Michelin is partnering with Livelihoods, a "voluntary carbon offset" fund for private companies
Livelihoods: Basic principles and objectives
Livelihoods is an investment fund whose objective is to provide its investors with “socially intensive carbon credits while seeking the best balance between the financial value of the credits and the value created for local communities."
Partner companies purchase shares in the mutual fund to finance projects selected by the fund in exchange for carbon credits (verified or voluntary emission reductions), which they can either keep or resell. Companies investing in the mutual fund also take part in fund governance and therefore help select the projects.
Michelin, committed to sustainable development
Michelin invested five million euros in the Livelihoods fund in 2014. The Group has thus become the tenth European company to invest in this fund focused on agriculture and efforts to combat deforestation.
Two of the projects supported by the fund were audited at the end of the year and generated 18,700 carbon credits for Michelin (the equivalent of 18,700 tons of sequestered CO2).
These carbon credits easily offset the emissions generated by the Michelin Challenge Bibendum, estimated at 8,500 tonnes of CO2 (including air travel, accomodations and the rally).
Mangroves, outstanding carbon sinks
This first project seeks to restore mangrove forests in Western Senegal’s Casamance and Sine Saloum regions. Mangroves are exceptional carbon sinks because of their interlaced root networks that absorb carbon dioxide. They also filter salt water and thus protect vital arable land. And lastly, mangrove restoration contributes to increased fish, shrimp, and mollusk reproduction, up to 18,000 additional tons per year.
Fruit trees to diversify agricultural production
The second project is based in Eastern India. In the Araku Valley, located at 1,200 meters in altitude, millions of fruit trees are being planted to provide shade to 3 million coffee plants. These trees are helping local communities improve crop yields and diversify their agricultural production, thus providing 10,000 small coffee producers with increased revenues. All the coffee exported internationally under the "Araku" label is certified as "organic" and "fair trade".
Improving the lives of communities
In addition to our financial contribution, Michelin has also provided the services of one of our Brazil-based agronomists specialized in rubber production. Last November he evaluated a Livelihoods project to produce rubber in one of Guatemala's poorest regions. His recommendations and monitoring will allow for:
- The introduction of more resistant plants
- The improvement of latex harvesting practices
- The combined cultivation of rubber and cocoa
- And thus increased prosperity for the community