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Kering and L’Occitane Group launch €300m Climate Fund for Nature!

Luxury fashion firm Kering has partnered with multinational beauty firm L’Occitane Group to launch a €300m (£258m) Climate Fund for Nature at COP15 in Montreal.

The companies have teamed together to launch the Climate Fund for Nature, which will mobilise finance from the luxury fashion and beauty sectors to fund projects that help restore and protect nature, train farmers and empower women.

The two firms have confirmed that €140m (£120m) has been committed out of a total €300m (£258m) target size. The fund will be open to other companies to help support the scaling of on-the-ground projects focused on restoration, regenerative farming practices and carbon credits. It features a specific emphasis on women empowerment.

The Fund was unveiled at the UN’s 15th Biodiversity COP. Negotiations on a new global treaty for nature began last week and will run through to Saturday 17 December. It will officially open in 2023 and will be managed by Mirova, the affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers.

Kering’s chief sustainability and institutional affairs officer Marie-Claire Daveu said: “The Climate Fund for Nature provides an opportunity for the Luxury Fashion and Beauty sectors to collectively support biodiversity restoration and conservation at scale.

“Kering is proud to collaborate with Mirova and we welcome the fund’s first partner L’occitane Group. Innovative financing mechanisms are crucial to channel much-needed investment into nature-based solutions if we are to reverse biodiversity decline by 2030 and, simultaneously, address climate change, which is intrinsically interlinked with nature. We entreat further companies to join this ambitious initiative to contribute to a nature-positive future.”

Research suggests that investments in nature-based solutions need to at least triple by 2030 and four-fold by 2050, equating to up to $10trn and annual investments of $674bn.

As such, both firms have been quick to focus on biodiversity as part of their wider, respective corporate strategies.

French multinational beauty firm L’Occitane Group announced its intention to deliver a net-positive impact on nature by 2025 – a visitation underpinned with a new biodiversity strategy.

The strategy is centred around four principles for intervention: avoiding negative impacts on nature wherever possible; minimising negative impacts where complete elimination is not possible; restoring ecosystems in regions from which materials are sourced and collaborating across the value chain for “collective action”.

L’Occitane Group explained in a statement that the strategy was developed off the back of a biodiversity diagnosis, baselining the company’s impact to date, conducted in partnership with the Science-Based Targets Network. The statement called the strategy “far from a theoretical exercise”, stating that it “reinforces an existing long-term commitment by giving the Group a clear framework of behaviour covering the five key areas of biodiversity loss: land-/sea-use change, resource exploitation, pollution, invasive alien species and climate change”.

The new biodiversity strategy builds on the business’s existing commitments to achieve B-Corp certification by 2023 and to achieve net-zero operational emissions by 2030.

As for Kering, the company has announced the first cohort of seven projects to receive a grant from its ‘Regenerative Fund for Nature’, which was first unveiled in January 2021 as part of a partnership between the luxury fashion major and Conservation International.

The aim of the fund is to support projects that will collectively transform one million hectares of land to host regenerative practices by 2025. Included in Kering Group’s 2021 cohort for the funding are projects supporting the leather, cotton, wool and cashmere industries across Argentina, France, India, Mongolia, South Africa and Spain.

L’Occitane’s chief sustainability officer Adrien Geiger said: “With our planet facing a global climate and biodiversity crisis never witnessed before, L’Occitane Group is proud to join forces with Kering and Mirova to scale-up its action against the degradation of nature, which provides the very resources and services we rely on.

“While reducing our emissions and impacts is our priority, the Climate Fund for Nature will help us go further by supporting projects that encourage regenerative practices, benefiting both nature and communities.”

Last week, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched a set of guidelines for businesses looking to deliver a net-positive impact on nature, co-developed with the input of 60 firms with a combined value of more than $2trn.

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