Planet | 23 Mar 2023

How business can help save the natural world and tackle the climate crisis

Sir David Attenborough is back on our screens for the BBC’s latest must-see series celebrating nature across Britain and Ireland. WWF, Vodafone’s partner, has co-produced the series along with the RSPB and the Open University.

Wild Isles, which is rumoured to be one of Sir David’s last series on location, launched on 12 March and focuses exclusively on wildlife in the UK. It features fabulous natural spectacles, from battling butterflies to hunting orcas. WWF provided science and conservation expertise across the series.

As well as showcasing the beauty and diversity of nature on these islands, the programme makers have highlighted the grave threat posed to UK wildlife through habitat loss and climate change.

Jack Lundie, Director of Campaigns at WWF-UK, says: “We know how powerful documentaries can be in driving positive change – much like Blue Planet II raised awareness of the impact of plastics on our oceans and inspired action to tackle it.

“We’re now in a critical decade for saving nature and tackling the climate crisis – but in order to see the change needed from governments, businesses and all parts of society, we need the support of the public.”

photo of Anemones, Sagartia cnidaria, living amongst a kelp forest, North Rona, 45 miles off the northern tip of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

Credits:, WWF

Credits:, WWF
Anemones, Sagartia cnidaria, living amongst a kelp forest, North Rona, 45 miles off the northern tip of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides,

Vodafone believes businesses, too, have a role to play in helping save wildlife and improving biodiversity, and announced a three-year global partnership with WWF last year.

By working together, Vodafone and WWF aim to highlight the role technology can play in tackling the climate and nature emergency and help to promote a more circular economy.

The Circular Economy: Everything you need to know

The ‘circular economy’ is one of the latest green catchphrases, but what exactly is it and is it achievable?

WWF and Vodafone’s first global campaign – One Million Phones for the Planet – aims to collect one million pre-loved phones to be reused and recycled responsibly. Every phone collected will see £1 generated for WWF conservation projects across the world.

Mr Lundie said: “We know that businesses are crucial to tackling the nature and climate crises. Nature underpins our economy and creates the stability needed for our societies. It provides us with clean air and water, food, flood protection carbon sequestration and so much more.

It’s impossible for us to address any of the big issues facing our world without business playing its part

(Jack Lundie, WWF-UK)

“Without nature our supply chains would collapse, and we wouldn’t have a stable climate for doing business. We need to put nature at the heart of all business decisions and ensure that every business strategy includes consideration of its impact on nature and the restoration of our world.”

“That’s why the private sector’s leadership is so important. It’s impossible for us to address any of the big issues facing our world without business playing its part.”

In parallel with the Wild Isles series, WWF, the RSPB and the National Trust have worked with Silverback Films to create a film exploring the importance of the natural world to a thriving economy.

photo of Basking shark (Ceterhinus maximus) feeding on plankton around St Michael's Mount, Cornwall, UK.
Basking shark (Ceterhinus maximus) feeding on plankton around St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall, UK.

From the Industrial Revolution onwards, businesses have, in many cases, been responsible for the destruction and pollution of the natural environment, and the film explores how they can now be part of the solution. This film will be available from 20 April.

COP27: ‘Our environmental commitments remain firm despite global challenges’

As the world’s leaders meet in Egypt for COP27, the United Nations’ annual climate change conference, Vodafone's UK CEO Ahmed Essam reaffirms the company's goal to reach net zero carbon emissions for its own operations by 2027.

For its part, Vodafone has pledged to reach net zero carbon emissions for its UK operations by 2027, has been powered by renewable electricity since 2021, and has embarked on an ambitious programme to improve the energy efficiency of its network, from technology centre servers to radio antennas.

It has also committed to tackling e-waste and promoting a circular economy and already offers a market-leading digital platform with trade-in options, a refurbished phone range, and insurance, support and repairs to help customers keep their handsets for longer. It has switched to 100% recycled plastic SIMs and is moving towards plastic-free deliveries and returns.

Vodafone’s connectivity, internet of things platform and smart technologies are also supporting partners and customers with environmental projects, including measuring cliff erosion, air pollution, tree growth, flood risk and even reducing fly-tipping.

Andrea Dona, Vodafone’s UK Chief Network Officer and planet sponsor, comments: “As a business, we already put our net zero goals, energy efficiency and tackling e-waste at the heart of our decisions. I hope that by working with WWF, we can bring even greater consideration for the natural world into our business strategy.

“My hope is that businesses can be part of the solution and even turn nature recovery into a crucial business opportunity.”

WWF’s Jack Lundie concludes: “Our hope is that Wild Isles, and our campaign alongside it – Save Our Wild Isles, with the RSPB and National Trust – will inspire people across the UK to take action to protect and restore nature for future generations.

zoomed photo of mistle thrush birds nesting in a traffic light.
Mistle thrush nesting in a traffic light.

“We must re-establish our broken connection to nature and our planet, appreciate how lucky we are to have a place in this world, and understand how much we need nature and how important it is to take action to save it.

“If enough of us take action, we will be impossible to ignore and our leaders will have to act.”

You can watch Wild Isles on BBC 1 at 7pm every Sunday from 12 March to 9 April – or catch up on BBC iPlayer.Find out how you can take action for nature at

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