Natura Cosméticos has revealed it is one step closer in meeting its Corporate Social Responsibility requirements after buying 120,000 tons of carbon offsets from the Suruí people of the Amazon, the first venture of its kind.
The Paiter Suruí became the first indigenous people to generate credits by saving endangered rainforest using the Verified Carbon Standard’s (VCS) for ‘Reduced greenhouse gas Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation’ and will now provide a template for others across the Amazon.
“Until now, companies have looked at rainforest preservation as something they do to be nice, or as philanthropy,” says Chief Almir. “Natura recognizes that carbon neutrality isn’t just a gesture, it’s an obligation, and it’s one we all have. REDD+ makes it possible for companies to meet that obligation, and for us to become providers of an ecosystem service.”
The move is part of a bid to reduce its greenhouse gas levels by one-third by the end of 2013, where Latin America’s largest cosmetics brand has been working on initiatives like 'Natura Carbon Neutral’, to offset those emissions that cannot be reduced internally by investing in reduction projects from other institutions whose values and beliefs are aligned with their own.
"Since we made a commitment to be a carbon neutral company in 2007, Natura offsets 100 per cent of its emissions," says Denise Alves, Director of Sustainability.
Investment will kick-start a '50 year life plan'
The Forest Carbon Project is designed to sequester at least five million tons of carbon dioxide over 30 years while protecting critical rainforest habitat, and its credits have been certified under both the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community, and Biodiversity (CCB) Alliance.
The project generated its first credits in June, after an audit by the Institute for the Management and Certification of Rainforest Alliance confirmed that protective actions taken by the Surui had been successful.
As a result of this venture, the Suruí people use the proceeds to jumpstart their 50-year “Life Plan”, which they say is designed to create a sustainable economy that blends traditional land-use practices, ecotourism, and the harvesting of non-timber forest products with modern scientific methods and procedures.