Unilever names first project to benefit from €1bn Climate & Nature Fund

Dove’s Forest Restoration programme becomes the brand’s biggest environmental protection effort to date

Unilever has announced the first climate change project to benefit from its €1bn Climate & Nature Fund.

The Dove Forest Restoration programme aims to to protect and restore 20,000 hectares of forest in North Sumatra, Indonesia, and becomes one of the biggest environmental protection efforts ever embarked upon by the brand.

In partnership with Conservation International, the initiative to protect the natural area, which is home to some of the richest biodiversity in the world, will last five years, and is expected to benefit 16,000 local people.

To date, more than 400 million hectares of the world’s forests have been lost since 1990, according to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which amounts to 14 million hectares of forest being cut down every year.

Between 2002 and 2020, Indonesia lost 9.75 million hectares of humid primary forest, a reduction of 10% of this type of forest.

And the picture is similar in many countries of the world. Papua New Guinea and Malaysia, have all seen reductions in carbon-rich forest areas, as has areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia.

“Can we really celebrate beauty if it comes at the cost of the planet? The answer is no,” said Alessandro Manfredi, Dove’s Global Executive VP.

“We must demand action and care that goes further, both from ourselves and from the beauty industry at large.

“As a global brand with care at our core, we have a responsibility to use our platforms to drive change and positively impact the world around us.

“The Dove Forest Restoration Project builds on our commitments to caring for our planet and caring about how we make our products and what goes into them.

“With this long-term initiative, we extend this care to improving the health of the planet, striving for a more sustainable way of being.”

Unilever, along with Colgate Palmolive and L’Oréal, were among the personal care sector’s top performing conglomerates as part of Global Canopy’s Forest 500 report.

The annual survey assesses the biggest companies that have the greatest influence on deforestation, across palm oil, soy, pulp and paper, and beef.

“Beauty brands, like any company, need to recognise and identify the deforestation references in their supply chain,” says Emma Thomson, Project Manager for the report told Cosmetics Business.

“Once beauty brands have acknowledged potential exposure to deforestation, the key steps we would recommend are prospective deforestation commitments,” she added.

“These apply to all of their operations and sourcing regions for each of the forest risk commodities that they're exposed to, and makes sure they can trace those commodities back through the supply chain to a point where they can make sure they are not contributing to deforestation.”

Find out more about beauty’s impact on deforestation and what is being done to tackle the problem via the link below.

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