A group of major international businesses today announced a firm commitment to
cutting their flights by one-fifth, over the next five years.

Founder members of WWF’s ‘One in Five Challenge’, which launched today, include
Marks & Spencer, Premiere Global, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency
(SEPA), Vodafone and Capgemini. The guided programme aims to help businesses cut
twenty percent of their flights
by 2014.


Watch WWF's David Nussbaum and Capgemini's Christine Hodgson on YouTube introducing the One in Five Challenge
 

“There is a very real appetite among big businesses to reduce the number of flights
they take,”
said David Nussbaum, Chief Executive of WWF-UK. “In a WWF survey, 89 per cent of FTSE 350 companies stated that they expect to
cut business flights significantly in the coming decade and today’s launch confirms
that the UK’s more forward-thinking companies are already taking the first steps
to turn those good intentions into a reality.”

The independently audited scheme encourages businesses to seek greener alternatives
to flying, from video conferencing to train travel, sets yearly flight reduction
targets and helps companies to get their staff engaged with the project. And by
providing a clear annual evaluation of the money and carbon saved by taking part
in the One in Five Challenge, the programme also hopes to demonstrate that companies
can remain competitive while cutting their carbon emissions.

Theresa Villiers, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, who spoke at the launch said: “If we are serious about tackling climate change, it is essential that businesses
work together to start a dramatic shift to low-carbon travel, including more extensive
use of realistic alternatives to flying. That is why I welcome WWF’s ambitious
One in Five Challenge, which aims to do just that – challenge and support businesses
in reducing the amount of flying they ask their staff to do and cutting their
carbon impact on the planet.”

Editor’s Notes

James Robey, Head of Corporate Sustainability at Capgemini UK: “Capgemini is delighted to be a founding member of the WWF 1 in 5 Challenge.
The Challenge perfectly complements our target to reduce carbon from business
travel by 30% by 2014, and also provides a powerful way of engaging with our people
and our customers.”

Campbell Gemmell, Chief Executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), said:
“What I like about the WWF challenge is its ambition. By signing up we want to
show that not only are we aware of our environmental footprint, we are actively
seeking to reduce it.”

“I’m delighted that we have signed up to the WWF 1 in 5 Challenge. As Scotland’s
environmental watchdog we must and want to set a good example, but it’s not always
easy! Our offices have a wide geographic spread across Scotland and we only own
a few of them. Our staff also needs to travel, often to inaccessible places to
do their jobs – inspecting sites, visiting customers, monitoring the environment.
We have already made big reductions in our air travel within mainland Britain
using quite simple measures like making more use of trains and of phone and video
conferencing. We will continue to embrace new ideas and technologies that enable
us (and others) to reduce climate damaging CO2 emissions.”

Nicki Woodhead, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Vodafone UK said: “We are pleased to be a Founder Member of WWF’s One in Five Challenge. Vodafone
UK is getting involved today because there is a real opportunity for everyone,
including employees of small and large companies to reduce their impact on the
environment through mobile working. We have a range of solutions including mobile
internet and mobile broadband which have major social, environmental and financial
benefits for individuals and businesses.”

Mike Barry, Head of Sustainable Business at Marks & Spencer said: “One of our key commitments under Plan A is to reduce the carbon footprint of
our business travel. We are pleased to be associated with WWF as part of our broader
partnership as we believe that the One in Five campaign enables us to set targets
within our business that will not only reduce our footprint, but will help us
to save money.”

John Stone, Managing Director, Europe – Premiere Global Services: “Premiere Global Services are delighted to have joined the WWF’s One in Five
Challenge as one of its founding members. The primary objective of WWF’s One in
Five Challenge is to work with companies to help reduce their business flights
and in turn reduce their carbon footprint.”

“This aligns with Premiere Global’s objective of providing our customers with
alternative solutions – such as audio and web conferencing – to otherwise costly
and environmentally harmful business travel. This objective also supports the
WWF’s message that flying less doesn’t have to impact business productivity and
our technology ensures companies can still connect, collaborate and do business
globally, even if they are not traveling to do so.”

Gordon Baker, Chairman, JMP Consultants Ltd, auditors of the One in Five Scheme, said: “We have worked with WWF-UK to design a challenge that creates the business case
for change. The benefits of changing travel policies and behaviors is not always
clear; either from a financial or carbon perspective. The one in five reporting
process changes this and helps Businesses account for the total cost of travel.”

“Companies succeeding in the challenge will not only demonstrate their carbon
credentials to consumers and suppliers, but also show that a reduction in business
flights improves business operations and the bottom line. Low carbon travel and
alternatives are now a positive proposition for successful business”

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  • Press Contact

    Jo Sargent,

    Senior Press Officer, WWF-UK

    Tel: 01483 412 375,

    Mob: 07867 697 519,

    Email: jsargent@wwf.org.uk