PPG donates $25,000, pledges $5,000 more to Cleveland Zoological Society

Funding supports African Elephant Crossing capital campaign, education access

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo welcomed Shenga, the newest African elephant at the zoo since 1997, on Friday, March 11. The PPG Industries Foundation donated $25,000 to the Cleveland Zoological Society’s capital campaign for the new African Elephant Crossing exhibit, which is scheduled to open May 5. (Photo: Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha)

CLEVELAND, March 15, 2011 – The PPG Industries Foundation has donated $25,000 to the Cleveland Zoological Society’s capital campaign for the African Elephant Crossing exhibit at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, set to open May 5, and the foundation also has pledged $5,000 to support the zoo’s educational access programming in 2011.

"We are very happy to be developing a relationship with PPG," said Elizabeth T. Fowler, executive director, Cleveland Zoological Society. "Its foundation’s generous capital campaign contribution supported our efforts to create a world-class elephant conservation, education and research center at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. And PPG’s ongoing support of our educational programming helps us to maximize learning opportunities for Cleveland’s children as well as all zoo visitors."

African Elephant Crossing, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s new exhibit opening May 5, transforms the front entrance into an educational exhibit featuring elephants, meerkats and other species of the African savanna. The exhibit enables the zoo to serve as one of 10 U.S. breeding centers for pachyderms, expanding the zoo’s longstanding commitment to exhibit and conserve African wildlife. African Elephant Crossing will link to research projects in Africa and conservation efforts at other North American zoos – including the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium – and educate visitors about the conservation challenge posed by the elephant’s fragile, threatened natural habitat in Africa. In addition to accurately portraying the landscape of the African savanna, the exhibit’s construction follows U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines, and it explores avenues for safeguarding water and energy efficiency.

With the African Elephant Crossing capital campaign at more than 96 percent of its funding goal, Fowler said, “We are very grateful for all the support we have received for this important conservation project, but we encourage donors to help us to reach 100 percent of our campaign goal, enabling this and all of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s ongoing projects to stay on track.”

Rich Bauer, PPG operations director, Americas, automotive OEM coatings, based at the company’s Cleveland coatings manufacturing plant, said, “PPG is strongly committed to supporting the communities where its employees work and live, and we are proud to support the Cleveland Zoological Society in its efforts to create this world-class exhibit. It is especially rewarding to help an important reciprocal ‘sister’ zoo of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium in its elephant conservation efforts, and to help Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to continue educating visitors about the importance of species survival and environmental conservation efforts.”

Established in 1951, the PPG Industries Foundation demonstrates the values of PPG Industries by enhancing the quality of life in communities where the company has a presence. Interests of the foundation, in order of priority, are education, human services, culture and arts, and civic and community affairs. PPG also supports charitable causes by encouraging employee volunteerism and executives’ involvement with nonprofit organizations.

About Cleveland Zoological Society and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
As the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s nonprofit advocate and partner, the Cleveland Zoological Society is committed to raising awareness of the Zoo as a community priority; improving all aspects of the Zoo, from exhibits to programs to daily operations; and giving visitors, members and donors great value for their investment. Founded in 1957, the Zoo Society strives to ensure that Cleveland Metroparks Zoo remains one of the region’s pre-eminent destinations. The Zoo Society maintains the largest membership program in Northeast Ohio (43,000 households) and helps generate the margin of excellence that takes Cleveland Metroparks Zoo from good to great. The mission of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is to improve the future for wildlife by exhibiting animals and plants and providing education and conservation programs which encourage respect and stewardship of the natural world.

About PPG
PPG Industries’ vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty products company. Founded in 1883, the company serves customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, PPG operates in more than 60 countries around the globe. Sales in 2010 were $13.4 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.

K.C. McCrory
PPG Corporate Communications