Initiated ten years ago, the partnership between Bel and WWF France was built on the shared conviction that, to face the climate emergency, the reduction of the company’s environmental impact required the involvement of its value chain. With 70% of the Group’s carbon footprint linked to its dairy production, the partners’ initial objective was to measure and reduce the impact of cow feed. This approach was then broadened and led in 2018 to the signing of a Global Sustainable Upstream Dairy Charter that guides, until 2025, the evolution of Bel’s practices, and of all the milk producers with whom the Group works. This charter, which is unique on the market, sets ambitious objectives in terms of sustainable production, access to pastures, sustainable and local food, and animal welfare.
Over the ten years of this partnership, the relationship between Bel and WWF France has evolved and gradually expanded to include ever broader environmental issues, particularly with the signing of a biodiversity policy covering the entire value chain of the Group (ingredients, factories, end of life of products), the implementation of a policy for the protection of forests and natural ecosystems, and sponsorship actions in the field of agroforestry.
Today, the collaboration between Bel and WWF France has been renewed for the fourth time and is being strengthened through ambitious work areas:
- Sustainable and regenerative agriculture:
- Based on a framework of concrete and quantified agricultural practices, leading to a reduction in the environmental footprint and covering Bel’s 3 territories: dairy, fruit and plant-based;
- Which places the living soil at the heart of the ecosystem, promoting biodiversity, carbon capture, farm resilience and, of course, the production of quality ingredients.
- The preservation of biodiversity, by continuing to work on impact measurement, in line with the collective actions carried out by Bel through the Science Based Targets Network (SBTN) initiative and the WWF France Natural Capital Lab;
- The protection of forests and natural ecosystems, through the Group’s commitment to preservation and conservation, and the support of WWF France for its carbon sequestration strategy;
- Engaging with consumers, so that they can become agents of change, by choosing to support more sustainable food. This approach had already been initiated via a campaign to raise awareness of biodiversity conducted jointly by WWF France and the Kiri® brand in recent months.
Sylvie Borias, Director of CSR and Corporate Communications for Bel Group said: “We share with WWF France the objective of contributing to a more sustainable food model. Thanks to their expertise, over the past 10 years we have refined our sustainable development strategy and our framework for action, and together we have gradually been able to address ever broader environmental issues by involving our entire value chain. Our partnership is based on a relationship of trust, strong complementarity, a constant ambition for progress, and the desire to have an impact by working with robust methods. A big thank you to all the WWF France teams who have been with us for so many years. In the fight against climate change and for the preservation of biodiversity, there is still a long way to go and much remains to be done. But we look forward to continuing our progress together.”
Marie-Christine Korniloff, Director of Relations with the Business Community at WWF France said: “In the face of the climate emergency and the collapse of biodiversity, the effects of which we detail in our Living Planet Report released a week ago, we must act quickly, collectively, and boldly. We know that we have only five years left in this decisive decade to limit global warming to 1.5°C by the end of the century, and the rapid erosion of biodiversity reinforces this urgency. WWF and Bel are celebrating 10 years of partnership, 10 years of close collaboration to transform the Group’s value chain through the development of sustainable dairy and plant production, 10 years of investing in the field to protect and restore ecosystems, 10 years of raising awareness among the Group’s employees, key stakeholders, and consumers, to encourage them to adopt more sustainable practices
This partnership demonstrates that a transition is possible and that we can no longer wait. With Bel, we will continue to put all our energy into serving nature.”