We set out to GroMoreGood, everywhere, by supporting the creation of gardens and greenspaces that transform neighborhoods, get kids outdoors and bring people together. We also support social justice, protect environmental resources and develop programs that help kids understand and meet their full potential to become the leaders of tomorrow
Since founding The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation five years ago, we have focused our philanthropic efforts on challenges where we can have the most impact as a company. This includes improving and protecting the environment, expanding community access to gardens and greenspaces and empowering youth, especially in underserved communities. In 2020, we expanded these efforts to include social justice in the cannabis industry, and we continued to make this important topic a priority in our philanthropic efforts in 2021.
These commitments complement our ongoing ESG strategy in the areas of environmental and water quality issues, diversity and inclusion and local community engagement.
The Hawthorne Social Justice Fund
Our Hawthorne Gardening company subsidiary is North America’s largest distributor of indoor growing and hydroponic products, serving growers of all sizes. In the U.S., many of these growers cultivate cannabis in compliance with state law. As reform advances, states are struggling to confront the complex legacy of racial, social and economic inequality tied to cannabis. Standing behind our purpose to GroMoreGood, we are committed to fighting for the reforms needed to create a more just and equitable industry—one that addresses past injustices and one where all people in the U.S. have the opportunity to join and flourish.
One way we are bringing this commitment to life is through The Hawthorne Social Justice Fund at The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation. This Fund supports organizations committed to addressing long-standing social injustice through advocacy for criminal justice reforms, assistance in reentry for people with nonviolent, low-level cannabis convictions and increasing the diversity of representation in the legal cannabis industry. Over the next several years, we will invest more than two million dollars in grants to nonprofit organizations working to advance these goals. As we develop this platform, we are benefiting from the expert advice of leaders in the minority cannabis community who are helping us set a strong framework for impact at the national and local community level.
We continue to implement programs and initiatives that foster an internal dialogue regarding environmental stewardship. Our commitment to care for the planet has resulted in multiple actions and investments over the years, including changes in some of our product formulations, the introduction of more water-efficient products and increased consumer education on safe and appropriate use of our products. Through The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, we partner with experts and environmental groups across the U.S. to preserve Americans’ access to a safe, abundant supply of water and protect pollinators. Our goal is to reach 145 million Americans annually through environmental partnerships by 2025, and with our progress in 2021, we are confident in our ability to reach that goal.
Safe and accessible water
As a resource critical to all living things, including lawns and gardens, protecting water is our top environmental priority. Nutrient pollution is one of the most critical threats to water quality today. excess amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen in water contribute to algal blooms that kill aquatic life, impair drinking water and can impact human health.that’s why we formed a national network of environmental organizations to tackle this issue head-on. With a combined reach of millions of Americans, these organizations are at the forefront of change by driving scientific innovation, protecting vital waterways and advocating for all Americans’ right to safe and accessible water. together with our nonprofit partners, we’re working toward a water friendly future. Collectively, their impact is improving waterways across the country.
Another focus area of our foundation is protecting pollinators, like bees and butterflies, and the habitats they need to thrive. We dedicate grant funding and pollinator education resources to support pollinator gardens across North America.
In 2017, we began partnering with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) to launch the Parks for Pollinators Program. The program establishes pollinator habitats in local parks and connects people to resources to better understand pollinators and how to protect them.
To help protect local pollinators that are critical to our ecosystems and food supply, we joined forces with the NRPA in 2021 to host the third annual parks for pollinators bioblitz during the month of september. The parks for pollinators bioblitz is a nationwide campaign to engage ordinary people in observing and documenting the animal or plant species in a certain area and time period. This creates a snapshot of an area’s biodiversity, adds to the scientific knowledge of a place and helps scientists and land managers plan for the future. Participants in the BioBlitz program in September 2021 used the iNaturalist mobile app to learn about pollinators. Users took photos of the biodiversity they came across in the park—animals, plants, insects, etc.—and automatically uploaded their photos to an international database for scientific research. Our 2021 Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz engaged 220 park professionals and 74 organizations’ host projects in 25 states, engaging 3,000 people in collecting observations. in total, our annual BioBlitz campaigns have resulted in the following:
Connecting communities to the benefits of gardens and greenspaces
Children, families and communities across the country need the positive experiences that gardening provides. Gardening helps children understand where their food comes from, engages them in hands-on learning about the natural world, and provides therapeutic and physical activity benefits. that’s why we’ve been committed to connecting people to the benefits of gardens and greenspaces for decades.
Our 10 Million Kids Commitment
We aim to connect 10 million young people with the benefits of gardens and greenspaces by the end of 2023. In 2021, we hit the halfway milestone and reached over 5 million kids. We launched this goal in 2019 as a way to bring more healthy food and safe outdoor play spaces to kids and families in need. Our enterprise-wide commitment, supported by our foundation, company and brands, continues to GroMoreGood in children’s lives. In 2021, our efforts resulted in:
While our workforce and operations stretch across North America, we consider the Central Ohio region to be our home. We support community gardens and public greenspaces in our own backyard through partnerships throughout the region. Last year, we provided cash grants and product donations to local garden and greenspace projects reaching thousands of people with fresh food and opportunities to connect with the natural world and their neighbors.
Encouraging STEM education in schools
Many schools are establishing indoor and hydroponic gardens to complement their traditional outdoor garden programs. This allows schools in colder climates to grow plants in the winter months and integrate gardening into year-round learning. It is also an opportunity for students to learn about the growing field of hydroponics careers, many for the first time.
With the goal of connecting more students to the wonders and science of hydroponic gardening, AeroGarden helped to expand the GroMoreGood hydroponic Garden project, completing its third iteration. As part of this project, the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and Hawthorne Gardening Company collaborated with the National Farm to School Network to integrate indoor growing systems into elementary schools across the country. The partnership provides teachers with hydroponic growing devices, next-gen science standards-aligned hydroponic curriculum and support from gardening experts. it aims to spark a passion for gardening and increase hands-on science experiences for students who otherwise might not have had the opportunity. In 2021, the schools we partnered with span five states, including: Arizona, California, Florida, Oregon and Washington.
No Kid Hungry
Each year, the ScottsMiracle-Gro Foundation and No Kid Hungry team up to provide 1.5 million healthy meals to the children who need them most. To expand these efforts and continue to spread the joy of gardening and providing access to healthy meals, Miracle-Gro launched our GroMoreGood harvest Donation bag in 2021. The limited edition bag, available on our website, encourages kids and families to garden at home and donate the extra harvest to those in need. For every bag sold, Miracle-Gro donated a portion of the proceeds to No Kid Hungry, which provided up to 20 meals for kids living with hunger.
Partnership: Major League Baseball™
Creating access for youth to safe outdoor play opportunities and greenspaces is a priority for Scotts, as part of our GroMoreGood initiative. We partner with Major League Baseball to sponsor the Scotts® Field Refurbishment Program. Grants are awarded to youth-focused community organizations to give kids modern, playable ball fields. To date, nearly $2 million has been invested, and over 31 fields across 18 different states have been revitalized. This has created greenspaces where kids can get outside, get active and enjoy activities such as baseball and softball.
In 2020, we launched an initiative with our partner KidsGardening to conduct outreach to LGBTQ+A youth-serving organizations. KidsGardening will use additional grant dollars provided by our foundation to build relationships with these organizations and help them to pilot or grow garden programs as part of their overall programming efforts. Our long-term goal is to ensure garden grants, with their proven benefits for physical and mental health, are reaching this important and high-need population.
Scotts Canada Gro for Good
Community enhancement efforts come to life in Canada through the Gro for Good initiative, which provides annual grants to deserving communities, schools and nonprofit civic organizations to develop community gardens and greenspaces. Successful projects demonstrate an ability to engage youth, address health and wellness needs and/or enhance the environment while engaging the local community. For example, we awarded the CBS Community Gardens of Conception Bay South, Newfoundland with a $2,500 grant to further develop their greenspace.
The Legacy Project
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, in partnership with The Hagedorn Legacy Foundation, is helping Central Ohio area students unlock their inner potential to achieve their educational and vocational goals through The Legacy Project. The program’s mission is to empower youth through possibility thinking and innovative problem-solving, for greater personal freedom, social mobility and the betterment of their communities. Originating from the desire to help students grow their “grit”—the ability and tenacity to overcome obstacles on the way to achieving goals—the Legacy Project is designed to help students become their best selves and succeed both in and after high school.
One-on-one, individualized coaching is central to the program, in addition to career exposure opportunities and experiential learning activities. During their four years in the program, students are challenged through character strength and entrepreneurial mindset development, financial literacy management and customized goal pursuit. The program also provides a $20,000 scholarship to each student to be used for post-secondary education. There are currently 39 students in the program from Metro Early College High School and Whitehall Yearling High School.
The program fosters the growth of key character traits while supporting developmental life skills and entrepreneurial thinking that enable students to achieve short- and long-term career objectives. These goals include college, technical/vocational education or entrepreneurial pathways to move into the workforce.
Students are provided with the following:
- Individualized coaching
- Tuition toward post-secondary education
- Educational and career goal identification and setting
- Opportunity to learn from entrepreneurs and develop their own entrepreneurial thinking skills
- Career exposure opportunities
- Community mentors to identify with and learn from
Originating from the desire to help students grow their “grit”—that strength of character so vital to success—the Legacy Project is designed to help students become their best selves and succeed both in and after high school. The Legacy Project celebrated its first graduating class in 2021.
Other community investments
We support various other community initiatives and ways to give back to our communities. One way we do this is by providing product donations to local communities and organizations to help them get started on gardening, greenspace and beautification projects. Throughout the pandemic, we worked with many local and state elected and appointed officials, and kept them updated on our operations. Specifically, we sought to learn where we could donate personal protective equipment (PPE) we were producing to help communities. Keeping these lines of communication open are always important, but they have become a new priority throughout the pandemic. In March 2021, the local health department of Marysville, Ohio, reached out to ScottsMiracle-Gro to help support drive-through vaccination clinics for local citizens. With a cross-functional team of associates, we worked with members of the Union County Health Department and Union County EMA to align our efforts to ensure a successful clinic in our community. During the two days of drive-through vaccination clinics, almost 800 individuals were vaccinated. Thanks to our team of volunteer associates the event was a success, and we were able to live out our mission to GroMoreGood in our hometown community.
Since 2010, a team of associates has participated in Pelotonia, a three-day experience that raises awareness and funds for innovative cancer research. The grassroots nonprofit organization, located in Columbus, Ohio, has one goal: to end cancer. Funds are raised year-round, and Ride Weekend is a three-day experience in August that includes cycling and volunteerism.
After a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the bike tour took place in person in 2021. Associates and their immediate family members set personal goals to raise awareness and rode one of eight routes through central Ohio that ranged from 20 to 200 miles. Our team has raised over $2.6 million since joining the annual event. 100% of all participant-raised funds raised goes directly to life-saving cancer research at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center—Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute in Columbus, Ohio.
American Heart Association
ScottsMiracle-Gro has participated in the American Heart Association Central Ohio Heart Walk since 2008. Over the last 13 years, we have raised nearly $2 million for cardiovascular disease research. Along with financial support, our company has engaged more than 4,900 associates, family and friends to participate in the Walk. in addition, our team encourages associates to get outside and walk for better health throughout the year. The virtual walk experience also engages associates from across our company to participate and share their personal stories as to why they walk to end heart disease and stroke. Through the dedicated support from our associates and the commitment of leadership, our company was the No. 1 fundraising company for the Central Ohio Walk in 2021.