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Businesses Come 'Together' to Help Consumers Tackle Climate Change

Date
23 April 2007

Industries join forces to provide simple solutions for individuals

On April 23rd eight major UK companies joined with Tony Blair to unveil 'Together' a campaign to provide consumers with compelling products and services that make it easier to reduce their {CO2} emissions.

'Together' will provide both ideas for behavioural change and practical solutions for consumers to help them reduce their household emissions by one tonne over three years.

Read coverage of the launch in: The Guardian, The Sun and The Scotsman

In an unprecedented demonstration of support, retailers, banking, media and service providers from across the UK (B&Q, Barclaycard, British Gas, Marks & Spencer, O2, Royal & SunAlliance, BSkyB & Tesco) have all united behind this initiative, with more brands set to join throughout 2007 including HSBC and National Express. The coalition also reaches outside business with active support coming from the Energy Saving Trust, Defra, the National Consumer Council, The Church of England, Stop Climate Chaos and Live Earth.

The campaign, building over 3 years, aims to reach every UK household by continuing to increase the number of brands in the partnership, and the number of initiatives offered to consumers. Should every UK household take up the campaign initiatives, there is a potential saving of 25 million tonnes of {CO2}, more than the combined emissions of Scotland and Wales.

Partners will provide either products, services or advice for consumers to actively facilitate the reduction of their household emissions. These initiatives will be brought together on www.together.com where the collective reduction in emissions will be calculated, intermediate targets established, and people given access to information on how they can take part.

Formed as a deliberate response to research showing that people feel powerless when faced with the challenge of climate change, the campaign is spearheaded by The Climate Group, an NGO created to act as a catalyst between business, state and civil groups to tackle climate change.

Dr Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group said: "Today marks an unprecedented commitment from some of the UK's favourite brands to help their customers tackle climate change. These brands have come up with new and innovative ways to make it easier to save energy, from watching TV, insulating roofs and insuring cars, to washing our clothes and lighting our homes."

Dr Howard continues: "These companies have developed solutions which allow consumers to do their bit. All our partners are committed to making dealing with climate change more accessible to their customers. The success of the campaign will rest on reaching as many people as possible, not just the usual audience for green initiatives. We can only deal with climate change if we do it together."

The effectiveness of the campaign will be measured in two ways: The aggregated carbon savings as a result of consumer uptake of partner solutions will be measured using calculations developed by the Energy Saving Trust. The Climate Group will also track behavioural change as a result of solutions promoted via the 'Together' campaign. This will be via an expanded version of our existing tracking study called the Climate Conscious Consumer.

Dr Ashok Sinha of Stop Climate Chaos said: "'Together' is a highly welcome initiative. Through it consumers will be able to use their purchasing power to embolden decision-makers, ensuring the UK achieves our fair share of an international effort to keep global warming under the danger threshold of {CO2}."

Dr Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, said: "The Church of England is officially committed to 'cutting the carbon'. Our Shrinking the Footprint campaign is helping congregations to see the connection between caring for God's creation and embracing a greener way of life. We are glad to support this effort and to engage our own members and those of other faiths. In addition we're publishing today a practical guide 'How many lightbulbs does it take to change a Christian?'"

All statistics and data verified by the Energy Saving Trust

- Ends -

For further information and photography, please contact:

James Fentiman 020 7291 6372 or email james.fentiman@freud.com
Gareth Jordan 020 7291 6434 or email gareth.jordan@freud.com
Contact above addresses for password to online press pack on www.together.com/press

Notes to Editors

About The Climate Group
The Climate Group is an independent, non-profit organisation dedicated to accelerating the international uptake of corporate and government best practice in emissions reduction. We have offices and charitable status in the UK, USA and Australia and are expanding into India and China in 2007. Proactive companies, states, regions and cities around the world are demonstrating that the cuts in greenhouse gases required to stop climate change can be achieved while growing the bottom line. Using the work of these leaders as a catalyst, The Climate Group strives to accelerate international action on global warming with a new, strong focus on practical solutions. Since launching in 2004, we have developed an interlocking programme of sectoral leadership groups, research and publication, media engagement, and high-impact events. Our coalition has demonstrated that emissions reductions, while essential, can also be profitable. We inspire further action and outreach and mobilise business and sub-national governments to implement and support effective strategies and policies that mitigate climate change. We also promote the development and sharing of expertise on how business and government can lead the way towards a low carbon economy while boosting profitability and competitiveness.

About Energy Saving Trust
The Energy Saving Trust is one of the UK's leading organisations set up to address the damaging effects of climate change. It aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions - the main greenhouse gas causing climate change - by promoting the sustainable and efficient use of energy. It is an independent, non-profit making organisation and acts as a bridge from government to consumers, trade, businesses, local authorities and the energy market; providing impartial information and advice through a network of advice centres in the UK which are specifically designed to help consumers take action to save energy. Householder who are ready to take action and implement energy-saving measures in their homes can contact their local EEAC on 0800 512 012 to obtain free and impartial advice. For more information visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk

About National Consumer Council
The National Consumer Council makes a practical difference to the lives of consumers in the UK, using its insight into consumer needs to advocate change. We work with public service providers, businesses and regulators, and our relationship with the Department for Trade and Industry - our main funder - gives us a strong connection within government. We conduct rigorous research and policy analysis to investigate key consumer issues, and use this to influence organisations and people that make change happen. Check www.ncc.org.uk for our latest news

About Stop Climate Chaos
Launched on 1 September 2005 Stop Climate Chaos (a registered charity) aims to be the broadest and most diverse coalition yet established within the UK to campaign for changes to government policy on climate change. Its growing membership - which includes many of the UK's leading environmental organisations, international development agencies and other national campaigning bodies - aims to build irresistible public pressure on the UK Government to act at home and abroad to prevent global warming from exceeding the widely-accepted danger threshold of 2 deg. C.

About Live Earth
Live Earth will use the global reach of music to engage people on a mass scale to combat our climate crisis. Live Earth will bring together more than 150 of the world's top musicians for 24-hours of music from 7 concerts across all 7 continents. Live Earth will bring together an audience of more than 2 billion at the concerts and through television, radio, film, and the Internet. That audience, and the proceeds from the event, will create the foundation for a new, multi-year global effort to combat the climate crisis led by Vice President Al Gore. Kevin Wall, Worldwide Executive Producer of Live 8, is producing Live Earth.

Green Events Standard
We have taken every measure to ensure that carbon emissions associated with the launch press conference are minimal, and those that are unavoidable, are then offset.

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