Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc., today announced it has added to its efforts to support the global environmental group Conservation International (CI) by adding “Save a Mile of Ocean” to its existing “Protect an Acre” program. Contributions from these symbolic acres and miles go directly to supporting CI’s conservation work.
Since it first launched its “Protect an Acre” program in October 2008, Sotheby’s International Realty has helped to symbolically protect 30 square miles or over 19,000 acres of rainforest, an area larger than the size of Manhattan and nearly the size of New York County as a whole.
The new “Save a Mile of Ocean” program will operate similarly to the “Protect an Acre” program, which offers an innovative approach to company donations. Agents with the firm have the option of donating a portion of their sales commissions on behalf of clients in lieu of, or in addition to, a traditional closing or holiday gift. They can choose to donate to either or both of these initiatives, which are aimed at protecting nature for the well being of humanity.
Sotheby’s International Realty annually matches a significant portion of the donations made by agents, and this year will match up to $20,000. Sotheby’s International Realty also supports the conservation organization by sponsoring the company’s presence at CI events, including its annual dinners in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Through science, partnerships and field work, CI empowers societies to responsibly care for nature and its gifts, including a stable climate, fresh water, healthy oceans and reliable food, to address the range of threats that face the oceans and all who rely on their resources. According to CI’s scientists, these threats include pollution, overfishing, global climate change, habitat destruction, and oil, gas and mining operations.
“We are very proud of our commitment to Conservation International,” said Greg Tice, Brokerage Manager for Sotheby’s International Realty’s Santa Barbara area brokerages. “Despite its inception during a significant economic downturn, our company’s charitable program has proven a great success, as evidenced by our milestone accomplishment of symbolically protecting 30 square miles of rainforest as well as the program’s expansion into virtually protecting square miles of ocean.”
In the two and a half years since Sotheby’s International Realty launched the program, the company’s support of CI has been embraced by both agents and clients, some of whom have been known to frame their closing gift card announcing their acreage-protecting donation.
“I’m thrilled that our company is now participating in this seascapes initiative, the perfect complement to Conservation International’s land-based initiatives and an important addition to their global commitment,” said Sotheby’s International Realty Santa Barbara agent, Suzanne Perkins. “My clients are always impressed when they receive their confirmation letter that a donation has been made on their behalf. As far as charities go, with CI one can do a lot of good for the amount that is donated. It is important for all of us to do what we can to support conservation efforts. We are living in an increasingly crowded world, and must do what we can to protect the natural habitat that remains. Being involved with CI has been a pleasure and something I feel everyone should be taking very seriously.”