WWF has an ambitious conservation mission—to measurably conserve the world’s most biologically diverse and ecologically important places. It is a complex task that requires collaboration with many essential partners, including the private sector. With the pressing challenges facing our planet, the power of the global marketplace can and must be transformed into a force for conservation.
WWF works with targeted industries and companies whose products, practices, supply chains and business models have unacceptable impacts on the critical places we seek to protect. By partnering with WWF and becoming part of the solution, companies benefit as well—as more sustainable supply chains, greater efficiencies, and better risk management are in everyone’s best interest.
WWF has developed sustainable business collaborations with a broad cross-section of companies. These relationships are developed to reduce both direct and indirect impacts on priority places. Direct impacts arise from internal operations—manufacturing, greenhouse gases, transport, packaging—and indirect impacts from sourcing, greenhouse gas emissions, and sourcing.
Why Does WWF Work with Companies?
All companies rely on renewable natural resources, but their business operations can have a significant negative impact on the environment. Also, by 2050, global population is expected to reach 9 billion—increasing pressure not only on Earth’s food and fiber resources, like timber, sugar cane and salmon, but also on many of the world’s most environmentally sensitive regions.
Population growth, alongside increased income and consumption—particularly in the developing world—make it imperative that the world’s water, energy and natural resources be managed more sustainably to meet growing demand while preserving the planet for future generations.
By engaging in strategic and innovative partnerships, WWF helps conserve important ecosystems and preserves vital natural resources for generations to come. By engaging in strategic and innovative partnerships, WWF collaborates with companies to:
reduce their environmental footprint
champion pre-competitive and sustainable solutions
harness the global marketplace as a force for conservation
WWF often works with businesses that wish to improve the sustainability. For example, a furniture manufacturer may wish to eliminate illegally-sourced wood from its products or buy only FSC-certified wood.
This facility in Papua New Guinea is owned and operated by New Britain Palm Oil Ltd., one of the first companies to be independently certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil as being a leader in the production of sustainable and ethical palm oil in the world.
How Does WWF Work With Companies?
WWF's approach to work with the private sector is constructive and solutions-oriented. Our partnerships with the private sector not only provide conservation benefits that help us to achieve our goals, but also give us the opportunity to increase business commitments to sustainable development and environmentally sound business practices. Each collaboration is built on core guiding principles, including:
Transparency Our business engagement goes to the core of our mission. WWF is a science-based organization. It stays objective, thorough and credible by making informed decisions about who we work with and how we work with them. We also set measurable targets that reinforce the transparency we have with our partners.
Measurable Results The partnerships we have with businesses are focused on delivering measureable results that advance WWF’s mission and goals. By working with our partners to develop and then achieve publically stated targets and goals, we are able to focus on what we want to deliver—transformative and sustained change.
Mutual Right to Disagree WWF recognizes that we will not agree on all things, at all times with our partners. Agreeing to disagree in the context of a transparent framework is a key factor to sustaining credible and mutually beneficial partnerships.
A company that undertakes a transformational partnership with WWF works to make broad changes in their business practices, integrating sustainability into core areas within their business. This approach is designed to create significant improvements in operational efficiency and sustainability across the company—from headquarters to plant to supply chain. The result is increased efficiency, more secure supplies and a greatly reduced environmental impact.
WWF often works with businesses that wish to improve the sustainability of one aspect of their operations. For example, a furniture manufacturer may wish to eliminate illegally-sourced wood from its products or buy only FSC-certified wood. Or a food-processing company may wish to reduce its energy and water usage. When WWF determines that a specific initiative matches our mission and goals, we help companies assess different aspects of their business and recommend solutions to increase efficiency or sustainability.
WWF engages with corporations to develop integrated consumer-facing campaigns that enable companies and their customers to show their support and to contribute actively to conservation. These collaborations are specifically designed to increase public awareness about WWF and to generate revenue for WWF’s global conservation efforts.
Companies may also provide funding to help support specific WWF conservation initiatives and the local communities they serve. Whether funding an initiative which is directly related to their core business or an issue that the company and its employees find meaningful, WWF works to ensure each philanthropic contribution supports lasting conservation solutions that will benefit species, people and the environment.