Sky, WWF launch rainforest initiative

Wednesday, October 21 2009,

Sky has partnered with wildlife charity the WWF for a three-year campaign to save a billion trees in the Amazon rainforest.

The Sky Rainforest Rescue drive will launch a range of initiatives aimed at protecting a three million hectare area of the Amazon in the state of Acre, Brazil. It is hoped that by doing so, the campaign will not only help preserve the habitat and species of the Amazon, but also work to combat climate change.

Towards this aim, Sky and the WWF are asking members of the public to make a 10 donation to help save 500 trees. In the early stages of the campaign, the satcaster will match any donations pound-for-pound up to a total of 4 million.

To raise awareness of the issue, Ross Kemp will travel to the Amazon rainforest to make two documentary films, which will be broadcast on Sky1 HD in spring 2010.

Starting October 26, Sky will also host a Rainforest Week of programming, including Children Of The Amazon on Sky1 and Rivers And Life on Nat Geo Wild HD.

"Rainforests are crucial to the fight against dangerous climate change. Yet, an area the size of three football pitches is being destroyed every minute in the Amazon alone," said Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch.

"We're asking everyone to join us to help stop this destruction by donating to Sky Rainforest Rescue."

Welcoming the campaign, Acre state governor Binho Marques said: "With 88% of Acre covered by rainforest, we are the stewards of a precious global resource. Our aim is to ensure we develop a sustainable model for protection which works with the needs of our 2,000 isolated rural forest local communities. Sky Rainforest Rescue is critical to our ability to do that."

WWF chief executive David Nussbaum added: "Deforestation is not only threatening the survival of species and habitats but is also exacerbating the devastating effects of climate change. WWF and Sky together with the help of the public, can take real steps to halt rainforest destruction, benefit communities and provide a blueprint for future forest management."

Sky also today outlined its latest environmental commitments, including a targeted 25% (per m/turnover) reduction in its overall carbon emissions by 2020.

The company further intends to boost energy efficiency in its buildings by 20% and achieve a 25% cut in carbon emissions from its entire fleet of installer vans by 2012. It also agreed to slash energy consumption on all newly installed Sky+ HD boxes by 30% within the next two years.