Press Release:
Livelihoods Venture announces the appointment of its CEO

Livelihoods Venture, a social business based in Paris which manages the design, implementation and monitoring of the Livelihoods Funds projects is announcing today a significant change in its leadership with the appointment of a Chief Executive Officer. Eric Soubeiran, the current Managing Director of Unilever’s €1 billion Climate and Nature Fund and Vice-President Business Operations Sustainability will join Livelihoods team and take up his new role in June 2024.

After a comprehensive search process, Livelihoods Venture is pleased to welcome Eric Soubeiran, to lead the Livelihoods Funds into their next phase of growth and efforts to scale-up nature-based solutions. As Bernard Giraud, Co-Founder of Livelihoods Venture and currently executive President said: “Eric Soubeiran’s appointment is a major step in Livelihoods’ development and contribution to our mission. Eric will bring his great professional experience and personal values to help Livelihoods enhance its contribution to the ecological, economic and social challenges of our planet”.

In his current role within Unilever, Eric Soubeiran is in charge of the operationalization of the world-famous brand’s sustainability strategy across its value chain focusing on greenhouse gas emission reduction and overseeing the implementation of regenerative and nature positive strategies. Eric Soubeiran has previously held several industry leadership positions at international level for Danone as Chief Sustainability Officer, European Milk Sourcing Director, as well as operational responsibilities in marketing and general management in France, India and the Netherlands.

Eric will take over the operational responsibility of Livelihoods Venture and its development. Among other priorities, Eric will have to manage Livelihoods Venture’s fast growth as well as its large international network of coalitions with NGOs, businesses and public partners to scale-up solutions and projects to benefit people, nature and climate. Livelihoods Venture is currently operating 3 carbon funds (LCF1 2011, LCF2 2017, LCF3 2021) and is about to launch a 4th Carbon Fund to serve the zero net commitments of its long-term committed corporate investors. Since the creation of the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming (L3F) in 2015, Livelihoods has also developed its technical and financial support in regenerative agriculture to meet companies’ needs in the transformation of their supply chains. Accelerating Livelihoods’ activity toward a sustainable and productive agriculture in Europe as well as in Africa, Asia and Latin America will be a priority for the new CEO.

In his new position, Eric Soubeiran will work in close cooperation with Bernard Giraud who remains President of Livelihoods Venture. Bernard Giraud co-founded Livelihoods in 2011 and is currently the executive President of the company. While Eric will be handed over the operational role, Bernard will chair Livelihoods Venture Board of Directors and will continue to play an active role in the strategy as well as the managerial and financial decisions of the company. In this position, Bernard will stay in close connection with the funds governance as well as Livelihoods projects and teams. His close relationship with Eric Soubeiran will allow to make sure that Livelihoods’ vision and values, as described in Livelihoods founding Charter will continue to inspire and drive Livelihoods action on the ground.

About Livelihoods:
Livelihoods is a private sector initiative investing in large scale projects of natural ecosystem restoration, regenerative agriculture, agroforestry and rural energy aiming at creating sustainable ecological and social value. Since its creation in 2011, the Livelihoods Funds have accompanied companies in their long-term commitments on climate, biodiversity, water while improving local communities livelihood. With 300m€ invested so far, Livelihoods projects have contributed to achieve significant impacts such as 4million tons CO2eq stored or avoided, 80,000 hectares of land restored, 150 million trees planted, 2 million people whose lives have been improved. A specifity of Livelihoods is its cooperative model: investors in the Livelihoods funds are fully associated to the investment decision and fund governance.

Livelihoods strategic pillars are twofold:

Within the value chain: Livelihoods partners with large corporations that source raw material from agriculture or forestry to help them transform their supply chain and meet their social and ecological commitments. Livelihoods has developed a range of large scale projects with smallholder farmers in cocoa, coconut, vanilla, shea, coffee, dairy, palm, etc., to address both poverty and sustainability issues. In mature economies, Livelihoods mobilizes coalitions of actors along the value chain from farmers to cooperatives, processors and brands to foster regenerative agriculture practices to restore soils and biodiversity while storing carbon

Beyond the value chain: Livelihoods Carbon Funds (LCF) work with companies committed to become zero net. In addition to their effort to curb carbon emissions in their operations, product design, etc. these companies invest in Livelihoods projects which provide them with high quality carbon credits.

About Livelihoods Venture:
Livelihoods Venture is a social business mandated by the Livelihoods Funds to lead the origination, the design and the monitoring of the projects in which the funds invest.
Livelihoods Venture operates in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe with a team of 50 agronomists, foresters, rural development practitioners, carbon, M&E and finance experts, from 12 nationalities who manage Livelihoods portfolio of projects through a large network of NGOs, suppliers, public agencies.
Learn more about the team.

About Eric Soubeiran:

Eric Soubeiran started his career in strategy consulting and merger & acquisitions. He has held several general management positions in the medical industry as well as at Danone where he led the milk sourcing strategy during milk market liberalization coordinating a network of 6,000 farmers across Europe between 2013 and 2017. He was instrumental in integrating sustainability as one of the sourcing pillars. Lastly, he oversaw the sustainability strategy of Danone.

In 2021, Eric joined Unilever as Managing Director of Unilever’s Climate and Nature Fund and Vice-President Business Operations Sustainability. Unilever decided in 2020 to invest € 1bn over the next 10 years to take decisive action to protect the health of our planet. In his role, Eric is therefore in charge of the operationalization of Unilever’s sustainability strategy across the entire company value chain specifically overseeing with his team the implementation of Regenerative Agriculture.

Eric is passionate about mountaineering and climbing. He remains directly involved in farming and forest protection in Southern France.

Press Contact: Marion Daras-Carlier, Director of Communications & Network,