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Beautifying Biodiversity: Dove's Nature Regeneration Project

Published July 30, 2023
Published July 30, 2023
Wirestock via Freepik

Over 55% of the world's GDP depends on healthy and high-functioning ecosystems, yet 20% of countries are at risk of their ecosystems collapsing due to a rapid decline in biodiversity. Beauty brands and consumers have played their part in damaging these ecosystems, from overuse of natural resources to harmful chemicals infiltrating into nature and mass amounts of packaging waste. To heal these ecosystems, several campaigns and initiatives have been put in place, from YSL's Rewild Our Earth—which conserved 180 million acres of land and created 47 more conservation areas, to LVMH's Cosmetopia—which donated more than $50,000 to fund scholarships, internships, and doctoral theses of biodiversity in the Congo Basin. The most recent brand to commit to diversification is Dove, which has partnered with the Rimba Collective to launch the Dove Nature Regeneration Project, a program that aims to restore over 123,000 acres of rainforest in Southeast Asia over five years.

The Dove Nature Regeneration Projects partner, the Rimba Collective, is a collaboration of organizations committed to delivering rainforest conservation, which launched in 2021 with the backing of NGOs and governments in Southeast Asia. Unilever's Climate & Nature Fund has subsidized the project and will support activations that protect rainforests from deforestation while restoring ecosystems and tackling climate change.

"We are delighted to be collaborating with Dove on projects designed to create long-term positive impact for biodiversity, communities, and the climate in Southeast Asia—areas we are deeply passionate about. Dove has made it clear that nature is at the heart of its business strategy. This is essential for changing the trajectory of the planet for the next generation, and I look forward to continuing our shared commitment to conservation long into the future," says Michal Zrust, Chief Executive Officer, Lestari Capital, the parent company of the Rimba Collective.

Alongside the plan to restore ecosystems, the initiative will support local communities surrounding the rainforests by providing training and seed capital that promotes sustainable management of natural resources. It is predicted that in doing so, 8,000 local residents will benefit through job creation and opportunities for education, as well as clean water and sanitation of the local area. Diversifying these ecosystems will also help protect over 80 endangered wildlife species, including the Sunda Pangolin and Helmeted Hornbill while reducing the impact of natural disasters such as flooding and landslides.

"At Dove, we believe beauty should make our world more beautiful, not less. But the beauty of nature is at risk, and climate change remains one of the biggest challenges we face. As a global brand used by millions, our scale demands that we act urgently to protect nature and play a critical role in the effort to stop climate change," adds Firdaous El Honsali, Dove Global Vice President of External Communications and Sustainability.

Walmart has been named the exclusive retailer of the project and will feature images that draw parallels between the beauty of skin to the beauty of nature, displayed next to Dove products in-store. The retailer will also debut a dedicated AR feature that will be accessible to shoppers via a scannable QR code that superimposes the rainforest and wildlife into the customer's shopping environment. Through these touchpoints, Dove and Walmart hope to equip consumers with the knowledge to make impactful purchase decisions. The collaboration is one of Walmart's many commitments to sustainability and comes after the retailer made the switch from plastic packaging to recycled paper bags for its delivery service. The move is estimated to eliminate over 65 million plastic mailers and 2,000 tons of plastic in the US by the end of the year.

The Dove Nature Regeneration Project expands upon Dove's previous actions and ongoing plan to restore the earth and beauty's relationship with biodiversity. The brand has been PETA-approved since 2018 and works with the Safety and Environmental Assurance Center (SEAC) to ensure all its product formulations are environmentally safe. Through its partnership with SEAC, Dove is currently working to maximize the biodegradability of all its rinse-off products by 2030 to minimize their impact on water and aquatic ecosystems. The brand also intends for its packaging to be 100% recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025, which will be followed by its journey to source 100% renewable electricity for its operations by 2030.

"If we don't keep pushing for change, we will continue to see behavior that drives deforestation, damages the land and soil we depend on, releases harmful carbon into our atmosphere, and pollutes the waterways that give us life. We need meaningful, decisive action to restore nature's real beauty. The Dove Nature Regeneration Project is just one step we are taking as we strive to care for nature like we care for ourselves. We know our work is not done, and we will not stop reducing our impact," concludes El Honsali.


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