WWF and Unilever have announced a one-year, international partnership to engage consumers in the fight against deforestation – one of the key drivers of climate change – and help protect a million trees. 

The partnership between the world’s leading conservation organisation and the global consumer goods company will raise awareness of the importance of forests to life on earth as well as the threats our forests face.

An area the size of England is lost to deforestation every year, while up to a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation and forest degradation. With world leaders due to meet in Paris in December for UN climate talks, the campaign will engage consumers in the issues and give them practical ways to raise their voice and make a difference.

As part of the partnership, Unilever and WWF will help protect a million trees by supporting forest protection programmes in Brazil and Indonesia. These two countries have historically had the highest rates of deforestation in the world and have some of the largest areas of intact forest globally.

Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, said: “This partnership with Unilever is an opportunity to engage millions of consumers for forests and for the climate, inspiring positive change in people’s everyday lives. WWF’s relationship with Unilever goes back to the 1990s when we worked together to establish the Marine Stewardship Council. Since then, Unilever has been leading corporate efforts and commitment to the planet. We hope others will be inspired to follow suit.”

Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, said: “Stopping deforestation is an urgent priority in tackling climate change. Forests are second only to the oceans as the largest global store of carbon and support 80 percent of terrestrial biodiversity across the globe.

“As a business it is crucial that we operate sustainably and take action to help consumers live sustainably. It’s a moral imperative and a business one – to be here for the long term. We are delighted to be partnering with WWF to bring together a growing community of people that want to fight deforestation.”

From today consumers will be invited to pledge their support at https://brightfuture.unilever.com In August 2015 a social media campaign will be launched simultaneously in the UK, Brazil, Indonesia and the US to engage consumers in the fight against deforestation.