The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center announced that Jack and Susan Taylor have given a $25 million gift to create the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels. The Institute is named for the company founded by Jack Taylor in 1957 and still owned by the Taylor family.
The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute will expand the scientific expertise of the Danforth Center to speed up development of plant-based renewable biofuels. These fuels will decrease the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and reduce the current dependency on finite fossil fuels in future years.
"We are very grateful to Jack and Susan Taylor for their generous gift to expand the Danforth Center's basic research in plant science and address the growing need for biofuels," said Danforth Center Chairman Dr. William H. Danforth. "This gift establishes a truly unique partnership to address an important issue for future generations by utilizing the latest advances in plant science."
The $25 million gift will endow a team of researchers to significantly expand the Danforth Center's renewable biofuels research capabilities. It comes on the heels of Enterprise's pledge to underwrite the planting of 50 million trees in national forests over the next 50 years -- a commitment of $50 million in today's dollars.
"For 50 years, this company that my father built from the ground up has relied on the availability of vehicles and fuel," said Andrew C. Taylor, chairman and CEO of Enterprise Rent-A-Car. "Today, more than ever, it is essential that we pursue new energy sources that will sustain not only our business, but also the environment around us for future generations. The creation of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels sends a clear message that my family and our company are committed to help address this critical public need."
A distinguished scientific leader with strong credentials in renewable biofuels research will be recruited to direct the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute. The Danforth Center will also recruit 12 additional new scientists during the next three years who will join 18 current Danforth scientists to engage in research at the Institute.
"The issue of growing plants to provide a source of food while at the same time meeting our increasing demand for renewable energy is of greater concern each day," said Roger N. Beachy, president of the Danforth Center. "This commitment from Jack and Susan Taylor will advance our efforts to unlock novel scientific ideas that ultimately will lead to renewable biofuels that are plentiful and cost-effective."
This is the second sizable gift the Taylor family has made to the Danforth Center, and it completes the Center's Campaign for a Green Future, a $100 million campaign launched in 2004 with a $50 million matching grant from the Danforth Foundation. In September 2005, Jack and Susan Taylor gave $10 million to the Center, which was at that time the largest gift to the campaign. Today's $25 million gift will be matched by the Danforth Foundation, thus completing the initial round of fundraising for the endowment.
About Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Enterprise Rent-A-Car operates more than 878,000 rental and fleet management vehicles worldwide and has annual revenues of $9 billion. Last year, Enterprise opened more than 400 new locations, increasing its total locations to more than 7,000. Enterprise is currently number 21 on the Forbes "500 Largest Private Companies in America" list. The company has been recognized by J.D. Power and Associates as ranking highest in customer satisfaction among airport rental car companies in seven of the last eight years. For more information about Enterprise visit http://www.enterprise.com/.
About The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for- profit research institute with a global vision to improve the human condition through plant science. Research at the Danforth Center is designed to feed the hungry and improve human health, preserve and renew the environment, and enhance the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science. Please visit http://www.danforthcenter.org/ for additional information.