Business leaders urged to save rainforests and protect the climate

Chris Redstone, Executive Director of Rainforest Trust UK

Rainforest Trust UK is asking British businesses to act on climate change at the upcoming Leeds Digital Festival. The charity is holding an online roundtable event in partnership with digital agencies Alt Theory and Trio Media on Thursday 24 September from 3-4.30 p.m.

As consumers become more ethically motivated than ever before, the event aims to inspire businesses to work together and play a part in preventing deforestation and climate change.

Chris Redston, Executive Director of Rainforest Trust UK, aims to inspire innovative and creative business leaders to place rainforest conservation at the heart of their sustainability programmes. Chris will discuss why saving the planet’s remaining rainforests is one of the most important and cost-effective ways to combat climate change, and how companies can work in partnership with Rainforest Trust, and with other business leaders, to achieve their climate positive goals.

Tropical deforestation accounts for up to 15% of net global carbon emissions each year – the same as every car, plane, truck, bus, ship, and train on the planet. Rainforests also support over 50% of the world’s species, many of which are critically endangered, and are home to thousands of indigenous communities who rely on the forests for their food, water, and economic prosperity. Rainforests also safely store billions of tonnes of carbon, helping to fight climate change and stabilise global weather patterns. In short, they are one of the most important natural resources on Earth, and their long-term protection is vital for the survival of our planet and the countless species that inhabit it – including us. Yet about 50 football pitches of tropical rainforest are destroyed every minute.

Chris said: “Safeguarding existing rainforests is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways an individual can fight climate change, as every acre safely stores over 100 tonnes of carbon that could otherwise enter the atmosphere as the greenhouse gas CO2. Studies have shown that halting tropical deforestation and allowing for regrowth could mitigate up to 50% of net global carbon emissions in the next 30 years – yet rainforests are still being cut down at a rate of 70,000 acres a day. And as well as storing billions of tonnes of carbon, the world’s rainforests produce 20% of the planet’s oxygen, stabilise global weather patterns, provide habitat for thousands of endangered species and sustain the livelihoods of millions of indigenous people. In short, we can’t live without them.”

Chris added, “Rainforest Trust UK are delighted to support this ground-breaking event, and I look forward to meeting business leaders to discuss the importance of rainforest protection in the fight against climate change. Every business, large or small, can make a positive impact by protecting acres of rainforest as part of their climate-positive business strategy.”

Vicky Wallace, Fundraising Manager at Rainforest Trust UK, said: “We are all stakeholders in protecting our planet’s most threatened tropical forests and endangered wildlife, which is why Rainforest Trust UK seeks to partner with environmentally conscious companies to expand and strengthen our conservation impact throughout the world. This event will give us an opportunity to share our message with business leaders and start a valuable conversation about putting sustainability at the heart of your business.”

Leeds Digital Festival starts on the 21 September with two weeks of events to celebrate digital culture and innovation. Now in its fifth year, the festival has grown to be one of the largest tech events in the UK, welcoming over 25,000 attendees in 2019.