Orange launches €50m nature-based solutions fund on road to net-zero
Telecommunications giant Orange has revealed plans to invest €50m in reforestation and other nature restoration projects, as it strives to become a net-zero business by 2040.
The new fund will be used to invest in projects that improve carbon sequestration in natural habitats, with Orange stating that it will support new forest creation (afforestation) as well as the restoration of existing forests (reforestation), alongside other habitat restoration schemes.
Orange will work with asset management firm and consultancy Mirova to assess the environmental and social impacts of all projects before they receive funding. Projects will also be verified through internationally recognised schemes, including Gold Standard and VCS.
The fund is the first created and funded by a single European corporation that provides a return exclusively in the form of carbon credits, Orange is claiming.
The fund will operate in agreement with the Nature+ Accelerator Fund, launched by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (ICUN) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in a bid to leverage private investment in nature-based solutions that also deliver social benefits. By the end of the decade, this initiative is targeting up to 70 investment deals, totalling some $160m (€142m).
Carbon sequestered through the funded projects will help to “net” Orange’s emissions to zero by 2040. Orange has stated that this is permissible through the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s accounting framework. The company has pledged to reduce absolute emissions by 30% by 2025, against a 2015 baseline, and is in the process of applying for verification in line with 1.5C for broader targets.
Orange’s executive director of CSR, diversity and philanthropy Elizabeth Tchoungui said: “By 2040, most of our CO2 emissions will have been reduced thanks to the actions undertaken over the previous years. Orange Nature will enable us to complete the task of becoming net-zero 2040, through the use of nature-based solutions that will capture the residual incompressible emissions.
“Nature is our shared resource. It is up to each and every one of us to preserve it.”
The ICUN estimates that there is currently, globally, a $600bn-$800bn shortfall in funding for nature conservation and restoration.
edie recently published a feature exploring how the global market for nature-based solutions is set to evolve post-COP26. At the climate summit, the mechanisms on the Paris Agreement rulebook were finally agreed upon, with key aspects on carbon markets defined. There was also
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