Livelihoods is a carbon investment fund that helps poor rural communities by generating financial resources for projects with high social and environmental value.
The project is based on a scheme that Danone has been developing for the past three years. Since 2008, Danone has been developing new approaches to carbon offsets in Africa and Asia, supporting large-scale pilot projects that restore biodiversity, capture carbon and fight poverty.
In one pilot project, the Danone Fund for Nature purchased trucks and helped a local NGO employ the inhabitants of 450 coastal villages to collect and plant mangrove seeds and care for the trees in the long term. This project will capture 900,000 tonnes of carbon over the next 20 years.
Myriam Cohen-Welgryn, Danone’s General Manager Nature, says:
Danone’s food business is closely linked to nature’s cycles. Protecting natural springs and producing milk in sustainable conditions have been key concerns of our business units for years. Livelihoods is a new step forward, with carbon offset projects that associate restoration of natural resources and food security — two concerns at the heart of Danone’s corporate mission.
Now, following the success in Africa and Asia, Danone has invited other business to create the Livelihoods fund. The first to join Danone are Schneider Electric, Crédit Agricole and Caisse des Dépôts. Livelihoods will invest in three main programs: restoration and preservation of natural ecosystems, agroforestry and soil restoration, and rural energy projects that prevent deforestation.
In addition to this new carbon investment fund, a Livelihoods Network has been created by 80 representatives of NGOs, companies and high-level experts from Africa, Asia, Latin America. The Livelihoods Network is a forum where experts can exchange views and pool knowledge on a wide range of issues affecting livelihoods.