Bel’s commitment to carbon sequestration

The Bel Group’s strategy to combat climate change is first and foremost focused on avoiding and minimising its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from farm to fork. For example, the Bel Group announced in February 2022 that it was stepping up its carbon ambitions with the aim of helping limit global warming to below the 1.5°C threshold by 2035, i.e. reduce its emissions by 25% between 2017 and 2035 as an absolute value.


As illustrated by its participation in the United Nations “Race to Zero” initiative, the Group is also committed, after first minimising its carbon emissions to reach a threshold of residual emissions or incompressible emissions, to contributing to net zero, firstly for its production sites by 2025 and then for its entire value chain by 2050.


When choosing its projects, Bel is keen to support initiatives offering several positive impacts, not only in terms of promoting carbon sequestration, but also preserving biodiversity, protecting water resources, creating economic value and driving local social growth. These actions are spearheaded within different geographical areas, depending on the type of project (agroforestry, forest conservation or restoration, peatland rehabilitation, etc.). To guarantee the projects’ transparency and credibility, they are labelled and carried out with support from expert partners (NGOs, forestry cooperatives, nature conservatories, and so on).

Several partnerships have already been put into practice since 2021

  1. Firstly, the Group joined the third Livelihoods Carbon Fund (LCF3) launched by Livelihoods Venture in June 2021, alongside 13 companies and financial investors. The scheme aims to support rural communities in their efforts to preserve or restore their natural ecosystems and improve their livelihoods through sustainable farming practices, particularly agroforestry.


  1. In 2022, the Group also signed a five-year contract with the African Parks NGO, which supports wildlife conservation projects in some of Africa’s largest natural parks. Bel’s investments are dedicated to preserving the Chinko Park in the Central African Republic and its wealth of biodiversity. Due to the initiatives carried out with the local population, particularly for managing transhumance flows and agricultural practices, deforestation has been avoided, thereby allowing biodiversity to flourish.


  1. Through its partnership with WWF France, the Bel Group has joined the Nature Impact initiative launched in the spring of 2023. Nature Impact is the first investment fund for protecting forests based on the payments for ecosystem services scheme (PES), which combines biodiversity protection with carbon sequestration.


  1. In an effort to promote biodiversity-friendly forestry practices, the Bel Group produced a policy on forestry best practices in December 2023 with Oréade, a consultancy specialising in forest biodiversity, and also with the contribution of the WWF France and Canopée NGOs. This policy is modelled on FSC standards and aligned with a number of essential practices:
    • Principle 1: Protect natural features such as living trees, patches of old growth and open spaces to encourage forest stand diversification.
    • Principle 2: Diversify the composition of forest stands by thinning or enriching them with native species, while gradually converting coppices into high forest to diversify their structure.
    • Principle 3: Apply irregular and continuous cover forestry practices, manage young stands by thinning, and move towards a mixed continuous cover forestry approach to encourage stand diversification and resilience.

Bel will enter into contracts with several forestry operators capable of putting these practices into action. Bel has already signed an initial contract with the Alliance Forêt Bois forestry cooperative to participate in projects aimed at tackling forest degradation, sustainably managing forest stands, protecting old-growth forests and restoring wetlands. These projects are designed to improve carbon sequestration, biodiversity and ecological functions.


The Bel Group’s commitment is strongly empowered by the various commitments made by the international community over the last 20 years. During the COP 15 Conference in Montreal in December 2022, some 195 countries pledged to take “urgent measures” to halt biodiversity loss. These measures included putting 30% of the planet under protection, restoring 30% of ecosystems and doubling the resources earmarked for nature conservation by 2030.

Driven by a desire to take holistic action in protecting the environment, the Bel Group has taken an interest, as part of its sequestration strategy, in a unique ecosystem that combines the challenges of preserving biodiversity, water resources and carbon sinks, namely peatlands.

Peatlands, a goldmine of biodiversity with a key role to play in carbon sequestration

Nature has its allies in all living things, and peatlands are a prime example. These are natural environments that are capable of naturally capturing large quantities of carbon, preserving water resources and hosting a very rich and unique biodiversity.

Due to the absence of oxygen in this constantly damp environment, the carbon captured during photosynthesis is not released into the atmosphere, but stored in the soil in the form of peat. Peatlands, which account for only 3% of the world’s land surface, contain around one third of the carbon stored in the soil and therefore store twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests combined.

Peatlands also provide other vital services across natural ecosystems, including the water cycle and the preservation of biodiversity.

  • Peatlands filter and store water, deliver clean water and prevent flooding.
  • They also promote the growth of moss, insects, amphibians, reptiles, flowering plants, mushrooms, birds, butterflies, and so on.


Peatlands are currently under serious threat. Every year, the destruction of peatlands is responsible for 5 to 10% of the world’s annual anthropogenic emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Restoring the peatlands of the Jura mountains

Early 2024, the Bel Group, the Natural Area Conservatory of Franche-Comté and EPAGE HDHL (public institution for developing and managing water resources in Haut-Doubs, Haute-Loue and Doubs-Dessoubre) launched an unprecedented and pioneering partnership to protect the environment and accelerate the rehabilitation and preservation of more than 40 peatlands in the Jura region.

The Franco-Swiss Jura Mountains are home to one of the richest areas of peatlands in Western Europe. There are 495 peat bogs (5,321 hectares) throughout the mountain range, many of which are in need of restoration.

The Jura is also the birthplace of the Bel Group and a major host region for its operations, with two of its factories in Lons-le-Saunier and Dole producing the Group’s iconic portions (Laughing Cow, Apéricube, etc.).


The Bel Group is extremely proud to be one of the first private companies to step up to the plate in tackling the key challenge of rehabilitating peatlands, particularly those in the Jura, as part of a collective, local initiative.