We pride ourselves on partnering with businesses that share our passion for the natural world and our ambitions for a greener, healthier, tree-filled future for all life on earth. This month we caught up with pet insurance provider, Animal Friends, which strives not only to improve the welfare of its customers’ pets, but of all animals and the ecosystems they inhabit.
This approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) led Animal Friends to partner with The Tree Council on our Trees and Hedgerows for Wildlife and Biodiversity grants programme. In the 2022-23 planting season, this provided funding to eighteen fantastic community planting projects in schools and communities across the UK, helping to plant and care for 180 native trees and 12,926 hedgerow whips (or 2.5km of new wildlife hedgerow!) We asked Animal Friends about their broad approach to supporting animals…
Tell us about Animal Friends’ approach to CSR, ESG and your priorities…
We were founded over 20 years ago with a single purpose: to create a better life for every animal.
Our passion for helping our customers give their pets the healthcare they need has always been mirrored by our drive for positive change in animal welfare, and consequently to give back to animal charities and conservancies around the world.
We think that every creature and organism has a crucial role to play in ensuring the sustainable future of our planet. From humble hedgerows to giant ocean allies, we believe that our business has a responsibility to help protect our precious environment. Not only must we take steps to support our most vulnerable species, but we must also act now to help protect the future of vulnerable ecosystems everywhere.
What kind of projects and charities do you support?
When it comes to protecting fragile ecosystems or vulnerable animals, we understand that there is no single approach or solution that can always provide the right support, in the right way, or at the right time. That is why we provide funding for a range of animal welfare and conservation initiatives, from large scale campaigns, to crisis appeals, to small community projects.
We support requests from local, national, and international charities, prioritising those that will ensure that food and shelter is provided to animals most in need. After these, we then share as much as we can to support critical research projects and environmental and ecosystem safeguarding initiatives, as well as funding for the growing requirements and costs involved in providing healthcare to animals.
We want to make sure that we are not only fighting the symptoms of animal neglect, abuse, or declining populations, but that we’re also working to prevent the cause. This might be by one-off donations or through long-term partnerships.
Why is charitable giving so important to your business model?
Protecting animals is in our DNA, it is what we were founded to do.
But we believe that positive change is not achieved easily, it comes through a series of small steps – often seemingly insignificant – that over time can bring about seismic shifts in progress. We know that even the smallest act of kind-heartedness has the potential to make a big difference, which is why every policy bought with us contributes to supporting unique and innovative organisations that are fighting to protect vulnerable ecosystems, educate communities, and build sustainable solutions for the benefit of all.
This core belief is also why we’ve built our giving back values into our colleague ways of working. We offer paid volunteering opportunities, donations in colleagues’ names for becoming part of the Animal Friends family, match-funding, reward incentive donations, and encourage everyone on our team to be a voice for vulnerable animals and the need for change.
Why did you choose to partner with The Tree Council?
In 2021, we were looking for new ways to have a positive impact on UK wildlife, by not only supporting animal welfare and conservation projects, but by also exploring environmental and sustainability initiatives. The Tree Council provided us with the perfect opportunity to meet both our goals through their tree and hedgerow planting programme. We learned that by replenishing these precious habitats, so synonymous with the British countryside, we could also help a variety of wildlife species live and thrive. By investing in planting, we are able to help regenerate the UK’s green spaces, improve the environment, and provide homes for multiple species of wildlife, now and for future generations to come.
We share this passion and newfound knowledge with our customers and followers to highlight the positive impact on animal welfare and conservation they contribute to by being part of the Animal Friends family. It is our hope that together, we can inspire change.
We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with Animal Friends, for the love of trees and nature!