DPD to support WWF’s seagrass restoration project

Parcel delivery firm DPD has issued support for WWF’s climate-battling seagrass restoration project, which aims to capture and store carbon in a bid to help the UK reach its net-zero targets.

DPD to support WWF’s seagrass restoration project

DPD has donated £40,000 from the firm’s innovative Eco Fund to help WWF’s Seagrass Ocean Rescue, a collaboration with Swansea University and Project Seagrass. The project, located in the Solent, aims to restore 15% of seagrass meadows across the UK by 2030.

Seagrass meadows are viewed as a unique yet crucial response to the climate crisis, with research suggesting they can absorb carbon up to 35 times faster than a rainforest.

Climate change and manmade pollution are currently placing these meadows at risk. Coastal protection is largely provided by saltmarshes and seagrass beds. Yet the UK has already lost up to 92% of its seagrass in the last century and 85% of its saltmarsh.

According to WWF, rising sea levels, storms and flooding driven by climate change has placed more than £12bn of the UK’s economy at risk, while almost 2.5 million homes in the UK could suffer from flooding by 2050.

The two-year project will include working with government agencies on ecological field trials on best planting methodologies for seagrass restoration.

WWF UK’s ocean restoration programme manager Ricardo Zanre said: “We’re thrilled that DPD has chosen to donate £40,000 towards the Seagrass Ocean Rescue project in The Solent. Thanks to this support we’re able to deliver our ground-breaking restoration project, trialing the latest seagrass planting methodologies and building towards our long-term aim, which is to see 15% of seagrass meadows restored across the UK by 2030.

“Seagrass is an incredible flowering marine plant which can absorb carbon up to 35 times faster than a tropical rainforest, it’s vital that we continue to restore these ecosystems that also provide important habitat that supports biodiversity, including important UK fisheries, so that we can create a future where people and nature can thrive together. Thank you to DPD for playing a part in making this happen.”

DPD’s main sustainability commitment is a target of having more than 3,000 electric vehicles (EVs) on the road in the UK this year, rising to 5,000 by 2023. DPD is aiming to deliver to 30 towns and cities using electric-only deliveries.

Last year, the company ordered a total of 750 electric vans from supplier Maxus, putting it on track to have more than 1,700 EVs on UK roads by the end of that year. Maxus was formerly known as Leyland Def Vans (LDV).

As of December 2020, DPD was operating some 700 EVs, surpassing a target to operate 500 by the end of the year. Other models include the P1 electric-assist cargo bike, the VN5 and the Vauxhall Vivaro e.

DPD isn’t the only firm to act on seagrass restoration.

Last year, beer giant Carlsberg teamed up with WWF on a year-long partnership to restore carbon sequestering seagrass meadows across the UK coastline.

The year-long partnership, which is now complete, aimed to inform and inspire consumers to make small changes to their purchasing habits and everyday actions to help combat the climate crisis.

Carlsberg created an on-pack donation so that 50p from every special edition Carlsberg pack will go to WWF to support the restoration of seagrass.

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