Celebrating 5 years of OVO and Cool Earth
Last year, four OVO Energy employees visited the Asháninka in Peru to learn how OVO and Cool Earth's support has helped. The Rainforest Diaries film is a first-hand report of what they saw.
Thank you to all involved in supporting the project.
“Protecting the environment is in OVO’s DNA. In year one they pledged to save 100,000 acres of at-risk rainforest in the Ene Valley of Peru. Six years on, they are doing so much more.”
- Cool Earth
A strong village means a safe forest. OVO has worked alongside the Asháninka to improve healthcare in remote rainforest villages, so they can keep their trees standing.More on this project
OVO has helped to develop sustainable income streams from forest produce like coffee and cacao, meaning the rainforest is worth more standing than cut down.Find out more
Meet some of the people who make a difference everyday in the Amazon.
Thanks to our customers, we have been able to prevent 24 million trees from being cut down. The carbon stored in these endangered trees is equivalent to considerably more than the yearly emissions of every car in the UK. Foundation homepage
It’s a tragic irony that in an environment blessed with two metres of rainfall each year, many families don’t have access to clean, safe water. We have worked alongside Cool Earth to make sure every family in the villages they support has adequate sanitation and clean, safe water for their families.
“One of the things that struck me the most was how gentle the people were. To get a glimpse of some of their traditions - facepaint, masato (spit beer) and to listen to their musical language was truly humbling. The lowpoint for me was getting sick after swallowing a mouthful of river water whilst having a dip, but it made me realise the challenges the Asháninka face every day.”
- James, Creative, OVO Energy
In remote rainforest villages the only way to access markets and healthcare is by river. Since we started supporting the Asháninka community in Peru, 56 lives have been saved through emergency evacuations, and more families can get to market to sell their forest produce and buy vital supplies for their families.
“After a plane trip, all day in a car, an overnight stop, a seven hour boat ride and then a bit of a trek through the undergrowth, I was so relived to have finally arrived. BUT it did make me realise just how remote and how far from home we really were."
- Renee, Digital Strategy, OVO Energy
Some other key players in the Rainforest Diaries film
Investments in better classrooms and resources, as well as funding grants for students to study further afield, is a commitment to future generations of forest protectors. That’s why we’ve supported 14 rainforest schools - so every child in Cool Earth’s Asháninka partnership has access to education.
The rainforest is a dangerous environment. Snake bites, and tropical diseases like malaria and tuberculosis are common. Medical help is often a gruelling six hour journey by foot and boat. Thanks to the partnership, remote villages now have a medical outpost equipped to deal with emergencies.
“It was incredible to see, how scared the Asháninka were when we came across a snake. They were not messing around. They have no qualms killing them - they are the equivalent of rats, but can kill their children!”
- Marco, Product Designer, OVO Energy
Deforestation begins with poverty. New fermentation boxes help to support communities to stay in control of their resources. With the support from OVO and Cool Earth, sustainable livelihoods from cacao (the main ingredient in chocolate) are keeping 174 families out of poverty and their trees standing.
Forests are a secure source of food for approximately 1.75 million people. Thanks to OVO, Cool Earth’s Asháninka partners in Peru are cultivating fish farms to provide families with a vital source of protein. As there’s more than enough to go around, the fry can be sold to other villages, meaning more income for everyone.
“Most of the Asháninka we met hadn't been schooled and struggled with Spanish but were determined to educate their children. We heard stories of what the little ones envisaged doing when "they grow up" and, unsurprisingly, most of these "dream jobs" entailed protecting their environment. Education is not something they take for granted; they see it as a powerful tool that will allow them to safeguard their future. ”
- Alexandra, Product Owner, OVO Energy
For the first time ever, the Asháninka made chocolate from start to finish. This is the end-to-end production of chocolate which can be bought on shelves in the UK.