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Root and branch success of Brother’s environmental partnership


Eight years ago, Brother International Europe became one of Cool Earth’s earliest corporate supporters. [Insert name and job title] from Brother reflects on one of the charity’s biggest achievements to date – the growth of the Ashaninka Partnership.

This year marked a milestone for our chosen charity, Cool Earth, as it celebrated its 10th birthday. Working with the organisation since 2009, we have helped transform and save the lives of people living in endangered rainforests – all thanks to the support of our customers

One of the most significant successes is helping to prevent rainforest destruction in Peru’s largest indigenous nation. With every family living below the poverty line, the Ashaninka village of Cutivireni was faced with a difficult decision - whether to accept a logging contract that would have committed them to selling off their rainforest. Faced with this dichotomy, village elder, Cesar Bustamante contacted Cool Earth for their help

Starting with Ashaninka, the charity’s support has grown even further to 16 neighbouring communities, creating the Ashaninka Partnership - a protective shield, making 1.4 million acres of neighbouring forest inaccessible to loggers.

The partnership has also revolutionised the villages through a host of community initiatives to improve health and wellbeing and boost livelihoods.

Growing health facilities 

In 2009, villagers lived more than 20 hours away from the nearest hospital. The remoteness meant that health was one of the biggest threats to the community.

Lives were at risk and the infant mortality rate was twice the national average; over a third of families had lost a child.

In the past eight years, the opening of four new medical outposts means 72% of the population are within one hour of medical care, a significant increase from 31%.

Supplying mosquito nets resulted in cases of malaria dropping by 60% and tapping into two natural springs means that 74 families have access to clean, safe water.

Over 70% of community members are satisfied with their access to medical services as a result of the changes.

Boosting livelihoods through coffee and cacao crops

The partnership has enabled villagers to create their own livelihoods, securing an income for the community and future generations.

Specialist consultants and technicians were employed to improve cacao and coffee crops. This was supported by the launch of a cacao producers’ association, which introduced a micro-credit fund for nine villages and solar cacao dryers and fermentation boxes to three villages.

The investment enabled 2.4 tonnes of cacao and half a tonne of coffee to be exported from the villages to the UK, increasing their income by 40%.

Educating the future

To make a long-lasting impact to the partnership, focusing on the next generation is a priority for Cool Earth. Since 2009, 77% of children are now in improved schools following the opening of three new buildings and the rebuild of the Camantavishi village school after it flooded.

Older students have also benefitted, with funding provided for three students to study higher education and community members being trained as a forest watch team.

Investing in the community

With floods being a continual and devastating issue, the partnership has supported over 2,960 people.

This has been achieved through emergency tools and funds provided to flood victims and the relocation of the high-risk village of Parijaro.

Villagers of Camantavishi have been provided with shelter through the build of 11 homes and electricity has been generated through the installation of solar panels.

Our tree saving tally

Over the past eight years, we have been honoured to play an integral part in the Ashaninka Partnership but it is equally thanks to the support of our European customers who have used our free return and recycle scheme.

Under our scheme, one tree is protected for every eight inkjet cartridges or four toner cartridges received.

Brother’s efforts alone have kept 4.3 million trees standing and protected 7,400 acres of critically endangered rainforest in Peru and Papua New Guinea since 2009. This has resulted in 2.1 million fewer tonnes of climate warming CO2 in the atmosphere.

Furthermore Brother has proved our dedication to saving the environment by obtaining a har desuden bevist sit engagement i bevarelse af miljøet ved erhvervelsen af en ISO 14064 certifiication across Europe*. The ISO 14064 is part of the ISO 14000 series of International Standards for environmental management. It helps businesses and other organisations monitor and report on greenhouse gas emissions and is issued in three parts.

*UK (UK sales office and European headquarters), Ireland, Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania