Unilever launches forest restoration project to revitalize communities and regenerate biodiversity in North Sumatra, Indonesia

Ahead of World Environment Day, the soap brand Dove unveiled the Dove Forest Restoration Project, billed by the Unilever as one of the largest restoration ND CONSERVATION efforts of any beauty industry brand to date.

The project is designed to protect and restore forests, protect the habitats of endangered species, and revitalize the livelihoods of 16,000 people who call North Sumatra, Indonesia home.

In partnership with Conservation International, and in support of their collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF), Dove will protect and restore 20,000 hectares of forest (an area approximately double the size of Paris) in North Sumatra, Indonesia—home to some of the richest biodiversity in the world—over five years.

The Dove Forest Restoration Project is estimated to capture over 300,000 tons of CO2 from the air and avoid the release of over 200,000 tons of CO2e emissions. These projected impacts will be monitored and evaluated in accordance with Indonesia’s articulated carbon policies.

This initiative also builds upon ongoing plans Dove is accelerating to achieve a deforestation-free supply chain by 2023 and net zero emissions from its products by 2039.

Can we really celebrate beauty if it comes at the cost of the planet? The answer is no. 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,” said Alessandro Manfredi, global executive vice president of Dove.

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,” he added.

The Dove Forest Restoration project is the first major initiative from the €1 billion Unilever Climate & Nature Fund and aligns with the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our world. That’s why it’s so important for Dove – one of the largest beauty brands in the world – to take meaningful and decisive action,” said Sunny Jain, president, beauty and personal Care at Unilever. “This is also the first step in Unilever’s Positive Beauty commitment to help protect and regenerate 1.5 million hectares of land, forests and oceans by 2030, which is more land than is required to grow the renewable ingredients in our beauty and personal care products.

The Dove Forest Restoration Project—which will target the South Tapanuli and Mandailing Natal districts—supports Conservation International in its agreement with the Indonesian government to conserve and restore the region’s rich ecosystems and to promote the sustainable management of natural resources in ways that improve the livelihoods of the local communities.

We are delighted to be partnering with Dove and the Government of Indonesia to restore forests in the region – an area that is profoundly important to the well-being of people and wildlife everywhere. When a brand like Dove puts climate change and nature at the heart of its purpose, the impact is game-changing. Together, Dove, Conservation International and Indonesia’s leadership will build on the work we have started with Unilever to protect and restore this region, its wildlife, and support its communities. I look forward to continuing to create conservation success together in Indonesia. Investments like the Dove Forest Restoration Project are essential to changing the trajectory of the planet for the next generation,” noted M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International

In addition to capturing and avoiding vast amounts of climate-warming carbon, the Dove Forest Restoration Project will contribute to biodiversity conservation in the region and also contribute toward Indonesia’s larger targets for restoring forest and strengthening communities’ sustainable management of forest resources.

The Dove Forest Restoration Project will help:

  • Support local communities with the aim of improving the livelihoods of 16,000 people in the North Sumatra region. This work complements parent company Unilever’s engagement in the Coalition of Sustainable Livelihoods partnership, which also aims to accelerate sustainable economic development in North Sumatra.
  • Deliver biodiversity benefits such as the protection and restoration of habitats for many endangered species including the Sumatran Tiger, Sunda Pangolin, Sumatran Clouded Leopard, Malayan Tapir, Black Sumatran Langur and Sambar Deer. Reestablished forest cover will also reduce the impact of natural disasters such as flooding and landslides.

Photo of orangutan in Sumatra is by Timo Schlüter from Pixabay.

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