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FAQs

Got a question about Together For Trees?

Email your question to infotogetherfortrees@uk.tesco.com and we will get back to you.

1. Who is the RSPB?
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The RSPB is the largest nature conservation charity in Europe and speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our natural environment. It carries out hands on conservation work, makes the wonders of the UK’s wildlife accessible for people like you, gets tens of thousands of school children out of the classroom every year to connect them with nature, and campaigns to protect the special places and creatures that we all know and love.

But the RSPB doesn’t just work to protect nature in the UK. As part of the BirdLife International partnership, the RSPB is currently working in 26 different countries and the UK overseas territories. Its extensive portfolio includes working with fishing fleets in the southern oceans and helping to save the albatross to safeguarding rainforests in Indonesia and West Africa. If you thought it was just about saving birds, think again. Find out more here www.rspb.org.uk

2. Tell me more about Tesco and the RSPB’s partnership?
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Tesco and the RSPB are working together to help stop the destruction of the rainforests. Together For Trees is a campaign that aims to raise awareness of the plight of rainforests and generate income through corporate and customer donations. But there are other strategic goals that we are working hard to achieve through the partnership:

  • Together we will work to reduce the impact the companies in our supply chain have on the environment by finding ways to make them more sustainable and in particular reduce their impacts on rainforests.
  • Tesco values the advice and guidance of the RSPB on our activities and are pleased that through corporate donations and customer involvement, we can work together to achieve our ambitious goals.
  • And Tesco is also providing funds for RSPB Wales to help protect special places in Wales. We anticipate providing over £500,000 in the first year as a result of the Welsh bag levy.
3. How can Tesco customers help?
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Through the Together For Trees campaign, there are now small and easy ways in which customers can help raise funds to protect rainforests:

  1. Donate your Green Clubcard Points*. Each point is worth a penny to rainforest conservation, and every penny helps.
  2. Reuse your bags*. Tesco gives you one green Clubcard point every time you do. So every bag you reuse is one more penny.
  3. Buy a Tesco reusable bag. Tesco will donate £75,000 from the sales of reusable bags bearing the Together For Trees logo between 21 February 2012 and 19 February 2013 to the RSPB, which will be spent on rainforest conservation.
  4. Donate your Clubcard vouchers. You can now donate your Clubcard statement reward vouchers to Together For Trees at www.tesco.com/clubcard/deals
  5. Donate directly to the RSPB where your cash donation will go towards Together For Trees helping rainforests http://www.rspb.org.uk/tftdonate

*Applicable to Clubcard members in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In Wales, we are required by law to charge customers 5p for every new single-use carrier bag supplied in store. Following the introduction of this 5p levy, we are no longer awarding green Clubcard points for reusing carrier bags in Wales. We are donating the net proceeds of the levy to RSPB Cymru www.rspb.org.uk/wales to help fund special places in Wales. More details can be found here www.tescoplc.com/carrierbags

4. How do I earn green Clubcard points?
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Green Clubcard points can be earned through reusing carrier bags*, recycling your mobile phones, recycling inkjet cartridges, using the recycling centres at selected stores and purchasing renewable energy, windows and doors from www.tescohomeefficiency.com (*see Question 3)

5. Does one green Clubcard point really make a difference?
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Yes, it does. Every green Clubcard point is worth 1p and every penny will go towards Together For Trees (see Question 13).

6. How does the Together For Trees campaign work?
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Together for Trees is a joint campaign between Tesco and the RSPB. In order to help save the rainforests, we need to do it together, which means lots of people giving small amounts every time you shop. Every green Clubcard point and every Clubcard voucher donated will help save rainforests.

As more people join in with Together For Trees, we’ll be able to do more to protect rainforests from people who want to illegally cut them down, and poachers who threaten the animals. We also help restore those parts that have been damaged and improve conditions for the local people who live and work there.

7.What is a rainforest and why are they important?
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Imagine you’re standing on a football pitch, right at the centre spot. But below your feet, there’s no mown grass. There’s damp spongy earth. The air is humid. This is not an empty pitch, it’s filled with trees. These are TALL trees, some thick enough that it would take twenty of your friends to join arms around one. These trees are home to a dazzling array of wildlife. The sounds here are not of the crowd, but of insects chattering, and birds calling, and, right overhead, a family of gibbons is singing as it swings by. This is the RAINFOREST. This is the home of 6 million species: elephants, pygmy hippos, tigers, butterflies, birds, plants and insects. One billion people depend on it for their livelihoods. It is the source of medicines that fight cancers. It helps keep the world’s climate in balance. It is one of the most valuable places on Earth.

And yet, every four seconds, an area of rainforest the size of a football pitch is cut down with chainsaws and burned primarily for commercial interests.

Horrifying, isn’t it? Almost unbelievable, but sadly it’s true. Imagine your football pitch filled with black smoke and smouldering tree stumps, the birds, butterflies, lizards and tigers all gone, and you’ve got a clear image of what goes on.

We at Tesco and the RSPB won’t sit around while this happens.

8. What are the main threats to rainforests?
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The greatest threats to rainforests are logging and conversion of the land to palm oil production or other intensive agriculture. The RSPB works alongside local BirdLife International partner organisations, local communities and governments to counter these threats.

Tesco and RSPB are working to make choosing rainforest friendly products easier by working together to make supply chains more sustainable.

9.How many trees are there in these rainforests?
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Millions! You simply can’t count every single tree in a rainforest - there are just too many over such a big area – but we can take an educated guess. You can take a small sample area and work out how many trees it contains that are at risk of being logged then multiply that number up, which gives you between 50 and 75 trees per hectare (an area roughly the size of two football pitches).

The RSPB rainforest programme protects almost 240,000 hectares around the world - that’s the same as 330,745 Wembley-sized football pitches and over 15 million trees.

10. How does the RSPB help conserve rainforests?
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Working with conservation groups and local communities around the world, the RSPB has been pioneering rainforest protection since 1989. Today, the RSPB together with its partners protects almost 240,000 hectares of rainforest in seven different countries. Here are examples of how the RSPB has helped sustain rainforests on an international scale in recent years:

  • The RSPB works with local communities to establish tree nurseries, where native trees are raised from seed, and then hand-planted in the damaged areas to restore them to health.
  • The RSPB works to influence landowners, businesses and governments to manage rainforests in a sustainable way.
  • The RSPB, together with its international partners has acquired the management rights for Harapan Rainforest in Sumatra meaning it can be managed for conservation, rather than commercial logging. Now other organisations are applying for similar licences in Indonesia, which if successful will protect even more rainforest.
  • At Gola Rainforest in West Africa, the RSPB has already built schools and health clinics and fixed water supplies, dramatically raising the standard of living of local people and establishing them as enthusiastic caretakers of the forest.
  • In Sierra Leone, West Africa research teams conduct wildlife surveys of the forest, studying the plant and animal life. They have already discovered three butterfly species and a frog that are new to science, and there is plenty more waiting to be found.
  • At Echuya Rainforest in Uganda, the RSPB has taught local communities new skills, such as growing passionfruit and avocados, which they can sell for a healthy income providing sustainable livelihoods.
  • In Montserrat, in the Caribbean, the RSPB has been working with local stakeholders to conserve what rainforest is left after much of it was destroyed by volcanic eruptions. This work has helped protect critically endangered species such as the Montserrat oriole, mountain chicken (actually a frog) and Montserrat galliwasp (a lizard).
11. Why has Tesco picked the RSPB’s rainforest programme?
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Tesco wants to work in places where it can make a real difference for rainforest conservation in the long term and RSPB has a proven track record of doing just that, with its pioneering new approaches to rainforest conservation.

RSPB looks for opportunities where the conservation need is strong but also where its expertise is pivotal, where chances of success are quite high, and where its work might act as a catalyst for others to do the same. To ensure it can make as much of a difference as possible, RSPB works with its local partners on the ground – including BirdLife to ensure local knowledge in the country concerned.

RSPB has already had success with its two flagship rainforest projects. In Indonesia, RSPB has been working in Harapan Rainforest with BirdLife International and Burung Indonesia to protect and restore an area of rainforest more than half the size of Greater London. In Gola Rainforest in West Africa the RSPB has been working with the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone and the government there to protect the last remaining area of rainforest in the country.

But there is still more to be done.

12. How can I find out what is happening in these rainforests?
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You can find more information by clicking here http://www.rspb.org.uk/tftrainforests

13. How do I know the money actually goes to protect rainforests?
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Charities in the UK have a legal obligation to make sure they spend money on the work they ask donors to support. The RSPB will be spending the money raised from Together For Trees on its Rainforest Programme. Every year the accountants who audit the RSPB, check that it is doing what it promised with the money given by donors for a specific purpose. Out of every £1 raised, the RSPB spends about 5p on administrative overheads and about 5p on membership related costs; that leaves 90p out of every £1 of our resources available to be spent directly on charitable conservation objectives.

14. What else is Tesco doing to combat climate change?
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As one of the world’s leading retailers, Tesco has a clear responsibility to protect our environment and has set itself challenging aims to become a more sustainable business. These include 2020 targets, to reduce supply chain emissions by 30% and find ways to help customers reduce their own footprint by 50%. We have set ourselves an ambitious target to become a zero carbon business by 2050 and has signed up to the Consumer Goods Forum commitment to help end net deforestation. Here are some of the initiatives that we are already doing:

  • We opened the world’s first zero-carbon supermarket in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire, in 2009. Last year, we opened our first overseas zero-carbon store in Jaromĕř, Czech Republic, and completed two more zero-carbon stores in the UK, in Welshpool and Bourne. Our zero-carbon stores are designed to use as little energy as possible. For example, the heating and cooling system at Ramsey uses 66% less energy than a typical store of a similar size.
  • Since 2009 we have not sent any waste from our UK stores directly to landfill – the only major UK retailer to do so. If waste cannot be recycled, we make sure that where possible, it is used to make alternative sources of energy.
  • Last year, our use of the UK rail network saved six million road miles and over 8,000 tonnes of CO2e. We also continued to increase the number of double-decker trailers we use to deliver to stores, saving 12.5 million road miles and nearly 17,000 tonnes of CO2e.
  • We installed four wind turbines this year to power three UK depots using renewable energy. Each turbine will produce enough energy to power 500 homes, saving around 3,200 tonnes of CO2e. Any surplus power generated will be exported back to the National Grid.
  • In the UK we recycle all our cardboard, metal, office paper, plastic, chicken fat and cooking oil. We are the largest retail recycler of cardboard in the UK, processing nearly 300,000 tonnes a year. The cardboard we recycle is made into new packaging, a process that takes just 14 days. It recycles around 22,000 tonnes of plastic a year, often turning it into bin liners.
  • Since 2009, we have prevented 1,600 tonnes of plastic going to landfill through our UK hanger recycling programme. Customers leave their hangers at the checkout, and they are either reused or recycled. From 2011/12 onwards, we aim to prevent 5,000 tonnes of plastic going to landfill each year.
  • Packaging can appear to be one of the biggest environmental issues. However, packaging protects the products we sell, helping to reduce food waste – and therefore carbon emissions - so we are committed to reducing packaging where we can do so without compromising our role in protecting and preserving the product. We have already reduced packaging on its own-brand products in the UK by more than 15% since 2007.
  • The refrigerant gases used in almost all refrigeration systems – known as hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) – can make a very significant contribution to climate change so Tesco has installed non-HFC ‘natural refrigeration’ systems in Hungary and the UK, and in our existing stores in the UK we have reduced HFC emissions by 15% compared to 2009/10.
  • If you would like more information about the work we do on protecting the environment please visit www.tescoplc.com/corporate-responsibility/our-community-promises/caring-for-the-environment/climate-change

If you would like more information about the work we do on protecting the environment please visit www.tescoplc.com/corporate-responsibility/our-community-promises/caring-for-the-environment/climate-change