To coincide with the International Day of Forests celebrated by the UN on March 21, Hennessy today announced the launch of its Forest Destination regeneration program, which aims to raise public awareness of the importance of all types of forest and trees for the global ecosystem. Initiated in 2020, the program aims to regenerate 50,000 hectares of forest across the world by 2030 through a number of projects carried out on the ground wherever Hennessy operates.
FORESTS: A SAFEGUARD AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
Forests and woodland play an essential role in climate regulation, soil protection and fertility and the ecological balance of local regions. They host 80% of the Earth’s biodiversity, providing protection and food for birds, insects and small animals. They balance our ecosystems, provide 75% of our water and are vital to life on the planet.
Globally, forests and trees absorb the equivalent of 2 billion tons of CO2 annually. In France, a quarter of annual greenhouse gas emissions are absorbed by the carbon sink of the country’s forests.
PROTECTING FORESTS TO SECURE A FUTURE FOR TOMORROW
Since it was established over 250 years ago, Hennessy has had close connections to forests. It is by bringing brandy into contact with oak in the casks at the essential maturing stage that we produce cognac. Oak is therefore present at every stage of the development and transformation of cognac, from the forest to our integrated barrel-making workshop.
“Hennessy has always maintained a long-term vision, seeing far into space and time. Today, the future of humankind depends on our ability to take up the daunting challenge of preserving and regenerating forest ecosystems. This task goes far beyond individual interests. With “Forest Destination”, we want to act, participate in a collective movement and contribute concretely to the common good”, says Laurent Boillot, President of Hennessy.
To achieve this, a collective of expert partners supports Hennessy as it implements this ambitious program.
PROJECTS CARRIED OUT AS PART OF FOREST DESTINATION
In France, Hennessy is working with the Office National des Forêts (ONF) on regenerating the Braconne Forest (Charente, western France), which was devastated by Storm Martin in 1999. In all, 27,055 oak saplings will be replanted across an area of 25 hectares.
Worldwide, Hennessy has entered into a ten-year partnership with Reforest’Action (initiated in 2020), which uses its expertise to take action in the ecosystems where it is present: in Africa (Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa), in the USA and in China. This enduring commitment will allow Hennessy to ensure the long-term viability of the projects.
In Kenya, alongside its local partner Trees for Kenya, Hennessy supports the reforestation of part of the protected forest on Mount Kenya, which involves planting 400 hectares with 250,000 trees of 30 different species.
The aim is to support the restoration of Mount Kenya National Park, to create garden forests that allow local populations to protect their crops and diversify their sources of income, and to raise awareness among young people in local schools.
In Madagascar, where large areas of forest have been cleared to supply firewood, Hennessy has committed, alongside its local partners, to planting 60,000 saplings of various species in a 40-hectare area and building a “School of the Forest” for young farmers and 500 schoolchildren.
Between 2020 and 2021, in Oregon, USA, hundreds of forest fires occur annually, destroying millions of hectares of trees. By replanting 100,000 trees of different species across a 93-hectare area, Hennessy promotes the return of biodiversity and the creation of new habitats for local wildlife.
Last year, Hennessy helped plant over 2.2 million trees in a 4 800-hectare area through various reforestation and agro-forestry projects around the world.
According to a study published by the biologist Thomas Crowther in Science (2019), there is enough space on Earth to plant 1 billion hectares of additional forest, which would reduce atmospheric CO2 by 25%.
As a contributor, and in addition to its on-the-ground projects, Hennessy wishes to highlight current challenges relating to the preservation of forests around the world and is eager to join forces with other economic actors as part of this civic mission, which must necessarily be a collective effort.