Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Herbal Essences links with Kew Gardens to boost plant species survival



As ‘authentic’ link-ups with bodies focused on conservation projects become more and more popular, Procter & Gamble has forged a partnership with London's Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

The consumer products giant has linked with Kew via the global Herbal Essences brand and said this week that the partnership between the two is designed to “help save 20 endangered US plant species from extinction in 2020”. 

Debuting at SXSW (assuming that event goes ahead as planned in the face of the coronavirus outbreak) on March 13, Herbal Essences “will make this pledge to raise awareness and inspire others to act on the critical issue of plant biodiversity loss,” it said.

P&G added that some plants are becoming extinct faster than animal species are but that they get less attention. “Plants underpin all life on earth, providing the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat – they’re the backbone of the world’s ecosystems. The unfortunate reality is that due to a cognitive bias, people are wired to overlook plants, a phenomenon called plant blindness, and thus, plant extinction is often not addressed,” it explained. 

“Based on a study from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Stockholm University, plant biodiversity loss is the biggest missed issue of the last decade with experts predicting that one in five plant species are at risk of annihilation. This means that plants are going extinct two times faster than animals”.

The plants under threat that the new partnership wants to save include the Venus Fly Trap, Blue Ridge Huckleberry and Douglas Clover. Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank is working with partners like the Center for Plant Conservation in Escondido, California, to help conserve seeds from these species. 

The SXSW event will feature a 60-minute panel discussion including representatives from Kew Gardens, the World Wildlife Fund, and writer Tatiana Schlossberg.

As of March 13, the company said everyone can get involved and act against plant extinction. Consumers can log on to @HerbalEssences on Instagram and make a pledge to live a more sustainable life by choosing one of 20 habit changes.

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