Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Insurance Giant Allianz Backs Wildlife Works’ REDD Campaign

Insurance giant Allianz backs Wildlife Works’ REDD campaign to save the world’s threatened forests

SAN FRANCISCO, Ca – October 11, 2011 – Wildlife Works Carbon LLC (WWC), the world’s leading REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) project development and management company announced today that insurance giant Allianz SE, headquartered in Munich Germany, has made a 10% equity investment in Wildlife Works Carbon.

Allianz has also agreed to a multi-year option to purchase carbon credits from Wildlife Works Carbon pioneering Kasigau Corridor REDD Project in Kenya, the first REDD project in the world to achieve validation and verification under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB).

This groundbreaking REDD project will result in the avoidance of over 1 million tonnes of CO2-e emissions per year for the next 30 years while protecting endangered wildlife and bringing the benefits of carbon finance to more than 100,000 people in the surrounding communities.

Allianz’ equity investment backs Wildlife Works’ plan to quickly develop a portfolio of additional REDD projects to protect five million hectares of native forest, mitigating at least 25 million tons of CO2 emissions per year, resulting in the creation of thousands of sustainable jobs in forest communities, while strengthening the rights of forest dwelling peoples.

“We believe that REDD should play a major role in combating climate change. We (the private sector) can do something about this as market-based REDD can scale and significantly contribute to reversing the global warming trend. Wildlife Works Carbon's holistic approach and community focused REDD project portfolio has made them a leader in this critical effort, and that is why we are backing them so strongly,” said Dr. Armin Sandhövel, CEO of Allianz Climate Solutions, a 100% subsidiary of Allianz SE which carried out the WWC investment process as Allianz’ dedicated investment company for carbon related investments.

“Widespread private sector engagement is the fastest solution to stop the destruction of the world’s forests. Allianz’ investment in Wildlife Works Carbon demonstrates that private sector financed REDD can and should play a leading role in the global effort to reduce deforestation. We are grateful and extremely pleased that Allianz has joined our campaign to save the threatened forests of the world,” said Mike Korchinsky, founder and CEO of Wildlife Works.

Gerald Prolman
(415) 548 0973 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (415) 548 0973 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

About Wildlife Works:
Wildlife Works is the world's leading REDD project development and management company with a unique approach to applying innovative market-based solutions to biodiversity conservation and helping local landowners in the developing world monetize their forest and biodiversity assets whether they are governments, communities, ownership groups, or private individuals. In 2011, Wildlife Works’ flagship Kasigau Corridor REDD Project in Kenya was the first in the world to achieve validation, verification and issuance of REDD carbon credits under the VCS and CCB standards. The Wildlife Works Kasigau Corridor REDD Project protects over 500,000 acres of forest and brings the benefits of direct carbon financing to more than 100,000 people in the surrounding communities while also securing the entire wildlife migration corridor between Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks. Wildlife Works is actively developing a portfolio of REDD projects with an aim to protect five million hectares of native forest, to mitigate 25 million tons of CO2 emissions per year, and create thousands of sustainable jobs in rural communities.

About Allianz Climate Solutions GmbH
As a 100% subsidiary of Allianz SE, Allianz Climate Solutions GmbH (ACS) is carrying out, inter alia, carbon related investments on behalf of Allianz Group. Its investment strategy focuses on the growing markets for renewable energy, clean technology and energy efficiency as well as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) projects. Acting as the Group-wide centre of competence on climate change, ACS also serves other Allianz entities as well as external customers with its risk analysis, investment and insurance expertise, bundling the competences and experience of various Allianz business entities.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Classy Awards for Best Philanthropic Small Business

The Classy Awards hosted in San Diego on Sept 17, just released a whole bunch of videos on YouTube,each one featuring the actual awards as they were handed out for each of the categories. My favorite, of course, is the award for the best Philanthropic Small Business of the Year.

As the presenter of the award,  Assistly's CEO Alex Bard said: "I used to think that philanthropy was something that big businesses did to help support causes like some of the ones you see here tonite..."

...and then as the recipient of the award a representative form Nika Water, said:

"There is a new wave of doing good, there is a new style of charity, and there is a new business of giving back... we hope that social business as a term becomes redundant and it is about business giving back."

Friday, September 30, 2011

USA TODAY Polls Pink Campaign Shoppers

Just as when the Holidays roll around every year you can be sure to see the red and green everywhere, it is a sure bet that in October you will see pink all over the marketplace. Yes, another October has come rolling around and more and more businesses are getting on the pink ribbon bandwagon helping promote breast cancer awareness and  research. But research findings have addressed the many questions that many of us have asked as to whether the pink campaign has gone too far and whether it has proven worthwhile. A recent Gallup Poll in USA Today bears some good news about the pink campaign in that it has raised awareness of the cause and has brought in contributions. 

The ensuing article in USA TODAY, however, points out that with all the hoopla and additional funding there has been little advance in finding a cure for the disease and questions remain whether the intense focus on this one cause detracts from other causes just as worthy. 

No one has yet studied, as far as I can tell, whether the pink campaign has provided retailers with an additional boost in sales. Presumably the industry thinks so, unless of course, the campaigns are done out of altruism.