The aim of the partnership is to raise awareness of the importance of forests to life on earth as well as the threats that forests face, as it is estimated that 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.
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.
“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,” says Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever.
“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.”
Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, adds that the partnership 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,” he explains.
Unilever adds that next month a social media campaign will be launched simultaneously in the UK, Brazil, Indonesia and the US to engage consumers in the fight against deforestation.