Protecting forests for lifetime carbon responsibility

WWF International and the VELUX Group have launched one of the most ambitious corporate climate actions seen, taking responsibility for both past and future actions. This commitment forms part of a historic 20-year global partnership between WWF International and the VELUX Group which will deliver a significant part of the company’s commitment to become Lifetime Carbon Neutral by 2041.

Nature is in crisis and climate change is the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. Tackling it involves every single one of us and governments and businesses need to commit to more ambitious action in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

In response to this, the VELUX Group has committed to reduce its future CO2 emissions in line with a 1.5°C decarbonization pathway. Additionally, the VELUX Group will capture its historical carbon footprint, dated from when it was founded in 1941, through WWF forest conservation projects. This will benefit both biodiversity and communities, and will make the VELUX Group Lifetime Carbon Neutral by its 100-year anniversary in 2041.

OLD TREES – NEW IDEAS

Healthy forests are crucial for both planet and people. Forests keep the climate stable, absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, regulate water supply and improve the quality of water. Furthermore, they’re home to more than half of all species found on land and to a variety of life that keeps natural systems running.

But our forests are in a crisis. According to the UN, 88,000 sq. km of natural forest is lost every year – equivalent to the size of London every week. And only 17 percent of the remaining valuable forest is being protected.

SQ. KM of natural forest is lost every year - equivalent to the size of London lost every week
Only 17 percent of the remaining valuable forest is being protected

Fortunately, nature itself has solutions to combat these challenges. By storing CO2 in old tropical forests with a high density of threatened species, we can fight climate change while saving our planet’s valuable biodiversity.

CO2 storing projects

Conserving Biodiversity and Forest Landscape in Tanintharyi region of Myanmar

The opening of Myanmar over the last decade has kickstarted the economy but has also contributed to acceleration in rates of deforestation and forest degradation driven by logging, and conversion to agriculture.

The forest landscape in Tanintharyi region in southern Myanmar is a long, narrow stretch of forested lands along the border of Thailand. This region is home to 150 mammal species, including elephants and tigers, and 570 species of birds.

The project will secure the many crucial wildlife corridors in the region and conserve the unique forests of the area, vital for both people and wildlife.

The project will partner with communities and civil society organizations to deploy community-based conservation mechanisms that will strengthen the forest-based livelihoods of local communities and contain expansion of industrial plantations.

Early calculations confirm that 1 – 1.2 million metric tons of CO2 will be saved, based on the current deforestation trend and estimated reduced emissions resulting from avoided deforestation and forest degradation. The project will deliver a significant part of the VELUX Group’s commitment to become Lifetime Carbon Neutral.

Natural Forest Regeneration and Protection, Uganda

The project in Uganda will work to regenerate and protect natural forests to increase CO2 stocks, improve community well-being, and conserve biodiversity. The project area is situated within the northern part of the Albertine Rift – a world class biodiversity hot spot nicknamed “the Galapagos of Africa”.

Activities in this landscape will include restoration of degraded forests and increased protection of the remaining natural forests through a broad range of measures. The project will address key drivers of deforestation in the landscape by giving local communities alternative income sources and including them in management of the forest to meet demand for various forest products, which will increase their ownership of protecting the natural forests.

With restored and regenerated forest cover, biodiversity will be able to recover and flourish. The local population is expected to see improved livelihoods as they engage with tree planting and other livelihood activities.

The project aims to capture 1 million tons of CO2. The project will deliver a significant part of the VELUX Group’s commitment to become Lifetime Carbon Neutral.

NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

Our planet is facing a dual climate and biodiversity crisis. People and nature worldwide are already feeling the effects of climate change. Water supplies are shrinking, extreme weather events are increasing, forests are burning, and coral reefs are dying. According to IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) around a million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction.

But nature loss is also a business risk, as it can interrupt supply chains and result in companies losing their license to operate. On the other hand, nature itself provides the solutions to the threats we’ve put upon it.

ECONOMY IN HARMONY WITH NATURE

Nature-based solutions use nature to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help society adapt to the impacts of climate change. They involve protecting, restoring and sustainably managing the ecosystems we all depend on.

Accelerating action to halt the nature crisis is our only opportunity to secure a sustainable supply of resources in the future. Our global economy and individual businesses have much to gain by developing economic models that function in harmony with our planet.

Impact of the WWF and VELUX partnership

Dramatically reducing future carbon emissions alongside removing CO2 from the
atmosphere is key to securing a sustainable future. Restoration of natural forests
has great potential for capturing CO2. At the same time, protecting forests will
help halt biodiversity and habitat loss with great benefits for both nature and people.

A partnership of action

The good news is that the global tree restoration potential is about 25 % of the total emitted CO2 to the planetary atmosphere. Safeguarding forests and halting deforestation can effectively help achieve targets set out under the Paris Agreement and help limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Through this innovative 20-year partnership, WWF International wants to spread hope and inspire companies to follow the example of the VELUX Group is in taking responsibility for both their future and past environmental impacts.

 

A HISTORICAL CO2 PLAN

The VELUX Group has joined the Science Based Targets initiative, committing to reduce its own CO2 emissions as well as from its entire value chain. This is in line with what climate science points out is necessary to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.


On top of its decarbonization efforts, the VELUX Group will invest in the protection and restoration of original forests in biodiversity hotspots globally.

By investing in five key forest projects driven by WWF, the VELUX Group contributes to forest CO2 removals and reductions equivalent to its own historical emissions all the way back to 1941, when the company was founded, and until today.

In this long-term partnership, WWF and VELUX Group will drive conservation results based on our shared interest in protecting and restoring forests globally.

BECOME A CORPORATE PARTNER

WWF seeks to work with those who have the greatest potential to reduce the biggest pressures on the diversity of life on Earth and together find solutions to conservation challenges such as deforestation, overfishing, water scarcity and climate change.

That’s why we work constructively with businesses in a variety of ways – from forming strategic partnerships with shared goals, to campaigning together, engaging employees and inspiring customers.