The Planet Mark™, the internationally recognised and trusted sustainability certification programme, has committed to protect an acre of endangered rainforest for every organisation it certifies.
The Planet Mark™ pledge is being made through Cool Earth, the charity that works alongside indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction. It is the first of its kind to be made through the award-winning charity. One acre of rainforest at risk from loggers will be protected every time a new Business Certificate is delivered by The Planet Mark™.
The ‘Acre of Rainforest’ pledge will go directly towards supporting the Asháninka community in Central Peru, whose livelihoods depend on the Amazon rainforest remaining standing. It will also help fight climate change by locking in hundreds of tonnes of CO2 for every acre of rainforest protected. The area of rainforest protected will be referenced in each certificate issued by The Planet Mark™. Those certified will receive a certificate, an online profile, and regular reports about the impact they’re having on the Asháninka community and the rainforest.
Deforestation contributes up to 20% global CO2 emissions. Keeping rainforest standing is the simplest and cheapest way to mitigate climate change, says Cool Earth, which has been recognised as the most cost-effective charity at reducing carbon emissions through avoided deforestation.
Through its award-winning community-led conservation model, Cool Earth hands control over to the rainforest villages most at risk of deforestation. This way it has protected more than 600,000 acres of rainforest and locked in more than 160 million tonnes of carbon to date. Sir David Attenborough has described helping Cool Earth halt tropical deforestation as “perhaps the biggest difference we will make in our whole lives.”
Today’s commitment marks the first time Cool Earth has worked with one of its supporters in this way and builds on an already long-standing and successful partnership between The Planet Mark™ and the charity.
Matthew Owen, Director, Cool Earth, said: “Protecting rainforest with Cool Earth is the most effective and sustainable way of locking in carbon long-term. The Planet Mark™'s pledge to secure an acre of rainforest for every one of its clients is unique and embeds community-led carbon responsibility across its activities.”
The ‘Arce of Rainforest’ pledge comes as The Planet Mark™ celebrates three years of recognising commitment to continuous improvement in sustainability. The Planet Mark™ is awarded to businesses, properties, new developments and projects that are committed to reducing their carbon emissions by 2.5% or more. It does this by building employee and stakeholder engagement and developing knowledge and communication skills so as to embed sustainability within organisations.
“The Planet Mark™ is about empowering organisations and their people to make year-on-year progress in sustainability and Cool Earth is about empowering communities whose livelihoods depend on the rainforest to keep it standing, so we are delighted to be able to announce this pledge today,” said Steve Malkin, founder of The Planet Mark™.
“Like Sir David Attenborough, we have supported Cool Earth for many years, doing our bit to protect thousands of acres of imminently endangered rainforest. Now we are giving the opportunity to do the same to every organisation we work with, pledging an acre of protected rainforest every time an organisation achieves The Planet Mark™.”
The Asháninka is Peru’s largest indigenous nation. Their territory is at extreme risk from illegal logging and coca trafficking. Cool Earth is working with 16 villages to form a protective shield for the adjacent National Park, making millions of acres of neighbouring forest inaccessible to loggers. According to the charity, every acre of rainforest protected in Cool Earth’s Asháninka Partnership protects 240 trees, shelters thousands of species, produces 76,000 litres of water and stores 260 tonnes of CO2.
The Planet Mark™ partnership with Cool Earth has to date protected 6,941 acres of rainforest in the Peruvian Amazon, an area of rainforest 17 times the size of Hyde Park, locking in 1.8m tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
Created in partnership with the iconic Eden Project, The Planet Mark™ already donates a proportion of revenue generated from every Business Certificate it delivers to Eden Project to support education on climate change.