Unilever personal care and beauty brand Dove announced the launch of the Dove Forest Restoration Project, aimed at protecting and restoring 20,000 hectares of forest in North Sumatra, Indonesia.

According to Dove, the €8.5 million, 5-year project is estimated to capture over 300,000 tons of CO2 from the air and avoid the release of over 200,000 tons of CO2e emissions, while protecting the habitats of endangered species, and improving the livelihoods of 16,000 people in the area.

Alessandro Manfredi, Global Executive Vice President of Dove, said:

“Can we really celebrate beauty if it comes at the cost of the planet? The answer is no. We must demand action and care that goes further, both from ourselves and from the beauty industry at large. As a global brand with care at our core, we have a responsibility to use our platforms to drive change and positively impact the world around us. The Dove Forest Restoration Project builds on our commitments to caring for our planet and caring about how we make our products and what goes into them. With this long-term initiative, we extend this care to improving the health of the planet, striving for a more sustainable way of being.”

Dove is partnering with non-profit nature and biodiversity-focused organization Conservation International on the new initiative. Conservation International works with the government in Indonesia to protect nature, support sustainable production systems, and support effective governance. In addition to its impact on biodiversity conservation, the project aims to contribute toward Indonesia’s larger targets for restoring forest and strengthening communities’ sustainable management of forest resources.

M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International, said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with Dove and the Government of Indonesia to restore forests in the region – an area that is profoundly important to the well-being of people and wildlife everywhere. When a brand like Dove puts climate change and nature at the heart of its purpose, the impact is game-changing.”

The project marks the first major initiative from Unilever’s €1 billion Climate & Nature Fund. Launched by the global consumer brands company last year, as part of a series of sustainability commitments and goals, the fund aims to support projects including landscape restoration, reforestation, carbon sequestration, wildlife protection and water preservation.

Sunny Jain, President, Beauty & Personal Care at Unilever, said:

“Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our world. That’s why it’s so important for Dove – one of the largest beauty brands in the world – to take meaningful and decisive action. Last year, we announced a €1 billion Unilever Climate and Nature Fund, and I’m thrilled the Dove Forest Restoration Project will be its first major initiative. This is also the first step in Unilever’s Positive Beauty commitment to help protect and regenerate 1.5 million hectares of land, forests and oceans by 2030, which is more land than is required to grow the renewable ingredients in our beauty and personal care products.”