Dr. Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Youth Program Sustainability Supported by Toyota 


Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots youth program, created by Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), and UN Messenger of Peace will be supported by a new initiative and partnership in alignment with Toyota Motor North America’s sustainability goals. Since 1991, Roots & Shoots, a core program of the Jane Goodall Institute, has fostered millions of inspiring changemakers and exists in all 50 states and over 65 countries worldwide.

The exciting and expansive partnership will focus on growing engagement in local communities around several of Toyota’s manufacturing plants and promote the roll-out of Roots & Shoots youth projects and celebrations regionally in the United States. Toyota’s commitment includes a $100,000 grant to be used over 2023-2024 to help catalyze Roots & Shoots youth community-service projects and conduct four events – several with Toyota team members – all with the goal of preserving and restoring wildlife habitat and inspiring action on behalf of the natural world we all share. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada previously partnered with the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada on Roots & Shoots youth activations in the region around its Cambridge Ontario assembly plant, inspiring similar collaboration in the United States.

Roots & Shoots individuals and groups across the U.S. and world are supported in and outside of the classroom to take on issues in their community to help people, other animals, and the environment. Through the program’s tools including its 4-Step Formula to create and implement community-service projects, young people connect to one another, feel a sense of agency and purpose, as well as grow Roots & Shoots Compassionate Traits and essential changemaking skills.  This partnership demonstrates the leadership of Dr. Goodall and JGI to establish meaningful relationships with corporations that emphasize a genuine investment in sustainability as a bottom line with a tangible vision and timelines.

This work is part of broader efforts by Toyota via its Environmental Challenge 2050 which includes a set of six visionary, global challenges that seek to go beyond eliminating negative environmental impacts to creating positive value for the planet and society. Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC, TMNA’s parent company headquartered in Japan) announced these six challenges in 2015 after extensive research and internal and external consultation. The challenges are: 1) New Vehicle CO₂ Emissions Challenge – Reduce CO₂ emissions from new vehicles by 90% (2010 baseline); 2) Operations CO₂ Emissions Challenge – Eliminate CO₂ emissions from operations; 3) Life Cycle CO₂ Emissions Challenge – Eliminate CO₂ emissions from suppliers and dealers; 4) Water Conservation Challenge – Conserve water and protect water resources; 5) Recycling-Based Society Challenge – Support a circular economy; and 6) Harmony with Nature Challenge – Conserve biodiversity, protect species and restore habitats. With the added support from Toyota, a real connection will be made between Roots & Shoots, Toyota facilities, team members, their families, and their communities to make a difference – like Jane Goodall – every single day.

About Author

Ashley Sullivan is the Director of Storytelling & Marketing for Communications & Partnerships at the Jane Goodall Institute USA, where she works to connect individuals with Dr. Jane Goodall's vision, and the JGI mission to create a better world for all by protecting the interconnections between people, other animals, and the environment. Ashley graduated Stony Brook University with a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology and a minor in Biology, and is pursuing a Master's of Science in Environmental Science & Policy at Johns Hopkins University with a focus on Environmental Justice. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, now a D.C. resident, she has a varied background including 10+ years of expert communications and digital marketing in the social and environmental non-profit sector. Her intersectional approach to this work has been shaped by a holistic world-view, having traveled to Madagascar and Ecuador for conservation research projects, leading communications for youth social justice filmmaking organizations, and as a part of several professional groups advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in environmental spaces including Greens REALIGN. With skills ranging from conservation fieldwork, policy and advocacy campaigns, strategic communications, art, digital media, and design, Ashley believes in sharing information to empower and in the magic of storytelling to transform hearts and minds. Through growing understanding, empathy, and justice, she is igniting positive change to create that better, more equitable world, every day.