We move fast, reward hard work and commitment and have a strong "promote from within" culture. And with more than 30,000 global employees across a variety of business functions, there is a career path for nearly every professional discipline at Ashley. We have an operational footprint of more than 30 million square feet with sales in 155 countries. Whether you're interested in materials or manufacturing, sales or delivery, technology to marketing and everything in between, Ashley has the ability to provide you with a challenging, fulfilling and long-term career with endless opportunities to grow.
Status quo? You won't find it here. What you will find are problem solvers with the grit to persevere during challenging times and who won't coast when times are good. At Ashley, we create solutions, not excuses. We constantly search for better ways of delivering an exceptional customer experience. That's why we're #1 in our industry. We have that insatiable energy to innovate and transform. Since 1970, we've reimagined our business more than a dozen times and we're just getting started. We're heavily investing in our business, processes and most importantly, our people. In fact, over the past five years, total company investments into our employees have exceeded $1 billion dollars. Ashley's vision is, "We want to be the best furniture company." We believe achieving #1 is not a destination, but a guiding philosophy centered on growth, teamwork, hard work and continuous improvement.
We not only make a difference in people's homes... we make a difference "at home" too. Ashley is dedicated to making a positive difference in the communities in which we live and work. From charitable giving to volunteering and environmental stewardship, we believe in giving back to inspire future generations and are proud to do our part to ensure a strong society. We focus our spirit to give in areas close to our hearts such as education, conservation and sustainability and charitable giving and volunteering. Read more about each below.
Supporting education is a top priority for Ashley and the Wanek family. That's why we're so committed to preparing the future workforce for tomorrow's challenges, today. With programs like the Mobile Skills Lab, which travels between school districts to provide equipment and curriculum in the areas of electronics, automation and robotics, we are stoking the fire in young students for careers in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math). Other programs include Apprentice and Internship opportunities, children of employee Scholarship offerings, educational robotics program sponsorships and so much more!
Our global footprint may be large, but our carbon one doesn't need to be. At Ashley, we believe environmental stewardship begins at home. That's why we continually recycle, reuse and replenish every day, reducing our operational energy usage and eliminating waste across the business. In fact, each year we recycle more than 300,000 tons of materials and distribute more than 6,000 trees to be planted by our team members. We also launched a multi-phase project to integrate renewable solar power into 10 of our advanced manufacturing and distribution facilities. By doing so, our electrical needs will be offset by 35% just from using clean energy from the sun.
Giving back — it's been an integral part of Ashley for more than 75 years. So has supporting local communities. In 2010, we founded Hope to Dream on a guiding principle that every child deserves a good night's sleep. Since its inception, more than 100,000 deserving children have received a brand-new bed from Ashley HomeStore. Ashley for the Arts began as a non-profit initiative to provide family friendly fun and benefit worthy causes including local school systems as well as children's and medical charities. As of 2019, the music and art festival hosted in Arcadia, Wisconsin, has raised more than $2.4 million dollars and created countless memories for its attendees. Ashley's Angels is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that provides food, clothing, blankets and more for children in need. In its 23 years, the organization has generated more than $3 million in donations and benefited more than 20,000 children. These are just a few extraordinary examples of Ashley's dedication to giving back to our communities. We are proud to encourage the passions and generosity of our team members so they can flex their generosity muscle. If you want to join a generous and caring community, dedicated to giving back, apply for a career at Ashley today.