservation of 10,000 acres of open space

Environmental stewardship initiative continues the company’s longtime commitment to a healthier, more vibrant planet on Earth Day and beyond

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – April 22, 2021 – Nicor Gas is committed to protecting the environment and on the 51st anniversary of Earth Day announces an ambitious sustainability initiative to support the conservation of 10,000 acres of open land within its service area.

“I’m proud to be a part of a company that cares not only about its customers but also about ensuring the places where we live and work are cleaner for generations to come,” said John O. Hudson III, president and CEO of Nicor Gas.

“It’s local gardens, parks and nature preserves that help wildlife, nature and our communities thrive. Everyone deserves equitable access to things like clean recreational areas and places where they can learn how to protect and preserve our natural resources,” Hudson said. “Nicor Gas is committed to environmental stewardship that enriches our communities now and into the future.”

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, every dollar spent on planting and caring for a community tree yields benefits that are two to five times that investment—benefits that include cleaner air, lower energy costs, improved water quality and storm water control and increased property values. Nicor Gas’ environmental stewardship initiative includes the creation of green areas, maintenance of existing open lands and sustained support of environmental programs and organizations. The company is kicking off its 10,000-acre commitment with two grants totaling $20,000.

The first grant will support Chicago Region Trees Initiative, which aims to increase the Chicago region’s tree canopy, reduce threats to trees, enhance oak ecosystems and inspire people to value trees.

“The Morton Arboretum's mission is to plant and save trees for a greener, healthier and more beautiful world,” said Dr. Gerard T. Donnelly, president and CEO of The Morton Arboretum. “This $10,000 commitment is the next step in a long history of stewardship, support and partnership with Nicor Gas to protect trees for a more sustainable future for the next generation.”

The second grant supports The Get Growing Foundation in its work to help inspire, educate and motivate the next generation of gardeners. As a part of the grant, Nicor Gas and The Get Growing Foundation will partner with the Joliet Park District to provide 500 native starter plants (butterfly weed, blazing star and purple coneflowers) at a free community event. The plant giveaway will be held on Arbor Day, April 30, at the Bird Haven Greenhouse as part of the park district’s annual plant sale.

“The Nicor Gas 10,000-acre initiative and its support of The Get Growing Foundation's mission to bring green to those in need will result in an impactful corporate/nonprofit partnership that will bring native plants to the communities they serve. We are appreciative of the support from Nicor Gas,” said Tony Abruscato, founder and president of The Get Growing Foundation.

Although the launch of the sustainability initiative and conservation of 10,000 acres of open space is new, Nicor Gas’ commitment to protect the environment is not. Over the decades, Nicor Gas has engaged in prairie restoration projects, participated in biodiversity-recovery efforts and supported conservation-focused organizations like the Chicago Zoological Society, Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens, The Conservation Foundation and many more.

To learn more about Nicor Gas’ commitment to the environment, visit nicorgas.com/environment

About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.2 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit www.nicorgas.com.

About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company.  Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.2 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with 774,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas and related home services. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit Southern Company Gas at southerncompanygas.com

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Media Contact:
Jennifer Golz
o: 630.388.3737  |  c: 331.222.8716 |  jgolz@southernco.com