WWF, REMY COINTREAU, MOET HENNESSY and GENESIS are accelerating and building on the transition towards regenerative agriculture
26 May 2023
From the carbon credit to the first European environmental credit: measuring the impact of regenerative agriculture to value the transition of the farming and winegrowing sectors
“Regenerative agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that seeks to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem of the farm from a sustainability point of view, including the improvement of human health and economic prosperity. It is a method of farming that places a heavy premium on soil health and improves the resources (soil, water, biodiversity, etc.) it uses.” (source: 4P1000)
Paris, May 25, 2023 – “Making agriculture and viticulture allies of the environment”. This ambition inspired the “environmental credit” initiative, created by the soil health ratings agency Genesis, the Rémy Cointreau and Moët Hennessy Groups, and the environmental NGO, the WWF.
The purpose of this unique collaboration between these various stakeholders is to promote the most comprehensive solutions for assessing their environmental impact and better value it.
In practical terms, the parties have modelled an environmental premium (based on measures that go further than just the carbon footprint and incorporate biodiversity, hazards of agrochemicals and soil health) that weights the value of the carbon credit to take account of the overall health of the environment.
This coefficient is built based on consideration of:
- The impact on soil health, as measured by Genesis, which includes its climate and biological functions, as well as the appropriate management of the water cycle
- The risk of health and environmental toxicity related to the use of agrochemicals, as measured by EcoClimaSol
- Above-ground biodiversity (proportion of agroecological infrastructures (hedgerows, ponds), zones of agro-ecological importance (permanent grassland) and crop biodiversity (rotation, etc.)
The aim of this collective project is twofold. The first is environmental and involves going beyond the restricted view of carbon credits, and not merely considering soil as carbon sinks, but as a set of living ecosystems that support biodiversity. The second aim is both social and economic, involving the creation of beneficial levers to help provide substantial support to farmers in the transition towards a more environmentally friendly model, and thereby develop an incentive-based remuneration system. This environmental premium thus becomes the first quantified measure of the shared benefits generated through regenerative agricultural practices and may be linked to any nature-based carbon credit methodology (farming and forestry).
An initial pilot group made up of approximately 30 French farmers and winegrowers launched the project, with the mass roll-out scheduled for 2024.
According to Yann Laurans, Head of Biodiversity, WWF, “Soil rich in carbon – combined with agricultural biodiversity and farms that are profitable for farmers – is a natural capital and a necessary response to the biodiversity and climate crises. It is therefore urgent that we allocate, without delay, the necessary resources to drive improvement in farming practices and encourage the adoption of sound practices.”
Sandrine Sommer, Chief Sustainability Officer, Moët Hennessy, commented, “This solution echoes our Living Soils Living Together program. This environmental credit will allow us to measure and improve soil health and support our partners as they transition to regenerative practices by valuing the efforts made to protect biodiversity and the entire ecosystem. Moët Hennessy is delighted to be involved in this collective project, which brings together committed stakeholders and continues to nurture the spirit of the World Living Soils Forum.”
In the words of Eric Vallat, CEO, Rémy Cointreau Group, “The pressure of impending climate challenges calls for a disruptive vision in terms of agriculture. It is an existential issue, but is also integral to the Group’s responsibility towards its agricultural partners to support them in this transition and ensure their long-term future. Like other innovations launched by our brands in Open Source, we want this environmental credit to become established and to bring together the entire industry rapidly and extensively. This will help protect and strengthen the quality of our terroirs – and our products – while ensuring that the heritage passed on to future generations will enable them to continue to produce exceptional spirits in a sustainable way.”
For Adrienne de Malleray, co-founder of Genesis, “At a time where many solutions are emerging to finance biodiversity, ours has the benefit of combining realism, sustainability, transition, financial viability and protection of the environment as a whole.”
About WWF France
The WWF was one of the first independent organizations to promote the protection of the environment worldwide. With an active network in more than 100 countries, and with the support of its 6 million members, the WWF works to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving global biodiversity, ensuring the sustainable use of renewable natural resources, and promoting the reduction of pollution and waste.
About Rémy Cointreau
All around the world, there are clients seeking exceptional experiences; clients for whom a wide range of terroirs means a variety of flavors. Their exacting standards are proportional to our expertise – the finely-honed skills that we pass down from generation to generation. The time these clients devote to drinking our products is a tribute to all those who have worked to develop them. It is for these men and women that Rémy Cointreau, a family-owned French Group, protects its terroirs, cultivates exceptional multi-centenary spirits and undertakes to preserve their eternal modernity. The Group’s portfolio includes 14 singular brands, such as the Rémy Martin and Louis XIII cognacs, and Cointreau liqueur. Rémy Cointreau has a single ambition: becoming the world leader in exceptional spirits. To this end, it relies on the commitment and creativity of its 1,850 employees and on its distribution subsidiaries established in the Group’s strategic markets. Rémy Cointreau is listed on Euronext Paris.
About Moët Hennessy
Moët Hennessy is the wine and spirits division of LVMH Group, which also owns renowned wine estates through “LVMH Vins d’Exceptions”. Bringing together twenty-six Maisons, recognized internationally for the richness of their terroirs, the quality of their products and the traditional craftsmanship with which they are created, Moët Hennessy has long been committed to its environmental and social program, Living Soils Living Together.
Genesis is an environmental impact ratings agency. Its work involves developing a recognized ratings system for soil health based on a scientific diagnosis of the eco-systemic functions of the soil, which provides actionable data to businesses to help them reduce their environmental impact.