Livelihoods: environmental and human projects
Beyond its own commitments to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption, Michelin also invests in environmentally friendly projects outside its direct scope. As one of the 10 investors in the Livelihoods fund, we contribute to initiatives which combine environmental and social impact.
Totally funded by just a few companies, the Livelihoods fund is currently supporting 9 projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In our opinion, the support they provide to developing rural populations is essential. The projects may concern the restoration of degraded ecosystems like the planting mangrove trees in the Casamance and Sine Saloum delta in Senegal (largest mangrove restoration programme in the world with 80 million trees planted) or agroforestry in the valley of Araku in India. They may also be operations such as the distribution of improved cookstoves to local populations. More efficient than traditional stoves, they use 50% less fuel and heat more efficiently. Women are less exposed to toxic noxious smokes, which cause around 4,3 million deaths per year, and spend less time collecting wood.
What interests us about the Livelihoods fund is the desire to develop large-scale projects to fight climate change whilst improving the livelihoods of rural communities. The 9 projects of the Livelihoods Carbon Fund contribute to the improvement of the livelihoods of about 1 million people. Moreover, they will avoid the emission of around 10 million tons of greenhouse gas (which is roughly equivalent to the emissions of 3 million cars during one year).
Return on investment to the Livelihoods Fund, in the form of carbon credits with high social value, is result-based to guarantee projects are delivering tangible results. Michelin uses these carbon credits to offset part of its emissions.
Rubber trees in Cerro San Gil, Guatemala
The region of Cerro San Gil in Guatemala has been particularly degraded by deforestation. To help its inhabitants, underprivileged Maya and Ladinos tribes, an agroforestry project was established in collaboration with the government and a local NGO, FundaEco. Its aim is to replant trees in an area covering 4,000 hectares, encouraging mixed farming to avoid soil degradation and guarantee a stable income for the farmers. Farmers are supported to grow new crops like coffee, pepper, cardamom and... natural rubber! Michelin was directly involved in this project and brought advice to local communities on different aspects: most suitable varieties, fertility of hevea nurseries and their protection against bad weather, best intercropping practices (namely with maize), pruning… The goal was to empower farmers with sustainable practices which optimize hevea production while preserving the environment.
To date, 2,250 ha have already been restored by the local communities with the support of FundaEco (1,7 million of which 1/3 are hevea trees).
For all its projects, Livelihoods provides upfront financing to local operators, in particular NGOs, and is committed to long-term projects, with 10 or 20 years support. The primary goal is to improve living conditions of rural communities by giving people the tools and training to implement sustainable practices. We can only approve and support such projects, which helps the most vulnerable populations find the best way to move forward to the future.
Leran more about the project : Livelihoods