LVMH Partners With UNESCO to Combat Deforestation in the Amazon
At the "Our Planet, Our Future" forum this week, LVMH unveiled its four-pronged strategy for biodiversity—part of the company's LIFE 360 programme (LVMH Initiatives For the Environment), which is part of LVMH's goal to have a net positive impact on biodiversity. LVMH has been a longtime partner of UNESCO's MAB (Man and the Biosphere) programme, which turns 50 this year.
According to the announcement at the forum, LVMH's plan will focus on:
- "Establishing a clear and precise measurement of biodiversity impact
- Avoiding and reducing impact on ecosystems
- Promoting animal welfare and
- Regenerating ecosystems"
By 2030, the company has made it a goal to regenerate five million hectares of natural habitat. Current projects already underway at LVMH brands include: Guerlain's "Guerlain for Bees Conservation Program"; the "Living Soils" regeneration programme operated under the auspices of Moet Hennessy; and Stella McCartney-backed regenerative agriculture pilot projects.
"Luxury is at the intersection of nature and creativity: we need nature in order to craft our high-quality products, and nature must be renewed and safeguarded," said Antoine Arnault, of LVMH Image & Environment, in a statement.
"As the world leader in luxury, LVMH has committed to making the protection of biodiversity an absolute priority, and to being an exemplary actor of change–audacious, creative and demanding in building a more sustainable future.
"The ambitious goals we continue to set ourselves for reducing our environmental footprint are regarded as creative opportunities far more than fresh limitations. The 'ACT for biodiversity' partnership with UNESCO is a key pillar of our strategy, enabling us to challenge the norms, to have a positive and lasting impact beyond our supply chain, and to demonstrate that it is possible to reconcile economic development and protection of nature."
LVMH will work with UNESCO to launch a €5 million programme dedicated to fighting deforestation in the Amazon—dealing specifically with contributing factors and water pollution in the Amazon Basin, honing in on biosphere reserves in Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, and Peru. The initiative will work with local organisations to examine issues such as "reforestation and rehabilitation of degraded lands" and the "creation of sustainable employment and alternative sources of income."
"For half a century, UNESCO has been a pioneer in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity," said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, in a statement. "The UNESCO world network of biosphere reserves already numbers more than 700 sites of experimentation and sustainable solutions. By itself, this network already represents more than 5 per cent of the Earth’s surface. Marking the 50th anniversary of this program, our partnership with the LVMH Group is a concrete way of bringing this accumulated experience to fruition."