UK retailer Tesco has formed a partnership with Europe’s largest wildlife conservation charity – the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) – that aims to protect rainforests around the world.
In addition to raising funds, the “Together For Trees” campaign includes a competition to identify a “Rainforest Reporter,” who will travel to one of the projects in the RSPB’s rainforest program and experience first-hand the efforts to slow deforestation.
Together For Trees aims to raise over £1million for the RSPB in its first year. Every time a Tesco customer brings in a re-usable shopping bag, he or she will be able to donate the vouchers or points Tesco awards through its green Clubcard membership. Additionally, customers have the option to donate cash, and Tesco will contribute £75,000 from the sale of its new Together For Trees reusable bags.
Funds raised by the partnership will support conservation work such as the replanting of native trees in areas damaged by illegal logging, providing equipment for researchers and conservationists, and helping local, forest-dependent people to improve their livelihoods in a sustainable way.
“Our customers will trust this scheme because it brings together the UK’s most popular retailer with the UK’s most popular conservation organization,” said David North, Tesco UK Corporate Affairs Director.
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.
In the search for the Rainforest Reporter, Together for Trees has partnered with Amazon explorer and European Adventurer of the Year, Ed Stafford. (Stafford participated in a live web chat Thursday morning, hosted by The Guardian.) People can apply to be the Rainforest Reporter on the Together for Trees website.
Tesco has set a goal to become a zero carbon business by 2050. In 2011, the Carbon Disclosure Project named Tesco the top retailer in the world for its efforts in tackling climate change. However, last month, Tesco abandoned its industry leading effort to place carbon labels on all of its products