There is a global climate emergency underway. The oceans are warming, the ice sheets are melting, rainforests are burning, and a truckload of plastic enters our oceans every sixty seconds. In line with Iceland’s ‘Doing it Right’ plan and corporate activism campaigns led by Trustee Richard Walker, IFCF is proud to support projects tackling the environmental crisis here in the UK.
“We care about the rainforest and we care about plastic – and we’re proud of what we’re doing. But the thing we care most about are the kids who are struggling in our neighbourhoods because we see them every week.”
Iceland employs over 30,000 people and almost 80% of our store colleagues live within 3 miles of their workplace. They let us know what’s really important to them and their customers, and their support for the IFCF has enabled us to make a real difference in the communities we serve.
Colleagues were keen to work with the Foundation to create ways to help families support and protect the environment.
During our first Backyard Nature mission to ‘Save the Bees’, we gave away 330,000 seedballs to children from every Iceland and The Food Warehouse stores in the country, planting 15 million wildflower seeds. Our second mission ‘Love Bugs’ saw 300,000 bug hotels given away for free to help children protect the bugs and insects on their patch of nature.
Backyard Nature is a national campaign for children, funded by the IFCF and grown by Semble, the UK’s leading organisation for grassroots community projects.
Our goal is to get all children to spend more time enjoying and protecting nature where they live. Inspired by a group of young, inner-city environmentalists from Anfield, Liverpool, Backyard Nature aims to inspire a million hours of nature engagement for children in the UK.
The first Big Spring Beach Clean: Summit to Sea took place in April 2019, with more than 45,000 volunteers joining over 750 community clean up events. Together, they collected almost 72 tonnes of marine plastic, equal to 18,000 full bin bags! For the first time, SAS worked with The Wave Project to pilot ‘Accessible Beach Cleans’, making it easier for volunteers with physical and mental disabilities to take part with trained helpers, specific equipment and a more inclusive environment.
IFCF will continue its sponsorship for the campaign in 2020. The Big Spring Beach Clean 2020 will take place between 18th-26th April.
Surfers Against Sewage
Our partnership with SAS has seen thousands of people coming together in their communities to rid our beaches, riverbanks, mountains and streets of plastic pollution, in the UK’s biggest ever environmental clean-up event.
IFCF was proud to sponsor the UK’s first ever Plastic Free Awards in November 2019, in partnership with SAS. The event honoured and celebrated the remarkable campaigners, entrepreneurs, community volunteers, youth activists and influencers who are playing leading roles in the fight against plastic pollution.
Winners included Youth Plastic Pioneers Ella and Caitlin McEwan, who successfully petitioned for the removal of plastic toys from fast food kids’ meals; Sports Champion Lewis Pugh, United Nations Patron of the Ocean; Iceland’s own #TooCoolForPlastic Champion Matt Downes, for his tireless work on our reverse vending machines trial; and overall winner Sir David Attenborough, who received the Sir Malcolm Walker Award for his unparalleled work in raising public awareness of ocean plastic pollution and persuading the world to take action.
IFCF will continue its sponsorship of the Plastic Free Awards in November 2020.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation to expand and celebrate the Plastic-Free Communities movement throughout the UK. Together we will be empowering 100,000 community volunteers to tackle plastic pollution and litter in beaches, coastal paths, mountains, rivers, rural and urban areas.”
SAS Chief Executive