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L’Oréal Fund for Nature Regeneration Accelerates Biodiversity Preservation Efforts with Three New Investments

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 07:18 pm

Ahead of Earth Day, L’Oréal today announced three new recipients of its Fund for Nature Regeneration. NetZero, ReforesTerra and Mangroves.Now were chosen for their innovative approaches to carbon capture in soils, reforestation and mangrove restoration, and for their potential to have a far-reaching, positive impact on the environment and local communities.

According to the COP15[1], one million species are already threatened with extinction and 75% of the earth’s surface has been significantly altered. With the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calling for more global cooperation in biodiversity preservation efforts[2], L’Oréal is accelerating its longstanding commitment to biodiversity beyond its own value chain. Through the fund, which has committed EUR22 million in projects to-date, L’Oréal is engaging with partners with proven expertise to support in the regeneration of degraded lands and mangroves, as well as the restoration of marine areas and forests.

The latest projects were selected following due diligence and based on key criteria including business model readiness, economic viability, and positive environmental and social impacts.

NetZero is a French climate venture operating in tropical areas such as Cameroon and Brazil, that specializes in long-term carbon removal from the atmosphere by turning agricultural residues into biochar. Biochar is a stable, non-polluting carbon that can be added to improve degraded soil. It is recognized by the IPCC as a viable solution with the potential to remove one-to-two billion tons of CO2 emissions from the planet’s atmosphere each year.

ReforesTerra aims to restore 2,000 hectares of land degraded by pastures – one of the greatest challenges facing the Amazon. The project will engage with smallholder farmers to directly plant new trees and create a favorable environment for natural regeneration in the lower Rio Jamari basin of Rondônia, covering 75 per cent of the project area. The remaining 25 per cent will benefit from strategic planting in small clusters that attracts wildlife to naturally propagate new forests. This project is one of the largest Afforestation, Reforestation and Revegetation (ARR) projects in Brazil.

Mangroves.Now will facilitate community-based mangrove restoration projects in southeast Asian countries such as Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. This region has been the most affected by mangrove deforestation in the last thirty years. Mangroves.Now will provide access to financing for small-scale projects with local NGOs. The aim is to restore approximately 70,000 hectares of previously degraded land and provide equitable benefit-sharing with local communities.

“At L’Oréal Groupe, our environmental duty goes beyond our business. It is our responsibility to address today’s most pressing challenges, like the erosion of biodiversity and its social and ecological impact,” said Rachel Barré, Environmental Leadership Director, L’Oréal Groupe. “The L’Oréal Fund for Nature Regeneration is an important vehicle in our efforts towards a more sustainable future for all. With the new projects signed, our aim is to help restore the planet’s biodiversity and preserve its abundant ecosystems.”

 “Our vision for value creation is one where financial performance and environmental and socio-economic impact are inextricably linked,” said Muriel Atias, Chief Investment Officer, L’Oréal Groupe. “The L’Oréal Fund for Nature Regeneration is a catalyst for sustainable value creation through private capital, enabling the acceleration of environmental solutions with long-term benefit. Through our impact investing strategy, we can play an important role in tackling biodiversity loss with expert local partners.”

The L’Oréal Fund for Nature Regeneration was created in 2020 and is endowed with EUR 50 million for impact investment. In 2021, L’Oréal announced the first two recipients of funds: the Real Wild Estates Company (RWEC), the UK’s first rewilding business; and RIZE carbon financing, which helps accelerate France’s farming sector towards sustainable practices. The fund is managed by Mirova Natural Capital, a subsidiary of Natixis Investment Managers, one of the pioneers in natural capital investment.

[1] UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15), Montreal, Canada, December 2022

[2] Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, IPCC, February 2022

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