Jason Isaacs and Richard Curtis create comedy anti-deforestation spot

Work by Lucky Generals asks people to look at where their pension is being invested.

Richard Curtis’ Make My Money Matter has enlisted Harry Potter actor Jason Isaacs for a campaign highlighting the role of pensions on deforestation.

Created by Lucky Generals, “No nasty surprises” shows Isaacs as he plays Guy Byrne-Wood – the chief executive of a fake business called the Forestry Felling Syndicate (FFS for short).

The actor goes on to thank people for investing their pensions with FFS as they have enabled the business to “destroy more national habitat than [they] ever thought possible, from Alaska to the Amazon, Siberia to Sudan".

It ends with an image of deforestation in action, prompting the tagline: “Do you know where your pension is going?”

The work was directed by David Kerr through Hungry Man, and is supported by social activity. 

“Most of us would be horrified to learn that our pensions are funding companies that destroy rainforests and damage our planet, companies personified by Jason Isaacs’ nasty Guy Byrne-Woods,” Curtis, co-founder of Make My Money Matter, said.

“Yet we know from our own research that the majority (72%) of people do not know whether their pension is invested in line with their values, and that deforestation and environmental degradation continues across the globe.”

According to research from WWF, football fields of forest are destroyed every minute by deforestation, adding up to the equivalent of an area the size of London lost each week.

Curtis added: “This film is a bit of Christmas fun – but also highlights the serious threats we face if we don’t make our money matter – and calls on all UK pension funds to commit to Net Zero targets and deforestation free portfolios. 

“We believe now is the moment for all UK savers to have pensions they can be proud of.”

The campaign encourages people to sign Make My Money Matter’s petition, which urges the pensions industry to commit to Net Zero targets and deforestation free portfolios.

Danny Brooke-Taylor, founder at Lucky Generals, said: “This is a time of year when organisations thank their customers, people and investors for their support; and, of course, that will be especially the case in 2020.

"But we wanted to subvert that tradition with a thank you message that none of us would like to receive, from an organisation that none of us would want to associate with (FFS)."