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Why Economies need Nature - Money does grow on trees

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It is commonly accepted in today’s society that decisions made to protect the environment creates a strain on economic growth. This has led to a significant misunderstanding that a choice must be made between economic development and sustaining nature. We often speak as though they are competitors, and we claim one can prosper but not the other. This, however, is untrue as 100% of all economic activity relies entirely on the services and resources that nature provides. There is not a choice between economic development and sustaining nature when it is the earth’s natural resources and ecosystem services that drives economic change.


It seems that planners have become used to seeing nature as supplier of resources and dump for waste. The common links between the economy and the environment as described by the OECD Global Forum on Environment are as follows: the environment provides resources and services to the economy, while also acting as a sink for emissions and waste. Natural resources are essential inputs for production, while outputs of production leads to pollution and other pressures on the environment. As a consequence, poor environmental quality affects economic growth and wellbeing by lowering the quantity and quality of resources available. If current consumption trends continue, the global per capita use of natural resources will increase by 70% by 2050. It is inevitable that if current trends continue, we will reach the point where exploitation of the earth will in turn cause irreversible damage to global economies.


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Nature provides our societies with more resources and ecosystem services than we may realise. Some are obvious, for example  clean and accessible water, air and land that is needed to grow crops, and fish which about 20% of the world’s population derives at least one-fifth of its animal protein intake from. Others are less obvious, such as the mangrove swamps and coral reefs that provide natural barriers against storms, or the diverse range of plants that provide pharmaceutical companies with resources used in medicine, the insects that provide essential pollination for growing around 70% of the world's most productive crops, the services provided by animals, such as bees, doing the pollination work that underpins about one trillion dollars-worth of agricultural sales has been valued at $190 billion per year. Despite this, human induced climate change, deforestation, extinction and overexploitation of nature continues to rise, driven largely by economic growth and threatening the existence of these natural commodities. If we continue to exploit, damage and add pressure to the earth’s limited resources, it could lead to an absence of resources and services available to sustain the growing economy. This highlighting the counter-productivity of fuelling economies through the degradation of the natural environment. 


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Maintaining a healthy, prosperous environment is essential to maintaining a healthy economy. As we struggle to sustain nature, the long term economic repercussions are becoming more evident. When environmental degradation occurs, economic damage inevitably follows. This can be illustrated through the current climate crisis.  As we struggle to cut emissions from fossil fuels, our environment continues to degrade and impacts of climate change become increasingly evident. Scientists estimated that, if temperatures are to rise by just 2 C, global gross domestic product would fall 15%. If temperatures rose to 3 C, global GDP would fall 25%. If nothing is done to support the environment, temperatures will rise by 4 C by 2100. The industries most at risk are agriculture, fisheries, and forestry. One study claims that protecting and restoring forests would reduce 18% of emissions by 2030 and help to avoid further global temperature rise. While the current rate of deforestation is estimated to cost the world trillions of dollars every year. Subsequently, the damage will only get worse unless wide-ranging measures are taken to stop it. Regardless of this, there continues to be a significant disconnection between economy and nature, leading to exploitation and damage to the resources and services it provides. This counterproductive method has the potential to lead to irreversible damage to economic growth and the environment itself. Reversing these environmental trends is essential if the global economy, and the businesses that drive it, are to prosper.

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As there is little or no price put on nature, is it common for it to be over-exploited. As long as nature and all it’s ecosystems services are belittled or entirely left out of the price of commodities produced from the environment, the earth will financially be worth more once it has been cut down, dug up, drained, polluted etc. One way to reverse negative environmental trends is through integrating the value of nature into our economies. A green economy – that is one that promotes both economic growth and environmental sustainability - is increasingly accepted as a key driver in tackling climate change, poverty, pollution, health and any number of critical goals to improve life for this planet and its people. It appears almost as if until there is sufficient incentive to conserve the natural environment and create green economies, large scale global environmental degradation will continue. Costa Rica has highlighted the significance of nature as a basis of their wealth and are acting to protect it through implementing green energy strategies, becoming carbon neutral, focussing on saving forests and oceans, and banning recreational hunting. Consequently, preserving nature is not entirely about protecting the environment, but also it is about keeping the economy strong.


The way humans are currently exploiting the earth’s natural systems in the pursuit of economic “growth” is significantly deconstructive for both nature and economies. The economy relies on the protection of nature as an essential prerequisite for sustaining successful long-term economic development. The longer we continue to disregard the roles played by natural systems the more substantial the damage on economies will be. To sustain the Earth's natural resources is essential if the global economy, and the businesses that drive it, are to prosper into the future. The economy needs nature, they are not competitors but partners.

Who is Nuttvia and how are they spreading good?


Nuttvia is a leading palm free hazelnut spread available at leading retailers . It contains 0 palm oil and has a 5-star health rating. We spoke to Kristy Wong from Nuttvia to discuss how they continue to spread good for the rainforests.

 Brand creator Samual Tew has been working on changing people’s behaviour towards sugar since 2000. After successfully launching the natural sweetener Natvia he began to think about what else he could offer consumers as an alternative to sugar. After spotting the gap in the chocolate spread market Samuel Tew launched Nuttvia. “A defining moment for me was when my wife had gestational diabetes and asked me to do a supermarket trip for something sweet that was still natural. I came home defeated, unable to find anything sweet for her cravings,” Tew says.


Nuttvia is devoted to helping those that are less fortunate and contributing to the common good. Before Nuttvia was established, it has already been decided that any product made would be 100% palm oil free. “It made sense that we support orangutans and forest affected by the deforestation from palm oil plantations in Indonesia. It is a race against time in a battle against the forces of the influential palm oil leaders as the vast majority of land is converted to palm oil plantations. It’s crucial to us we help purchase and protect critical orangutan habitat” Wong says.

As a brand, Nuttvia wants to highlight the issues around non sustainable palm oil and the importance of protecting the rainforest for the animals, as well as being an example by making positive changes through giving back to the orangutans.


With palm oil in approximately 50% of supermarket products, Nuttvia saw this as an opportunity.  Wong told us “Now more than ever consumers want the choice of buying palm oil free products. However, with no mandatory palm oil labelling in place in Australia this makes it hard for consumers to find certified palm oil free products.” It was important for Nuttvia to have The Orangutan Alliance Palm Oil Free Seal, as it is a recognised logo for consumers looking for certified palm oil free products. “At Nuttvia we stand for ethical purchasing and consumer choice”






Since March 2019, Nuttvia has officially adopted six beautiful Orangutans: CarmenAmelia, Jeffrey,JuniorKobeHockey and Holland  through the OFI where they currently reside in Borneo, Indonesia. Nuttvia helps to care for the displaced and orphaned orangutans at the OFI Care Centre and Quarantine (OCCQ) facility, during their rehabilitation back to the wild. They contribute to providing the medical, dietary and emotional care for the orangutans to thrive. Additionally, they have donated to protect and help buy back rainforest land called The Orangutan Legacy Forest through the OFI. The OFI began purchasing land in Borneo with the intention of using it as a sanctuary for displaced Orangutans. Over 300 orangutans who have had their homes taken from them have taken refuge in the legacy forest. Nuttvia chose the OFI because they support the conservation, protection, and understanding of orangutans and their rainforest habitat in Borneo, while caring for and rehabilitating ex-captive orangutans for release back into the wild. “At Nuttvia we share their mission and vision of orangutan and forest conservation and we wanted to give back to an Australian orangutan group with a history of achievements that make a positive difference to the animals and environment.” Wong says.

Nuttvia is determined to #spreadgood well into the future by raising awareness about the work of various groups that protect the rainforest and orangutans. They will continue to give back with Nuttvia helping to fund for projects that care for orangutans. Find out more about their impact and projects via



Can Small Business have a Large Impact on the world?


We are seeing a change in society, individuals and groups from all over the world are prioritising ethical standards and it is being reflected through the way we all shop. There is a big push forward for trending moral brands and ethical consumption and brands are catching on. Manufacturers and brands have significant opportunity now, more than ever before to benefit from valuing ethical and moral standards. Every brand has an opportunity to join a movement and create change all over the globe. From environmental conservation and sustainability, to hunger, poverty, education (and the list goes on). Every product now has the potential to support a cause, to create a change, to start a movement. One product that stands out in supporting ethical movements is That Chocolate.

Emma Bailie , Founder of That Chocolate

Emma Bailie , Founder of That Chocolate

That Chocolate is a small business having a significant impact on social movement. By using a universally loved food Emma Bailie, founder of That Chocolate, has created a company that is helping the fight against global poverty by giving the everyday consumer the opportunity to impact those in need around the globe — simply by enjoying delicious chocolate. One bar for you = one meal for a child living in poverty.

That Chocolate creates vegan chocolate which is not only FREE from gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, refined sugar, palm oil, emulsifiers and GMO ingredients — it is also organic, raw, stone ground and hand made. Emma told us “We are on a mission to do something about global poverty and we believe the one-for-one social enterprise model is the best way to run the gauntlet of donor fatigue and the disconnect between the developed world and those that need our help. That's why we give the everyday consumer the opportunity to impact those in need around the globe — simply by enjoying delicious chocolate.”

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Emma was inspired to start a social enterprise after volunteering in the Philippines in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan, a natural disaster in 2013 that saw 20,000 perish. After witnessing the impact food relief had on the affected communities she continued to raise funds for projects once she returned home. “That is why our first feeding projects are in the Philippines, the very place the seed was planted four years ago. We already have a fabulous network of friends on the ground in Tacloban and the framework is already in place. We love that we can be 110% confident that every dollar sent to our friends will go directly into hungry bellies —and none of it will be sucked up in admin fees or red tape.

Brands who are on the ethical compass are often eager to support more than one cause if possible. Having recognised the significant use of palm oil in packaged food, cleaning products and cosmetics and negative impacts the non-sustainable palm oil is having on the earth Emma decided go also make That Chocolate Palm oil free “This one ugly little ingredient is fooling Australians because many consumers do not understand the enormity of this product’s crimes in terms of environmental devastation and animal and human rights abuse. Palm oil is fooling us because even when we understand its horrific consequences for our world we are tricked into purchasing it when we think we are avoiding it.That Chocolate is  PROUDLY cruelty free and we consider palm oil to be one of the cruellest ingredients out there — for animals, for the environment AND for humans. It is SO IMPORTANT for Australian businesses to develop recipes that use alternatives and to support other businesses that do the same.“


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That movement acknowledges the incredible power every consumer has. Each consumer has purchase power and consequently has an impact on the world. Individuals are taking more responsibility for their actions and acknowledging they can create change with their purchases. “I believe this is happening because Australians are realising that politicians and big business cannot be relied upon to solve the problems we are facing — so we are taking matters into our own hands.”

Emma is an inspiration for other small businesses to do that same. “The more brands create a  business model around making a positive impact in the world, the more business that set this example, the more others will follow suit.” Development started when consumers started seeing little businesses like That Chocolate creating change and will demand it of big business. We see it happening already, imagine social impact they will have!

"Save the Earth, it's the only planet with chocolate!" Speaks for itself really 😉


You can find That Chocolates growing list of stockists on their website

They also ship from their online store to anywhere in Australia. 

Why helping local communities in endangered areas is important

In today’s globalized capitalistic world, economies are trying to utilize as much commodities as they can, disregarding their impact on nature and the destruction they leave after themselves. From nuts and coffee, to palm oil, businesses are always on the search for new, easy and inexpensive ways to exploit resources. Many companies cause irreversible damage to the ecosystem because of their current practices.

In South East Asia, for example, lands and rainforests are cleared for palm oil plantations. This has a destructive effect on wildlife, like orangutans, Sumatran tigers and Bornean Pygmy Elephants. Even though “profitable” plantations can produce palm oil for several years, the huge yield of palm oil on poor tropical soils causes rapid soil degradation, loss of groundwater, and river pollution.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Organisations like the Orangutan Alliance aim to promote the reduction of non-sustainable palm oil in products and provide support for reforestation, orangutan rescue and other meaningful projects through their alliance partners.

Indonesia is known for its coffee plant agriculture.  It stands at fourth place for coffee production and exportation in the world, after Colombia (crop season 2016-2017).  This industry is a serious threat to the country’s biodiversity and also contributes to the emission of Greenhouse Gases and therefore to climate change.

The destruction of rainforests influences not only the existence of ecosystems, but also the lives of local farmers.  Coffee production is also linked to bad labour practices, including underpayment and child labour.

The Orang Utan Coffee Project collaborates with small-scale coffee farmers in Indonesia, to help them “operate in a sustainable and successful way without clearing the rainforest”.  Their coffee plantations are owned by smallholders “who recognise the importance of rainforests as the basis for their livelihoods.” Their farmers cultivate their coffee in compliance to the strict Orang Utan Guidelines, which are also a combination of the Indonesian National Standards for Organic Farming SNI

Source: Jambit

Source: Jambit

Starbucks and Conservation International’s Sustainable Coffee and Climate Change Partnership supports projects and communities living within the Northern Sumatra Biodiversity Corridor in Indonesia. They also aim to promote sustainable land-use including forest conservation, and to help create different mechanisms to enable local communities to participate in the process.  

In Latin America, Ecuador is another example of a biodiverse country. It has one of the world’s highest concentrations of species and species endemism along with human communities with diverse culture. It is also home to the Amazon jungle, along with Brazil, Venezuela, Suriname, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Guyana, and French Guiana.

Having one of the highest deforestation rates in Latin America, Ecuador’s ecosystem, is at risk. According to Amazon Watch, the country has lost over 20% of its forest and woodland habitat in the past two decades. Its communities are also deeply affected by the global market, bad management of the country’s natural resources, and poor alternatives for sustainable development.  

In the past, 88% of timber production was harvested from native forests rather than forest plantations. The supply of timber from native forests has been increasing slowly, but gradually. The reason behind this is the greater road integration in the Amazon, which provides access to native forests, and the expansion of urban demand.

Source: Flickr

Source: Flickr

Ecuador strongly relies on forest control. The government has several programmes for forest protection, including the incentive programme “Forest Partner”, part of the Forestry Advisory system from 2011, and the Outsourced National Forest Control System before that. They are responsible for monitoring timber trade flows from production areas to the main markets and the legality of timber harvesting.

One of the reasons behind deforestation is their oil reserve. In a letter to the Government, Ecuadorian women declared that 'if oil exploitation is not stopped, the companies will continue to destroy our territory, the companies must leave us in peace, we want clean rivers and forests, we want the government to tell these companies of foreign countries to stay away. We don't want oil companies to enter our territory, never again'.

Recently, there has been a proposal for a strategy by Conservation International, together with Ecuador’s Ministry of Environment to implement the Socio Bosque programme, which compensates Ecuador for not extracting its oil. Instead, a financial incentive would be provided to preserve the forests and improve the standard of living.

 It is predicted that the Ecuadorian Amazon will be completely deforested within 30 years, if deforestation continues at current rates. Another tropical region with endangered ecosystems in South America is Brazil. For years rainforests in the Amazon have been cleared so people can make a profit from agriculture and ranching.

Source: Flickr

Source: Flickr

With 31 % of Brazil’s agribusiness GDP coming from livestock farming, its role in Brazil’s economy is notable. However, trading forests for cattle pasture is not sustainable and does not help the region’s rural population. In 2009, the government came up with a “cattle agreement” to protect areas and control deforestation. Research shows that the deforestation rate among ranch owners has decreased by 50% since then.

Brazil is also the producers of about one-third of the global supply of soy-beans and earns more from soybean exports than from any other commodity.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

The government has adopted multiple reforms to reduce forest losses. Recently, they made a pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40 percent by 2030, with most of its emission reductions to come through avoiding deforestation. Following the new regulations, forest reserves were created and indigenous reserves were expanded. New environmental laws to prevent land clearings for cattle pastures and soybean farms were also enforced.  As a result, deforestation fell from nearly 30,000km² in 2004 to less than 5,000km² in 2012.

Soybeans are also used to feed livestock. According to statistics, in 2017, Brazil produced 16.3 million tons of soymeal for its domestic market, and more than 90 percent of that became animal feed.

Undeniably, it is important to restore the environment. The Amazon rainforests are called the lungs of the planet, because they clear up a lot of the carbon dioxide pollution in the atmosphere. Without them, climate change could be even worse.

That is why Brazil’s leading climatologist, Carlos Nobre, came up with a solution to deforestation. He calls it the “Third Way”- an attempt to find an economic alternative for the Amazon based on its biological assets. For him, conservation movements are not effective- he thinks attempts to persuade businesses to use greener ways of production are pointless.

Recently, there has been a shift in Brazil’s economy from soy and cattle to Brazil nut production.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

The Brazil nut comes from the Bertholletia excelsa tree, which grows in the Amazon rain forest and can live up to 500 years. It is important to note that most of its production comes from harvesting the pods in the wild, rather than from plantations.

A pilot project called Sentinels of the Forest aims to work with local tribes to build a stronger market for the Brazil nuts. The creator - the agronomist Paulo César Nunes- buys brazil nuts from the locals and sells them to COOPAVAM- a small farmers owned nut factory.

Nunes believes the work of the people needs to be valued, in order to save the Amazon. In COOPAVAM, women crack piles of nuts by hand. Machines turns the nuts into energy bars for Brazilian schools, and into oil for the eco-friendly cosmetic brand, Natura Brasil. Thanks to the Sentinels of the Forest, locals are earning up to 10 times more than before.

Source: Coopavam

Source: Coopavam

This project is another example how businesses can help preserve the gifts of nature, while improving local people’s wellbeing.

Eco-tourism can also help maintain forests. Responsible travel to natural areas that promotes environmental conservation has been gaining more popularity. Statistics show that it is growing at a pace of more than 20 percent annually.  Potentially, popularising sustainable tourism in developing countries could provide economic and employment opportunities for local communities while still protecting nature.

On the contrary, there is always a risk of excessive ecotourism, which could easily overload ecosystems and damage fragile natural resources. There is also a possibility that powerful players will try to dominate smaller local operators, thus negatively influencing local economies. That is why, some ecotourism programmes aim to regulate against such abuses.

Helping small businesses by enforcing regulations and providing incentives and aid, can not only benefit local communities, but it can also help protect the environment. It is important that big organisations and corporations distinguish themselves from focusing only on the monetary incentives, and try to consider their impact on the planet. The responsibilities of protecting the nature lies in every each one of us, and businesses should promote and implement sustainability, so we can make progress towards equilibrium with nature.




What does it take to create a non-profit organisation that actively works in the area of environmental conservation and animal welfare? A motivated and passionate person with a vision and the will the make a difference. Here's 7 people paving the way in activism, technology and sustainability for our animals and environment. 


Co-Founder Jakarta Animal Aid Network 


“We focus on raising awareness about animal suffering and promote compassionate treatment for all Indonesia’s beautiful animals.” - Femke Den Haas

Femke den Haas is a co-founder of the Jakarta Animal Aid Network, a grassroots non-profit protecting Indonesian wildlife as well as the welfare of their domestic animals. Working in the field, Femke and her colleagues are actively rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife such as dolphins, tigers, brahminy kites and orangutans. At the same time gathering data to end illegal wildlife trade. Thousands of animals in Indonesia live sad lives. They are often chained, caged, neglected, tortured and abandoned. JAAN is a non-profit organization that strives to reduce their suffering and provide them better living conditions, because no animal deserves cruelty and no wild animal should spend its life in captivity. 

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Founder, CATCA Wildlife and Environmental Society 

“Campaigns against the cruelty to animals” - Ericka Ceballos 


Ericka Ceballos founded CATCA back in 1988 to stop animal cruelty around the world. She created her own projects, at the same time supporting other international animal campaigns. While Ericka and the team at CATCA have been instrumental in the ban on import trade of seal products at the European Union, their attention is also extended to local “blood fiestas” in different small towns all over Spain, “Farra do boi” “farrinhas” (torture of bulls/calves or donkeys for days in Brazil),  campaigns for animal welfare, to promote sterilization for pets and more.  

CATCA is also pushing to secure the seal hunt ban in Europe. "We had our last meeting at the European Commission in September 2010 and in April 2011 we had a meeting at the WTO (World Trade Centre), about the case of Canada-Norway vs the EU, for the ban on the import trade of seal products." Ceballos says. This EU ban that we helped to achieved, is slowly ending this senseless slaughter of baby seals. 

CATCA has been directly involved in exposing, notifying the authorities and in the rescue of some primates and other protected animal species, found out in our regular internet monitoring.

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Founder & CEO, Food Frontier

“We want food that doesn't harm our bodies or the world. Food that's safe, clean and nutritious into the future, for our children and grandchildren. It's a human right, but one that's under severe threat.” - Thomas King  

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When Thomas King was named Young Australian of the Year 2015, he had already spent years leading environmental, animal welfare, health and global development projects across 5 continents. Now in 2018 Thomas is founder and CEO of Food Frontier, a non-profit growing the ecosystem for sustainable, protein-rich foods in the Asia Pacific. Food Frontier works across sectors to accelerate high-impact food innovations like plant-based meat and clean meat (created from plants or grown from cells) that provide the satisfaction and experience of the meat we know and love, without the slaughter, bacterial contamination and adverse environmental impacts of conventional meat production. 

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United Kingdom
Founder, Citizen Zoo 

“We promote ways of conserving nature which makes wildlife relevant to people lives” - Lucas Ruzo 

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When Lucas Ruzo graduated with a Master’s Degree in Conservation Science and couldn’t find a job, he co-founded his own NGO — Citizen Zoo. As CEO of Citizen Zoo, he’s  managing wildlife relocation, captive breeding and research projects and inspiring schools and community groups to begin actively ‘rewilding’ Britain. If you check out the Citizen Zoo blog you’ll find Lucas is a passionate food activist making the connections between what we eat and how it affects the planet. More recently he’s become part of the UNEP Climate Change and Biodiversity and Protected Areas Programmes. 


Founder, 10 Power

“Solar is the backbone of an economy.” - Sandra Kwak


Sandra Kwak is the founder and CEO of 10Power, a company bringing renewable energy to global communities that lack access to electricity through project development and finance. She brings a decade of experience in the energy industry, previously working with AutoGrid to create energy-saving apps for utilities using smart meter big data, scaling the company through $14M in financing from prototype to a global brand with 2 Giga-watts under management.
Sandra co-founded and served as president and COO of energy efficiency company Powerzoa and at Pacific Gas and Electric Utility implementing a program to offset emissions associated with electricity generation. While obtaining her Sustainable MBA from Presidio Graduate School, Sandra's team designed and implemented a micro-finance model for organic farmers' collectives in rural Nicaragua to get solar powered drip irrigation systems. 

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Founder, Orangutan Alliance 

“We can be the generation that ends deforestation.” Maria Abadilla 


Maria Abadilla is a food industry professional and the founder of Orangutan Alliance, a non-profit charity advocating for the reduction of conflict palm oil in consumer goods through a palm oil free certification program. She believes in giving consumers a voice when it comes to conflict palm oil. Their organisation advocate for mandatory labelling, ingredient research and work on a variety of consumer awareness campaigns. Profits from their certification go to funding conservation and forest management projects associated with this issue. 

The Orangutan Alliance Palm Oil Free logo is more than about eliminating conflict palm oil. It's about helping consumers become part of the solution and sending a clear message to manufacturers who use conflict palm oil - research the full length of supply chains. 





Hannah Testa is a 14-year old from Georgia who is passionate about animals and environmental issues that have an impact on wildlife. She believes that knowledge is power and that through education and awareness, she can affect positive change. She founded Hannah4Change to fight for issues that impact the planet and all of its animals. 

From kindergarten she has utilized her leadership skills to teach and influence others, and has truly become a voice for those that do not have a voice, including rhinos, elephants, horses, bears, dolphins, and orcas. She has raised money and awareness for various animal causes because she feels all animals deserve a right to live peacefully on this planet.  

Hannah has received numerous honors and awards, including the President’s Volunteer Service Award, the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, the Prudential Spirit of Community Award, and the Pioneer of Sustainability Award by Ted’s Montana Grill. She has been named Co-President of Animal Hero Kids since 2015 as well as Ambassador for 5 Gyres Institute and Plastic Pollution Coalition.  


As you can see this is the generation of social media and activism. People speaking out using their voices for good. If we all take one step to protect today, even if that's choosing 1 palm oil free product over another - imagine the impact that'll have over 1 week, 1 month to 1 year. 

7 Must-See Conservation Documentaries that will Inspire you to change the world

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As consumers we are influenced by a number of things when it comes to our actions and even our buying choices. Now and again, a documentary comes out that completely unveils a new way of thinking or highlights why something needs to change. Here are 7 must see documentaries >>

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7 Conservation Projects that Started From Everyday People Like You

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An important collaboration giving consumers choice when it comes to conflict palm oil

An important collaboration giving consumers choice when it comes to conflict palm oil

Orangutan Alliance is excited to announce an important collaboration bringing even greater awareness to the issues of conflict palm oil, by offering palm oil free products that empowers consumers to be part of the solution.

Orangutan Alliance and Palm Oil Investigations are now partnering to provide a consolidated and reliable palm oil free certification and labeling program that clearly identifies consumer products that are palm oil free. 

Why Palm Oil Free?

Palm oil is used in more than half of everything on the shelf at your local supermarket. Shampoo, chocolate bars, ice cream, biscuits: palm oil is used so widely now that it is one of world’s leading causes of deforestation. In the words of the Union of Concerned Scientists …

Beyond its global warming and human health impacts, palm oil production also takes a toll on biodiversity and human rights. Only about 15 percent of native animal species can survive the transition from primary forest to plantation. Among the species vulnerable to palm oil expansion are orangutans, tigers, rhinoceros, and elephants. Furthermore, palm oil growers have also been accused of using forced labor, seizing land from local populations, and other human rights abuses.”

This important collaboration sends a message to big brands to source their ingredients responsibly, to stop producing products that cause deforestation and threaten critical species like orangutans.

Who are Palm Oil Investigations (POI)?

Since 2013 Palm Oil Investigations have been raising awareness and educating consumers about the impacts of unregulated Palm Oil production and how often it is used in every day household products. At the same time they place pressure on brands to use only fully traceable supply that is not contributing to deforestation or remove palm oil and palm derived ingredients from their products. They also believe in the importance of having one distinctive palm oil free logo to help consumers when they do their shopping.

How about Orangutan Alliance?

The Orangutan Alliance is a team of professional beauty, food technology and labelling experts working across Australasia, Europe and the Americas certifying consumer products as palm oil free. Orangutan Alliance recognise that consumers want to be part of the solution to unregulated and conflict palm oil, so they aim to bridge the gap between consumers (who buy palm oil free based on personal choice) and manufacturers (who are driven by consumer demand) and NGOS (who deliver grassroots conservation programs to restore forests and rescue endangered species such as Orangutans). Orangutan Alliance is a not for profit organisation so profits from their certification program will be going to fund grassroots conservation and forest projection.

What does the collaboration between POI and OA mean for consumers?

This new collaboration between Orangutan Alliance and Palm Oil Investigations has three clear benefits for consumers, manufacturers and the general public.

(1) One clear Palm Oil Free logo.

Palm Oil Investigations and Orangutan Alliance are encouraging consolidation of palm oil free labeling around the world. No more confusion. When you go shopping look for the Orangutan Alliance palm oil free logo on the product label. You’ll know that the product has been checked by food technology and beauty professionals and is palm oil free. You’ll also know that the certification of this product has contributed to reforestation and orangutan rescue projects.

(2) A stronger, clearer voice to end conflict palm oil

Two distinct organisations with one clear voice. Orangutan Alliance and Palm Oil Investigations are both committed to eliminating unregulated and conflict palm oil. Meaning palm oil that is grown and produced without regard for the law or the environment including forests, the animals or the people who live on the land.

(3) More environmental reporting

Now Palm Oil Investigations (POI) has an accurate and reliable palm oil free certification partner they are concentrating on wider and louder environmental awareness campaigns. More people will learn about the devastating impacts of unregulated and conflict palm oil. More people will learn how their choices at the supermarket can make a difference to the future of the Orangutans (and our planet earth). More big brands will be forced to pay attention to consumer demands for ethical products.

What can you do to help right now?

Our earth is one large community which connects us all. And if we all work together we can still save the orangutans, this is our strongest reason for hope. Us. You and me.

We at Orangutan Alliance and our friends over at Palm Oil Investigations ask you today to …

•       Get educated. Learn about the problem of unregulated and conflict palm oil.

•       Support Orangutan Alliance by liking our Facebook page (plus read and share our posts) and following our Instagram too.

•       Look for our palm oil free certification or tag a brand to get certified

•       Support our friends at Palm Oil Investigations (POI)

The collaboration between Palm Oil Investigations (POI) and Orangutan Alliance is a reason to celebrate. As more of us from consumers to environmental groups unite our voice, the more chance manufacturers and regulators of consumer products will listen.

Want to protect endangered species? Here are key forest areas that need protecting

Want to protect endangered species?  Here are key forest areas that need protecting

World Forests Day is an international day to celebrate the ‘lungs of our planet’ and to recognise the contribution that trees make to our lives. This year, International Day of Forests 2018 is being used to promote the key role that forests play in the sustainable development of cities.

Did you know that over the next 30 years more than 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities? And while we do agree that making trees a fundamental part of urban expansion is essential. We at Orangutan Alliance also want to use World Forests Day as a reminder of the plight of the world’s significant forests and the rapid rate at which they are diminishing.

World Consumer Rights Day: promoting sustainable consumption and ethical production

World Consumer Rights Day: promoting sustainable consumption and ethical production

This March 15th, Orangutan Alliance would like to recognise World Consumer Rights Day 2018. A time to bring awareness across the world to unsafe, unfair and unethical practices that affect consumers. 

“Do we really need always to be able to just get anything we want at any time just because we pay money for it? And do we ever think about the often forced child labour that’s been used to grow some of these foods so that we can get them cheaply because the labour is cheap or even not paid for at all?”

Dr Jane Goodall, Environmentalist, Researcher (Chimpanzees)

Consumers International (for almost 60 years) has been tirelessly campaigning for consumer rights all over the world, and we at Orangutan Alliance are especially interested in consumer rights relating to the ethical conduct of producers and promoting sustainable consumption.                  

So what are consumer rights?

Apart from the fundamental right to access essentials (sufficient food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, public utilities, water and sanitation); consumer rights also include the right to be protected against products, production processes and services which are hazardous to health or life.

And who polices consumer rights?

In a sense we all do. Consumer Rights are outlined in the United Nations Guidelines on Consumer Protection and are recognised internationally by the governments of UN member nations. But it’s up to us to let our governments know we take those consumer rights very seriously.                  

Orangutan Alliance is a consumer interest group

As a consumer interest and and product certification organisation, Orangutan Alliance is currently advocating for greater transparency in product labeling. We believe consumers have the right to know exactly which ingredients are used in the products we buy, as well as how they have been sourced.  

If you’ve been following our work you’ll know that we are raising awareness on the environmental costs of conflict palm oil and in the absence of transparency consider palm oil free options. In several countries, it’s almost impossible to know if palm oil has been used or even how its sourced during manufacturing.

What are these funny names listed below?

Oh they’re just a few of the MORE THAN 200 ways palm oil can be listed on a product label. Why not use World Consumer Rights Day to write to your local member of government and ask that palm oil be clearly labeled on consumer products and refer to your own rights to be given the facts needed to make an informed choice.










+ 200 more

Sustainable Consumption

Consumers International and World Consumer Rights Day also promotes  sustainable consumption (which we at Orangutan Alliance also support). Sustainable consumption is all about doing more with less and being a more responsible consumer.


“There is no definitive way to be a ‘sustainable and responsible consumer’. This can simply mean reconsidering a purchase; fixing or reusing an existing product; or choosing a product certified as having a beneficial environmental or social impact.”

Consumers International


Orangutan Alliance PALM OIL FREE Certification

Consumers International suggest that choosing products certified for positive social impact is a big part of being a sustainable and responsible consumer. If you aren’t already aware, Orangutan Alliance can certify consumer food, household and beauty products as 100% palm oil free. Why not use World Consumer Rights Day 2018 as your catalyst for change. Switch to ethical brands or fully traceable supply chains. Take a stand against deforestation. And a stand for the future safety of orangutans and other vulnerable species.

Take a stand for consumers everywhere

Orangutan Alliance is all about the promotion of consumer rights, ethical trading, clear product labeling.. To find out more about our work and palm oil free certification, read our blogs or visit our website Choose with your BUY. Join us.

FOOD AND DRINKS TRENDS 2018 - full disclosure on food tops the list

Do you are a friend who has an online shop or food business? Are you interested on what's new food trends are forecasted for the next year?  Then you should read this post. Mintel, a global market intelligence agency has recently published their consumer food and drinks futures trend for 2018.

They have found similar consumer sentiments to our own research here at Orangutan Alliance HQ, regarding the rise of consumer demand around ethical and environmental labelling for products.

Full disclosure on food continues to be high on the agenda as is individuality and sustainability. We have listed below some general themes from their report.

1. Full Disclosure

Full disclosure on food labels is a growing trend that is here to stay.

Internationally, consumers are looking for transparency in the supply chain not just for health and safety reasons but also for ethical and environmental reasons. Many consumers around the world lack trust in regulatory systems and manufacturers because of product recalls, scandals and suspicion.

Ethical and environmental claims on packaging such as environmentally friendly, palm oil free, animal and human welfare claims has seen a rise of 22% between 2016 and 2017.  Consumer skepticism has seen the need for food and drink manufacturers to be forthcoming about their ingredients, production processes and supply chains.

According to Mintel, Food and drink transparency serve a single purpose – to help consumers feel more confident about the safety and purity of the food and drink they purchase.

While this report was primarily done for food, we are seeing a similar trend in the beauty sector.

2.  Self Care

Consumers are looking for ways to escape stress and overwhelm in their lives, and are trying to focus back on self-care and balance.   They are developing their own definitions of what a healthy diet and lifestyle means and what permissible indulgence is. Manufacturers are responding with products that try and achieve health and indulgence.  Products following this trend include chamomile infused drinks that mix relaxation and indulgence and super juices that provide a healthy boost.

Generally consumers try to eat healthily using more natural and nutritional ingredients of fruits, vegetables, grains, and spices, but balance good food, with a healthy indulgence of occasional treats that provide relaxation and self care properties.

3. New Sensations

Encounters that appeal to multiple senses can provide consumers with relief from routine and stress. This includes feast with your eyes experiences that generate like worthy social media posts.  Texture and colour continue to be a big trend in 2018 as food and drink companies use the allure of ingredients like turmeric, matcha , activated charcoal, chunky yoghurt, tapioca pearls to create vibrant drinks and “share” worthy experiences.

4. Preferential Treatment

In the bid to save time and money consumers are sampling a variety of channels and technologies when shopping for food and drink. They are looking for prompt, affordable delivery, ease of automatic replenishment and simplicity of synchronisation with devices.

Busy consumers are attracted to e-commerce sites, apps and a variety of online and mobile options.  Technology is helping with effortless shopping, convenience and personalised recommendations.  Retailer apps will grow and continue to assist with curated content to personalise selections based on on previous purchases or search preferences.

5. Scientific Solutions to Food Supply

Some forward looking companies are developing solutions to replace traditional farms and factories with scientifically engineered ingredients such as laboratory grown meat, plant based burgers and animal free dairy. These new solutions aim to potentially alleviate some of the pressure that our global food supply is under.

While currently this trend is growing in more environmentally focussed consumers, researchers believe it will also appeal to consumers who are concerned about ingredient purity.