reforestation station

Houston energy company triples down on funding to tree planting nonprofit with $1M total impact

For the third time, the Baker Hughes Foundation has granted funding to One Tree Planted, totalling its impact to $1 million toward reforestation. Photo via

Baker Hughes has doled out another grant for an organization that's growing a global impact.

The Baker Hughes Foundation announced its third grant to One Tree Planted, which is hoping to put 1 million new trees into the ecosystems of 17 countries. The foundation initially donated $250,000 to the organization in 2021 and followed up with a $350,000 grant in 2022. This most recent contribution, which was announced this week, did not disclose the monetary amount.

“This milestone speaks to our commitment to environmental sustainability, and I want to recognize the contributions of our employees, who last year came together across the world to plant trees in the areas where we work and live,” Baker Hughes Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Simonelli says in a news release. “I am grateful for their continued dedication to our sustainability goals and am inspired by what we and One Tree Planted can accomplish together.”

According to the company, Baker Hughes Foundation has contributed an impact of $1 million to One Tree Planted over the past three years. Its 2021 grant resulted in planting 268,000 trees, and in 2022, 350,000 trees were planted. With this latest grant, Baker Hughes adds 382,000 trees to that tally, targeting several areas where the company has a business presence, including the Andes region of South America; British Columbia, Canada; China; France; Germany; Scotland; and Texas, U.S.

“We all have a role to play in protecting the environment and combating climate change, and we admire the Baker Hughes Foundation’s continued dedication to being a force for good,” Matt Hill, founder of One Tree Planted, adds in the release. “With the Baker Hughes Foundation’s impressive commitment to giving back to the environment by planting 1 million trees to date, we are making a powerful impact for nature and communities in 17 countries around the world.”

Last month, the Baker Hughes Foundation doled out a $100,000 grant to the University of Houston Energy Transition Institute. The funding reportedly will work towards the ETI’s goals to support workforce development programs, and environmental justice research. The program addresses the impact of energy transition solutions in geographical areas most-affected by environmental impacts.

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A View From HETI

A View From UH

A Rice University professor studied the Earth's carbon cycle in the Rio Madre de Dios to shed light on current climate conditions. Photo courtesy of Mark Torres/Rice University

Carbon cycles through Earth, its inhabitants, and its atmosphere on a regular basis, but not much research has been done on that process and qualifying it — until now.

In a recent study of a river system extending from the Peruvian Andes to the Amazon floodplains, Rice University’s Mark Torres and collaborators from five institutions proved that that high rates of carbon breakdown persist from mountaintop to floodplain.

“The purpose of this research was to quantify the rate at which Earth naturally releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and find out whether this process varies across different geographic locations,” Torres says in a news release.

Torres published his findings in a study published in PNAS, explaining how they used rhenium — a silvery-gray, heavy transition metal — as a proxy for carbon. The research into the Earth’s natural, pre-anthropogenic carbon cycle stands to benefit humanity by providing valuable insight to current climate challenges.

“This research used a newly-developed technique pioneered by Robert Hilton and Mathieu Dellinger that relies on a trace element — rhenium — that’s incorporated in fossil organic matter,” Torres says. “As plankton die and sink to the bottom of the ocean, that dead carbon becomes chemically reactive in a way that adds rhenium to it.”

The research was done in the Rio Madre de Dios basin and supported by funding from a European Research Council Starting Grant, the European Union COFUND/Durham Junior Research Fellowship, and the National Science Foundation.

“I’m very excited about this tool,” Torres said. “Rice students have deployed this same method in our lab here, so now we can make this kind of measurement and apply it at other sites. In fact, as part of current research funded by the National Science Foundation, we are applying this technique in Southern California to learn how tectonics and climate influence the breakdown of fossil carbon.”

Torres also received a three-year grant from the Department of Energy to study soil for carbon storage earlier this year.

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