Munchkin Expands Partnership with IFAW to Protect Elephants, Ecosystems in Africa

a family of elephants crosses a shallow body of water in africa with the text 'Room to Roam' above.

(Credit: Room to Roam, Munchkin)

by | Aug 14, 2023

a family of elephants crosses a shallow body of water in africa with the text 'Room to Roam' above.

(Credit: Munchkin)

Munchkin is committing to wildlife conservation by becoming the primary investor in the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW) “Room to Roam” initiative, as part of the children’s products company’s broader sustainability efforts.

The company’s groundbreaking $1 million donation will go toward safeguarding the endangered African elephant and their critical migration routes. Munchkin’s support goes beyond a financial contribution, as it becomes the first company to lease 90,000 acres of land in Africa to ensure the survival of the elephants.

Protecting Elephant Migration: The Urgency of Room to Roam

The African bush elephants face numerous threats, including climate change, poaching, and habitat loss due to human encroachment. More than 90% of this species has disappeared, with the decline largely attributed to poaching.

The “Room to Roam” initiative, driven by IFAW, strives to reverse this trend by creating safe passages for elephants to migrate through protected territories. Munchkin’s substantial contribution will fund the leasing of 90,000 acres in North Western Zimbabwe, a critical zone between Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park.

Munchkin’s Overall Approach to Conservation

In its recently released 2023 sustainability report, Munchkin showcased its multifaceted commitment to preserving the planet and its inhabitants. The report highlights the following initiatives:

The Seedling Project: Nurturing a Green Transition

Munchkin has partnered with Trees for the Future to plant 4 million trees to date. The “Seedling Project” aims to counter carbon emissions and create sustainable livelihoods for farmers in Africa through agroforestry education. The project not only mitigates environmental impact but also supports local communities, fostering economic growth and nutritional security.

Zero Waste to Landfill: Reducing Carbon Footprint

Munchkin’s dedication to cutting carbon emissions is evident in its “Zero Waste to Landfill” program, which diverts significant amounts of waste from landfills. In 2022, the company said it diverted nearly 83% of waste from its U.S. warehouse. A hybrid work policy reduced carbon emissions by 350,627 pounds.

Bamboo Feeding Products: A Plastic-Alternative Solution

This year, Munchkin introduced a line of bamboo feeding products, as part of its efforts to reduce plastic usage and greenhouse emissions. Bamboo’s rapid growth and remarkable properties make it an eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastics. Munchkin’s commitment to sustainable packaging extends to these products, which are encased in 100% paper-based packaging with nearly 70% recycled content.

Empowering Communities

The success of the “Room to Roam” initiative hinges not only on protecting land but also on empowering local communities.

Munchkin’s donation will support programs like the Junior Ranger Program, which educates young conservation ambassadors along the Hwange National Park borderlands. Moreover, Munchkin contributes to initiatives like Jenga Mama, providing women with vocational training and mentorship, thereby fostering sustainable income and reducing illegal activities.

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