In pushing the sustainability cause, some non-profit groups are becoming more intimately involved with the private sector

For an entire week during March, images of the Amazon rainforest beamed into the living rooms of Sky subscribers across the UK. Model Lily Cole was called in to provide some glamour, but South America’s magical biome did a good job of speaking for itself.

Behind the lustrous images, there was a simple but serious message: trees need to be worth more standing up than cut down. And so into an enviro-light version of Green Economics.

The programme wasn’t the sudden brainwave of some young creative within Sky. Rather it emerged as the result of a long-running, strategic partnership between the UK satellite television operator and conservation charity WWF.

The alliance, which dates back to October 2009, has two stated goals. Neither is modest. First, Sky wants to help preserve three million hectares of rainforest, saving one billion trees in the process. Second, it is committed to raising £4m for WWF: half from its 10 million or so viewers and the public at large, and half in matched funding from the broadcaster itself.

Saving the Amazon is core to WWF’s objectives as a globally minded conversation NGO. And £4m is a large chunk of cash, especially at a time when purse strings are...

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business strategy  NGO  Oliver Balch  sustainability 

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