On January 19, 2020, Switzerland-based cosmetics company L’OCCITANE Group announced the creation of a fund to restore ecosystems that have been severely affected by natural disasters, such as the devastating fires in the Amazon and in Australia.
Aiming to restore and protect biodiversity for future generations, the L’OCCITANE Ecosystem Restoration Fund aims to respond to climate emergencies on an ad hoc basis. The fund will be financed by a voluntary internal donation campaign among L’OCCITANE’s shareholders.
Since its creation in 1976, L’OCCITANE says it has been committed to reducing its environmental impact throughout the entire value chain and has devoted company resources to respecting the biodiversity in the South of France and in Burkina Faso.
Now, like an ever-increasing number of major corporations that have been joining the restoration economy, they are going beyond simply slowing down the rate at which they destroy the world (sustainable development), and moving on to restorative development, which also fixes damage that has already been inflicted on our planet.
The L’OCCITANE’s sustainable ingredients department and the L’OCCITANE Foundation, created in 2006, have been actively involved in conserving local plant species and establishing long-term partnerships with producers based on shared values, as well as using local supply channels, preserving traditional skills and supporting local communities. Adopting a holistic approach, the Group involves all stakeholders in this mission, for example by raising awareness among employees and customers.
Alongside these ongoing efforts, L’OCCITANE seeks to be able to respond to environmental disasters as they unfold. The Group has pledged to set up a support fund of €400,000 to help finance long-lasting projects dedicated to the regeneration of severely damaged ecosystems. €200,000 will be donated as an immediate contribution to tree-planting and agroforestry schemes to help restore Australia’s landscape over the next 10 years.
The projects will be carefully chosen by the L’OCCITANE Foundation, together with the company’s agricultural engineers and its operational teams in Australia. With this, L’OCCITANE deepens its commitment to its existing global tree-planting initiative in partnership with PUR Projet.
Reinold Geiger, CEO of the L’OCCITANE Group, said, “We are truly shocked and saddened to see the devastation from the recent fires that have destroyed beautiful landscapes, native wildlife and communities in different parts of the world. As responsible business leaders, we cannot just sit back and watch. We need to do our part to help rebuild a healthy ecosystem for the sake of the generations to come.”
Photo of large, out-of-control bushfire approaching Yanderra, New South Wales on December 20, 2019 is by Helitak430 via Wikipedia.