LUSH Cosmetics and WSPA Partner to Help Endangered Orangutans

LUSH launches WSPA Charity Pot and commits to going palm oil free

BOSTON (RPRN) 8/14/2009–LUSH Cosmetics has partnered with the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), the world’s largest alliance of animal welfare organizations, to protect the endangered orangutans of Borneo. Through the sale of a WSPA-branded LUSH Charity Pot in stores until early 2010, LUSH is supporting WSPA and the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS) to rescue, provide sanctuary, rehabilitate and release orangutans who have been displaced and injured by palm oil deforestation in Borneo.

The partnership between LUSH and WSPA aligns the goals of both organizations to combat the negative effects of the palm oil industry, which is responsible for the destruction of 90 percent of the rainforest in Borneo and Sumatra and the endangerment of the orangutans who live there. WSPA provides resources and expertise to BOS’s Nyaru Menteng sanctuary in Borneo, the world’s largest rescue and rehabilitation facility for orangutans, to ensure their vital work continues.

“Sadly thousands of orangutans perish each year as a result of deforestation in Borneo and Sumatra. WSPA thanks LUSH for its support to help the orphaned and injured orangutans at Nyaru Menteng sanctuary. Efforts to rehabilitate and release these endangered animals back in to the wild provide a beacon of hope for the species,” said U.S. Executive Director for WSPA Cecily West.

LUSH believes that there are no sustainable sources of palm oil, and has committed to eliminating palm oil in their products. For the past three years, they worked to develop a soap base that does not contain palm oil, and now all LUSH soaps are made with this palm oil-free base. Small amounts of palm oil still exist in some LUSH products but they are working on new formulas to remove the oil altogether.  To raise awareness of the negative effects of palm oil, LUSH developed the campaign “Wash Your Hands of Palm,” which will be in stores across North America from August 7 to 27.

Orangutan lovers can support the campaign by purchasing the WSPA Charity Pot in-store or online at www.lush.com, or by downloading a special coupon to receive 15% off the newly formulated LUSH soaps from http://wspa-usa.org/lush.cfm , or by making a donation to WSPA at www.wspausa.org.

“Orangutan extinction is something that LUSH wants no part in,” says Brandi Halls, LUSH Communications Manager. “While LUSH has taken its own steps to tackle the palm oil issue, our partnership with WSPA allows our company and our customers to help on the ground in Borneo where Orangutans need it the most. We are incredibly thankful for the tireless work provided by WSPA and are proud to be supporting their efforts.”

Key facts:

  • Orangutans are an endangered species and one of the 10 most threatened species of animals in the world today.
  • Orangutans have lost 90 percent of their natural habitat in the last 20 years.
  • It is estimated that there are only 35,000 Bornean orangutans and around 7,000 Sumatran orangutans remaining in the wild, and an estimated 5,000 orangutans die each year.
  • Deforestation and destruction of orangutan habitat by humans and palm oil plantations are the primary threats to orangutans in the wild.
  • Palm oil is widely used in the production of food, cosmetics and petroleum products.
  • Nyaru Menteng is the world’s largest rescue and rehabilitation facility for orangutans, and can care for up to 600 animals at a time.
  • Nyaru Menteng rescues about 10 orangutans each month.
  • WSPA provides funding for the day-to-day care of the orangutans, as well as dedicated program managers who have vast experience in dealing with wildlife in crisis, and communications and fundraising support to ensure Nyaru Menteng receives the crucial funding needed to operate. WSPA is partnering with BOS to develop a long-term, sustainable operational and fundraising model for the foundation.

Links:
www.wspa-usa.org
www.lush.com

Media contacts:

Meryl Bailey, Communications Officer
World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)
Lincoln Plaza
89 South Street, Suite 201
Boston, MA  02111
Phone: 1-617-896-9291
Email: mbailey@wspausa.org

Brandi Halls, Public Relations Manager
LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
584 Broadway, Suite 602
New York, NY, 10012
Phone: +1 212 965 0130
Email: brandi@lush.com