On December 11, 2017, ahead of the One Planet Climate Summit, Crédit Agricole, Danone, Firmenich, Hermès, Michelin, SAP, Schneider Electric and Voyageurs du Monde will officially launch the new Livelihoods Carbon Fund. The follow-up to the first Livelihoods Carbon Fund, created in 2011, the impact investment fund aims to improve the lives of two million people and prevent 25 million tons of CO2 over a 20-year period.
Together, these eight companies will encourage other organizations and impact investors to invest in the initiative to reach the €100 million investment target as of 2018. With the funds raised, the Livelihoods will invest in ecosystem restoration, agroforestry and energy projects commencing next year, with a focus on developing countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. 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.
“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 change,” said Bernard Giraud, president and co-founder of Livelihoods.
All eight participating companies invested in the initial Livelihoods Carbon Fund, the success of which motivated their continued involvement. In its first round, the Fund saw the planting of 130 million trees; the provision of efficient cookstoves to 120,000 families in an effort to mitigate deforestation and improve women’s health; and the sequestering or avoiding of 10 million tons of CO2.
“With 2017 set to be one of the top three hottest years on record, business should play an even bigger leadership role to tackle climate change,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO of Firmenich. “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. By joining this impact fund with like-minded visionary companies, we can all scale up our impact together.”
The Livelihoods Carbon Funds are built on a 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 international standards. The return on investment is therefore based on measurable social and environmental 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.