1 Mar 2012

The RSPB and Tesco unite to protect rainforests


The RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) and Tesco (one of the world's top five global retailers) have announced a ground-breaking partnership called ‘Together For Trees’ to help protect rainforests around the world. Deforestation is a major cause of climate change - it causes more carbon dioxide to be released into the atmosphere than the world’s transport sector.

Europe’s largest wildlife conservation charity and one of the globe's biggest retailer and have teamed up to increase awareness of the deforestation crisis and raise essential funds to support on-the ground conservation work to tackle the problem. Together For Trees aims to raise over £1 million (US$1.5 million) for the RSPB in its first year. Tesco customers will be able to help save endangered rainforests every time they re-use a bag.

They will be able to donate their green Clubcard points, Clubcard vouchers or give money directly to the programme via a new website www.tesco.com/trees. Tesco is additionally contributing £75,000 from the sale of its new range of Together For Trees reusable bags. Tesco has a world-leading climate change strategy and will become a zero carbon business by 2050. 

In 2011, for the second year in a row, Tesco was named the top retailer in the world for its efforts in tackling climate change, according to the industry-renowned Carbon Disclosure Project. Martin Harper, Conservation Director at the RSPB, said: “Rainforests are amazing places and saving them has never been more urgent - huge areas continue to disappear at an alarming rate. Current efforts to try and prevent the loss of these special places are not enough. We all need to step up to do more to save rainforests. That means governments, NGOs and business must work together to end their destruction. Tesco is an ideal partner to help us tackle this worldwide problem. I am delighted that this partnership will help raise funds and awareness through the 20 million shoppers that visit its stores each week." 

"We can also help build on the successes Tesco has already achieved in terms of reducing the impact its supply chains have on the environment. It is only by working together that we will come up with new solutions to save the world's rainforests.” David North, Tesco UK Corporate Affairs Director, commented: “Climate change will only be tackled if ordinary people feel the battle can be won and believe they can play a part.  That’s why this partnership is so exciting.  Working hand-in-hand with the RSPB we can give our customers the confidence to make a big difference through millions of individual actions: re-using carrier bags rather than taking new ones and then donating the Green Clubcard Points they earn to Together for Trees.  Our customers will trust this scheme because it brings together the UK’s most popular retailer with the UK’s most popular conservation organisation - a winning team.”

The money raised by Together For Trees will be spent on the RSPB’s rainforest projects across the world, including Harapan Rainforest in Indonesia, Gola Rainforest in West Africa and Centre Hills National Park in Montserrat, a UK Overseas Territory in the West Indies. Rainforests such as these are home to more than two thirds of the planet’s land-based creatures, three quarters of all endangered bird species and have more than one billion of the world’s poorest people depending on them to survive. Funds raised by the partnership will support vital conservation work such as the replanting of native trees in damaged areas that have been illegally logged for commercial interests, and providing important equipment for teams of researchers and conservationists as well as helping local, forest-dependent people to improve their livelihoods in a sustainable way.

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Tesco will also be working with the RSPB experts on ways in which they can further reduce the impact of its supply chains on the environment. To mark the announcement of the campaign, RSPB and Tesco are also launching a once-in-a-lifetime competition to find a ‘Rainforest Reporter’.  Together For Trees has teamed up with Amazon explorer and European Adventurer of the Year, Ed Stafford, to search for the person who’s got what it takes to travel to one of the projects in the RSPB’s rainforest programme and experience first-hand the pioneering conservation work being done to protect the area.

To apply to be the Rainforest Reporter or to find out further information on the Together For Trees programme or to donate, visit www.tesco.com/trees. To find out more about BirdLife's Forests Programme click here