The FINANCIAL — Nestlé announced its support for the protection and restoration of over 500,000 hectares of tropical forest landscapes in Southeast Asia through the launch of Rimba Collective, the largest private sector forest conservation initiative.
The program was developed by Lestari Capital in collaboration with founding partners including Nestlé, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and Wilmar. Lestari Capital is an enterprise that connects markets to conservation – it finances outcomes on the ground through ethical and efficient mechanisms, to support the adaptation of more equitable market systems, Nestlé notes.
Rimba Collective complements the palm oil industry’s efforts to end deforestation by funding conservation and restoration projects across the supply chain. The initiative aims at forest conservation investments that simultaneously support forest protection as well as economic development and job creation for local communities.
“We know that addressing deforestation in our palm oil supply chain is not enough. For a lasting and meaningful impact, we are evolving from a no-deforestation strategy to a ‘forest-positive’ one,” said Benjamin Ware, Global Head of Sustainable Sourcing and Climate Delivery, Nestlé. “This means we will buy from suppliers who are actively conserving and restoring forests while promoting sustainable livelihoods and respecting human rights.”
“Our involvement in the Rimba Collective will enable us to speed up our proactive efforts to protect forests and peatlands as well as human rights. It is an important pillar to achieve our commitment to zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” he added.
The initiative will initially focus on projects in Indonesia before expanding to others across Southeast Asia. Projects are prioritized based on their potential to protect and restore large, continuous areas of natural ecosystems and critical habitats. Other priorities include generating measurable ecosystem benefits (such as keeping more carbon in the ground, purifying water and improving soil health) and making livelihoods more resilient for local communities. All projects will undergo third-party verification, Nestlé notes.