Reckitt partners with WWF, pledging £10m donation

Pictured: A boat on the Tapajos. Image: WWF/Reckitt

The corporation will donate £10m to the NGO over the duration of the partnership and has announced three key focus areas for collaborative work: sustainable innovation; engaging customers, staff and partners with nature conservation, and funding conservation projects in the Ganges and Tapajos river basins.

On the former, Reckitt will receive “expertise and knowledge” from WWF to help it develop products with a lower environmental footprint and with value chains that benefit communities.

As for the engagement campaign, the headline target is to “inspire millions to fight for nature”. Reckitt notably has 43,000 staff globally and sells some 20 million products each year, meaning it has extensive reach. Engagement programmes will be designed to best fit product lines and geographical markets. For example, Air Wick and WWF have already worked on an engagement project on wildflower habitat restoration in the US and Australia.

The water basin projects are already being spearheaded by WWF in partnership with other collaborators including businesses and community organisations on the ground. They focus on two river basins that have been identified by scientists as crucial to the world’s water system, ecosystems and ability to adapt to temperature increase.

“We are all aware of the damage and destruction faced by nature and this is the moment for us to step up and do the right thing,” Reckitt’s president for hygiene Harold van den Broek said.

“By uniting with a global, like-minded organisation like WWF, we can combine our business acumen, networks and consumer insight to build a cleaner, healthier world.”

Growing momentum

The announcement from Reckitt comes after it signed on to the Climate Pledge, jointly orchestrated by Amazon and Global Optimism. The Pledge is headlined by a requirement for signatories to reach net-zero emissions across all scopes by 2040 at the latest. To ensure that signatories are not over-reliant on offsetting, there is also a requirement for businesses to prioritise energy efficiency, renewable energy and creating a closed-loop for materials. 

Since signing the pledge, Reckitt has signed on as ‘hygiene partner’ for COP26. 

For WWF, the partnership is the latest in a string of new corporate initiatives. Earlier this month, WWF partnered with Carlsberg for the seagrass restoration work it is completing across the UK coastline. The organisation is already working on high-profile initiatives with the likes of Tesco and Velux.

Sarah George

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