L’Oréal announces its latest fund recipients to boost the world’s natural beauty

05 May 2023 by Ricardo Pengel
blog author

​​L’Oréal has unveiled three new innovators for its nature regeneration fund to boost carbon capture in soil, reforestation and restoration of mangroves.

The French cosmetics firm announced the recipients are NetZero, ReforesTerra and Mangroves, in recognition of their innovation and drive to create a positive impact on the environment and local communities.

The Fund for Nature Regeneration has committed EUR22million in projects, to date, supporting the restoration of marine areas and forests and aiding the regeneration of degraded lands and mangroves to tackle biodiversity loss.

The company is strengthening its historic commitment to biodiversity in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which is calling for further global support and efforts to preserve biodiversity.

The trio championing biodiversity

The decision to choose these latest projects resulted from key criteria which scrutinised economic viability, positive environmental and social impacts and business model readiness.

1. NetZero – This French climate venture operates in tropical areas such as Brazil and Cameroon. It focuses on long-term atmospheric carbon removal by transforming agricultural residues into ‘biochar’, a non-polluting carbon capable of improving degraded soil. The IPCC recognises biochar as a viable solution which could potentially remove one to two billion tons of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere each year.

2. ReforesTerra – has set a target to restore 2,000 hectares of degraded land damaged by pastures. This is one of the key challenges affecting the Amazon so the project will support smallholder farmers to directly plant new trees and encourage natural regeneration in the lower Rio Jamari basin of Rondônia. This will cover three-quarters of the project area while the remaining quarter will benefit from small clusters of plants strategically placed to attract wildlife and propagate new forests. This project is one of the largest Afforestation, Reforestation and Revegetation (ARR) projects in Brazil.

3. MangrovesNow – is a new fund located in Singapore that will facilitate community-based mangrove restoration projects in South Asian countries such as Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. For the past three decades, this region has been the most affected by mangrove deforestation and the fund will help finance small-scale projects with local NGOs. The long-term plan is to restore approximately 20,000 hectares of degraded land and provide equitable benefit-sharing with local communities.

Protecting animals and species and their threatened habitats

According to the UN Environment Programme, the planet is experiencing its largest loss of life since the dinosaurs, with one million plant and animal species now under threat of extinction.

Rachel Barré, Environmental Leadership Director, L’Oréal Groupe, said: “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.

“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.”

Muriel Atias, Chief Investment Officer, L’Oréal Groupe, said: “Our vision for value creation is one where financial performance and environmental and socio-economic impact are inextricably linked.

“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.”

Ricardo Pengel, Principal Consultant – Sustainable Business, Acre EU, said: “Rejuvenating and protecting biodiversity from damage is a core element of environmental sustainability to help safeguard our vulnerable planet.

“Devising an effective impact investment strategy can result in the restoration of threatened ecosystems with prevention of further degradation of our land.

“L’Oréal’s Fund for Nature Regeneration demonstrates how a business can successfully align both financial and social performance with long-term nature-positive results.”

By 2030, the L’Oréal Fund for Nature Regeneration will have helped restore one million hectares of degraded ecosystems, helped capture 15 to 20 million tons of CO2 and created hundreds of job opportunities.

It was launched in 2020 with EUR50million for impact investment, managed by Mirova Natural Capital, a subsidiary of Natixis Investment Managers, a natural capital investment pioneer.