The World Wildlife Fund is turning 50 today. Known internationally as WWF, the group was created in 1961 by a group of scientists and naturalists determined to preserve the environment. That they have done, fighting for the conservation of natural places, resources and wildlife from the Amazon rain forest in South America to elephants on African savanna. By 2020, WWF hopes to conserve 19 of the world's most important natural habitats.
Here in the U.S., WWF claims several notable accomplishments, including several that affect consumers:
WWF helped lead efforts to improve forest sustainability and give consumers the information they need to make smart choices. WWF established the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which certifies wood products that come from well-managed forests.
WWF helped establish the Marine Stewardship Council, which certifies sustainable fisheries and gives consumers concerned about overfishing information about which fish to buy, and which to avoid. (See grilling recipes for five MSC-certified fish)
WWF has worked with Walmart, the world's largest retailer, to improve the sustainability of its supply chain, particularly in the areas of forest products and seafood, which is now nearly three-quarters Marine Stewardship Council-certified.
WWF transformed Earth Hour from a local event in Australia into a worldwide phenomenon that inspires millions around the world to turn off the lights for one hour on a designated day in March, to raise awareness about climate change and how individual actions can make a difference.
In 2007, WWF formed the Climate Savers Computing Initiative with Google, IBM, Dell, Intel, and other companies to establish new efficiency standards that could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 54 million tons per year.
-Dan Shapley contributed to this report.
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