September 21, 2009

Team Earth Project Introduces Corporate Partners

Conservationists on Monday announced the soon-to-come launch of "Team Earth," a project that brings together businesses, non-profit organizations, scientists, educators and individuals to maintain sustainability and economic growth.

Conservation International is leading the Team Earth project, which has been joined by founding partners Dell, SC Johnson, Starbucks, Harrah's Entertainment and Wrigley.

Team Earth is set to officially begin operations in November, but the project was aiming for more visibility during the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

"This is a moment when leaders around the world need to take action. We cannot afford for our representatives ... not to take action, so we're mobilizing the public," said Peter Seligmann, chief executive of Conservation International.

Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz told Reuters that he joined the project because it had similar ideas about "divergent efforts of many separate parties -- NGOs, corporations, politicians and individuals -- trying to do something in which perhaps the sum of the parts could be greater if there was collective action."

"In order to make a sustainable enduring business that's profitable, you're also going to have to create a balance between profitability and a social conscience."

Team Earth said its initial goals would include saving the earth's forests in order to battle climate change.

The group has teamed up with the Prince's Rainforest Project in a joint effort to reduce tropical deforestation while creating new incentives for "environmentally friendly economic development."

"Our individual efforts have been fruitful but history shows that real change is not accomplished through individual efforts but through movements," Harrison Ford, actor and board member of Conservation International, told Reuters.


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