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May 25, 2023

WWF, REMY COINTREAU, MOET HENNESSY and GENESIS accelerate and amplify the transition to regenerative agriculture

Genesis

From carbon credit to the first European environmental credit: Measuring the impact of regenerative agriculture to value the transition of the agricultural and wine sectors.

"Making agriculture and viticulture allies of the environment". This is the ambition behind the "environmental credit" initiative between the rating agency soil health Genesis, the Rémy Cointreau and Moët Hennessy groups and the environmental NGO WWF.

The unique collaboration of these different actors aims to promote the most comprehensive solutions for assessing their environmental impact and thus better value it.

In concrete terms, the actors have modeled an environmental premium, based on measures that complement carbon (biodiversity, phytosanitary risks and soil health), which weights the value of the carbon credit in order to reflect the overall environmental state.

The construction of this coefficient is based on taking into account:
- The impact on the health of the soil, measured by Genesis, which includes its climatic and biological functions and the proper management of the water/hydric cycle
- The risk of health and environmental toxicity related to phytosanitary treatments, measured by EcoClimaSol
- Biodiversity above the soil (proportion of agro-ecological infrastructures (hedges, ponds), areas of agro-ecological interest (permanent grasslands) and crop biodiversity (rotations, etc.)

This collective project has two ambitions. The first is environmental and consists in going further than the strict vision of carbon credit, by not considering soils as simple carbon sinks, but as a set of living ecosystems that generate biodiversity. The second is social and economic: the aim is to create useful levers to support farmers massively in the environmental transition, and thus build a system of incentive payments.

This environmental premium thus becomes the first quantified measure of co-benefits generated through regenerative agricultural practices and can be applied to any nature-based carbon credit methodology (agricultural and forestry).

A first referral group composed of about thirty French farmers and wine growers has started the project. Large-scale deployment is planned for 2024.

Yann Laurans, WWF's Biodiversity Director, says: "Carbon-rich soil, combined with agricultural biodiversity and farms that pay farmers, is a natural capital and an indispensable response to the biodiversity and climate crises. It is therefore urgent to provide the means, as soon as possible, to encourage the improvement of agricultural practices or to encourage favorable practices."

Sandrine Sommer, CSR Director for Moët Hennessy, said: "This program is in line with our Living Soils Living Together program. This environmental credit will allow us to measure and improve soil health and to support our partners in the transition to regenerative practices by recognizing the efforts made to preserve biodiversity and the ecosystem as a whole. Moët Hennessy is pleased to participate in this collective project that brings together committed players and continues to nourish the spirit of the World Living Soils Forum."

Eric Vallat, CEO of the Rémy Cointreau Group states: "The pressure of future climate issues calls for a vision of change in agriculture. It is an existential challenge, but also a responsibility for the Group towards its agricultural partners to accompany them in this transition in order to ensure their sustainability. Like other innovations launched in Open Source by our brands, we want this environmental credit to take hold and to quickly unite the entire profession. This is to preserve and strengthen the quality of our terroirs -and of our products- while ensuring that the legacy passed on to future generations will allow them to produce exceptional spirits in the long term.

Adrienne de Malleray, co-founder of Genesis says: "In a context where many solutions are emerging to finance biodiversity, our solution has the virtue of combining realism, sustainability, transition, economic viability and protection of the environment as a whole."

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