“In many parts of Georgia, our 76 local affiliates–that cover 80 percent of the state–are the only broad-based sustainability groups in their community. Their efforts yield amazing results in helping to reduce litter and leverage resources for their communities.”

Sarah Visser — Executive Director of Keeping Georgia Beautiful

For 35 years, Keep Georgia Beautiful has done the little things that make a big difference in Georgia communities. Created as a state program in 1978, the nonprofit–the first-ever state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful (KAB)–now partners with companies like Georgia Power and its employees to provide support to the largest network of local KAB affiliates nationwide.

As part of its program, the organization supports local Keep Georgia Beautiful affiliates as they strive to prevent litter, decrease waste, increase recycling, beautify and green communities, and protect water quality.

“In many parts of Georgia, the organization’s 76 local affiliates - which cover 80 percent of the state - are the only broad-based sustainability groups in their community. Their efforts have yielded amazing results in helping to reduce litter and leverage resources for their communities,” said Sarah Visser, executive director of the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation.

Annual events to increase sustainability statewide include the Great American Cleanup, the “Bring One for the Chipper” Christmas tree recycling campaign and America Recycles Day. In addition, each year, the organization sponsors an awards program to recognize those who exemplify leadership in protecting Georgia’s environment.

“In the last 10 years, we have reduced litter collected during the Great American Cleanup by 80 percent,” Sarah added. “For every $1 of public funds invested in a Georgia affiliate, they return an average of $11.45 in benefits to their community.”

In 2016 alone, volunteers statewide worked more than 147,000 hours (valued at $18.3 million) to collect 1.7 million pounds of litter and recycle 34 million pounds.

“As a result of all the work our affiliates do in education, we see the amount of litter decreasing statewide and we’re very proud of that trend,” she added. “We want to change community attitudes and behaviors, and that decreasing trend in litter collected is a great example of how that change in behavior is positively impacting our communities across Georgia.”

As one of Georgia’s largest private landowners, land managers, and recreational providers, Georgia Power’s footprint spans across the state from mountains to coast and encompasses many unique natural features. While the company is intricately linked to the natural environment through its business operations and infrastructure, dedication to its customers, and its commitment to making Georgia a great place to live, its employees also play a significant role in this effort.

“We couldn’t do what we do without Georgia Power. The company and its employees provide a significant level of support – helping with cleanup events, serving in leadership roles on the state and local boards, and providing financial support and resources we need to do our work,” Sarah said.