Joint press release- Paris, December 4, 2017.
Crédit Agricole, Danone, Firmenich, Hermès, Michelin, SAP, Schneider Electric & Voyageurs du Monde accelerate their actions for climate & the most vulnerable populations
This new impact investment fund, with a target of 100 million euros, aims at improving the lives of 2 million people and avoiding the emissions of up to 25 million tons of CO2 over a 20-year span.
On 11 December 2017 in Paris, just before the International Climate Summit, these 8 companies will officially launch the new Livelihoods Carbon Fund. They will invite other companies and impact investors to join the momentum to reach the 100 million euros investment target as of 2018. The new Livelihoods Carbon Fund will start investing in ecosystem restoration, agroforestry and energy projects next year. Projects will be mainly implemented in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Tangible results since 2011 with the 1st Livelihoods Carbon Fund
The companies investing in this new fund have been committed in the first Livelihoods Carbon Fund since 2011. Now, they are aiming to increase the scale and the number of projects which fight climate change by restoring ecosystems which provide vital resources to the most vulnerable populations. Moreover, these projects will enable companies to voluntarily offset part of their CO2 emissions, in addition to their own efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of their activities. These companies are strongly motivated by the results achieved by the initial Livelihoods Carbon Fund: 1 million beneficiaries among the poorest in developing countries; 130 million trees planted, equivalent to 5 times the surface area of Paris; 120 000 families equipped with efficient cookstoves which mitigate deforestation and preserve women’s health; 10 million tons of CO2 to be sequestrated or avoided (projects span over 10 to 20 years). An overview of these projects is available p. 4.
“The investment model of the Livelihoods Fund has proven that we can build large-scale projects connecting worlds seemingly far from each other: large companies acting against climate change and poor communities faced with the effects of climate change. The results we have achieved since 2011 encourage us to move forward by building on our learnings. This new fund offers an interesting platform to investors who want to have a real impact on climate”, says Bernard Giraud, president and cofounder of Livelihoods.
An innovative investment model & a coalition of partners
The Livelihoods Carbon Funds are built on an innovative business model where investors mutualize investment risks to finance large-scale projects. They do not receive financial dividends but carbon credits with high social and environmental value delivered by the best international standards*. The return on investment is therefore based on measurable social and climate impact.
The success of Livelihoods Funds’ projects is based on the cooperation between private investors, civil society and public institutions. Projects financed by the funds are co-designed with NGOs which also implement them by making the beneficiaries the first actors of change.
*The certification of carbon credits from Livelihoods projects
The carbon credits generated by Livelihoods projects are certified by the Gold Standard (created by WWF) and VCS (Verified Carbon Standard). This certification guarantees that the climate impact of a project has been rigorously measured, according to internationally recognized methodologies, and that the project contributes to improve the daily lives of local communities. One of the main principles of this certification is “additionality”, which implies that the climate impact of the project is directly linked to actions which have been implemented and would not have occurred without them. Read more about the certification of carbon credits.
About Livelihoods Funds
Livelihoods investment funds have been created by private companies to generate social, environmental and economic impact in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Livelihoods links private companies, NGOs, public institutions and experts. It builds public-private coalitions to develop projects generating value for all: improved livelihoods for rural communities, public goods (nature and water conservation, CO2 sequestration), sustainable sourcing and high-quality carbon credits for businesses. Livelihoods funds provide upfront financing to best-in-class project developers for the implementation of large scale projects over 10 to 20 years. Returns to the funds are results-based to guarantee that projects are delivering tangible social, environmental and economic results.Created in 2011, the first Livelihoods Carbon Fund has invested 40 million euros in mangrove restoration, agroforestry and rural energy projects. The Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming, launched in 2015, aims at building sustainable supply chains for companies while improving the lives of smallholders and promoting farming practices which are more respectful of the environment. This fund, which will invest 120 million euros over 10 years, works on strategic agricultural resources for its investors: milk, cocoa, vanilla, coconut, sugar cane, watershed conservation…
12 companies have invested in Livelihoods Funds so far: Crédit Agricole SA, Danone, Firmenich, Hermès, Groupe Caisse des Dépôts, La Poste, Mars Inc., Michelin, SAP, Schneider Electric, Veolia and Voyageurs du Monde.
Livelihoods Funds are support by: the French Development Agency (AFD), the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB), the Ramsar Convention and the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF).
About Crédit Agricole
Crédit Agricole is one of the major players financing the energy transition and the transition towards a low-carbon economy. Its pre-eminent position, business expertise, economic weight (net banking income of 31.3 billion Euros) and size (138,000 employees) make up a number of assets to help finance this new economy in a sustainable, dynamic way. Crédit Agricole’s goals are to accelerate the transition towards a low-carbon economy, protect the environment and act as a driving force with substantial impact. The Group has established climate objectives during the COP21 in 2015, the results of which in mid-2017 are as follows:
- 49 billion euros in arrangements supporting the energy transition out of the 60 billion euros announced over three years (2016-2018);
- More than 1.7 billion euros of cash invested in green bonds out of the 2 billion euros planned by Credit Agricole S.A. and Credit Agricole CIB by end-2017;
- 21% increase in renewable energy financing in France in 2016 (514 million euros versus 425 million euros in 2015), compared with a commitment of a 100% increase by 2018;
- 150 million euros of financing out of the 5 billion euros planned by 2020 through specialist fund management companies.
As a long-standing partner of Livelihoods since 2011, Crédit Agricole continues and reinforces its commitment within the fund.
Dedicated to bringing health through food to as many people as possible, Danone is a leading global food company built on four business lines: Essential Dairy and Plant-Based Products, Early Life Nutrition, Waters and Medical Nutrition. Through its mission and dual commitment to business success and social progress, the company aims to build a healthier future, thanks to better health, better lives and a better world, for all its stakeholders—its more than 100,000 employees, consumers, customers, suppliers, shareholders and all the communities with which it engages. www.danone.com
“Danone announced the ambition to become fully carbon neutral by 2050, in resonance with its One Planet. One Health strategic vision. The first Livelihoods Carbon Fund has successfully been supporting this objective, developing climate positive solutions while restoring ecosystems and providing social benefits to local communities. It is thus with great enthusiasm that we support today the creation of this second fund to continue co-creating solutions for a decarbonized economy”, explains Cécile Cabanis, Danone’s Executive Vice President, CFO, IS/IT, Procurement & Cycles.
Firmenich is the world’s largest privately-owned company in the fragrance and flavor business. Founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1895, it has created many of the world’s best-known perfumes and flavors that billions of consumers enjoy each day. Its passion for smell and taste is at the heart of its success. It is renowned for its world-class research and creativity, as well as its thought leadership in sustainability and exceptional understanding of consumer trends. Each year, it invests 10% of its turnover in R&D, reflecting its continuous desire to understand, share and sublimate the best that nature has to offer. Firmenich had an annual turnover of 3.34 billion Swiss Francs at end June 2017. More information about Firmenich is available at www.firmenich.com
“We firmly believe in strategic partnerships to scale up our impact as we tackle major challenges, such as climate change,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO Fimenich. “I am excited about this new Carbon Fund, our most ambitious and innovative to date, as it will positively preserve nature, while enhancing the livelihoods of farming communities around the world.”
Since Hermès was founded in Paris in 1837, six generations of passionate entrepreneurs and artisans have passed on to their heirs a culture of beautiful materials and exquisite craftsmanship, a love of objects made to last, and a permanent quest for innovation. Hermès is managed by Axel Dumas, CEO since 2013, with Pierre-Alexis Dumas as its Artistic Director, both of whom are sixth-generation members of the founding family.
These values of craftsmanship permeate the entire company and form the basis of the Group’s ambition in the field of sustainable development. Hermès is strongly committed to respecting nature, the source of its exceptional materials and the setting of its production sites, and endeavours to be a responsible corporate citizen everywhere that it operates.
Hermès employs over 13,000 people around the world, including 8,000 in France. More than 5,000 artisans work at the Group’s 50 production sites.
“In connection with its artisanal roots, Hermès wanted to be involved in this ambitious project which is designed for the long term. We are delighted to see the concrete results that are transforming the daily lives of the communities concerned, confirming the relevance of this initiative. We are working with our partners in a spirit of friendly and committed collaboration that we will continue to develop by joining the new Livelihoods Fund,” explains Axel Dumas, Executive Chairman of Hermès.
Michelin is committed to improving the mobility of its customers over the long term. A leader in the tire industry, Michelin designs, manufactures and distributes tires that are closely adapted to the needs and usage conditions as well as services and other solutions that make mobility more efficient. Michelin also provides offerings that enable its customers to experience unique moments during their trips and travels. In addition, Michelin has developed high-tech materials for manufacturing companies in the mobility sector. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, Michelin is present in 170 countries, has 111,700 employees and operates 68 plants in 17 countries that together produced 187 million tires in 2016. www.michelin.com
SAP is the world’s largest provider of enterprise application software. 76% of the world’s transactions are touched by an SAP system. SAP’s vision and purpose is to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. Our solutions enable our over 365.000 customers to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
We aim to lead by example: In 2009, SAP has set itself an ambitious target to reduce emissions back to levels of 2000 by 2020, despite significant company growth. Initiatives include: LEED certifications for buildings, carpooling solution SAP TwoGo, carbon neutral train travel in Germany, investment in Livelihoods Fund (2013), introduction of green cloud / 100% renewable electricity for data centers and facilities, commitment to 20% e-cars in ﬂeet by 2020, green events through 100% renewable energy, leasing bicycles, 50 sites ISO 140001 certiﬁed, carbon pricing for business ﬂights, carbon neutral fuel card, commitment to set Science Based Targets for 2050. Goal: carbon neutrality by 2025. See Infographic .
Daniel Schmid, Chief Sustainability Officer, SAP SE: “Since 2013, we have committed to a 20-year participation in the fund that supports the sustainability of rural communities worldwide. The new carbon fund with its focus on ecosystem restoration, agroforestry and energy projects is a perfect fit to our vision and purpose, and it helps us reach our 2025 carbon neutrality goal.”
About Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is leading the Digital Transformation of Energy Management and Automation in Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries.
With global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider is the undisputable leader in Power Management – Medium Voltage, Low Voltage and Secure Power, and in Automation Systems. We provide integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation and software.
In our global Ecosystem, we collaborate with the largest Partner, Integrator and Developer Community on our Open Platform to deliver real-time control and operational efficiency.
We believe that great people and partners make Schneider a great company and that our commitment to Innovation, Diversity and Sustainability ensures that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment. www.schneider-electric.com
« We are very proud to be partner of the new Livelihoods carbon fund. It is another step in our contribution to build a more sustainable world and it is totally consistent with the SDGs reducing carbon emissions while improving livelihood conditions and development in emerging countries”, Gilles Vermot Desroches, Chief Sustainability Officer, Schneider Electric.
About Voyageurs du Monde
Voyageurs du Monde is a French group of tour operators that sells its products through three bespoke holiday brands – Voyageurs du Monde, Comptoir des Voyages, and Uniktours- and a collection of nature and adventure holiday brands- Terres d’Aventure, Allibert Trekking, Nomade Aventure and Chamina Voyages. The group employs more than 1300 people from 40 different countries. In 2016, it reported a turnover of €379 million.
Voyageurs du Monde set up the Insolites Batisseurs association to combat climate change and poverty. Insolites Batisseurs is committed to the conservation of our forests and to the economic development of poorer countries, and encourages the tourism industry to embrace these values. In recognition of the industry’s need to offset carbon emissions, Insolites Batisseurs has invested in the Livelihoods Fund. The objective today is to continue this carbon offsetting program through the second Livelihoods Fund.
“This decision was taken on the basis of Livelihoods’ excellent carbon offset strategy and the diversity of its funding projects, which mutualizes the risk. Furthermore, Insolites Batisseurs can offer every project it supports its tourism expertise to help develop local economies,” said Lionel Habasque, Managing Director of Voyageurs du Monde and President of the Insolites Batisseurs association.