We are making inroads into the reforestation sector thanks to Sylvestris
Sylvestris, created in 2013 by two forest engineers, has three lines of business: planting, unique gardening in cities and environmental consulting. Having Repsol Impacto Social as one of its shareholders means recognition, from an important global company, for its achievements in both its work methods and its capacity to generate positive social and environmental impact. It also represents an opportunity to contribute to the fight against climate change, through the creation of projects aimed at capturing tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.
For Fundación Repsol, becoming one of the shareholders of Sylvestris is a way of reinforcing its strategy to develop a network of social companies in Spain and Portugal, though Repsol Impacto Social, an investment fund of 50 million euros aimed at the energy transition and the inclusion of vulnerable populations.
In addition, this investment is in step with Repsol's recent announcement, which will guide its strategy aimed at becoming a zero net emissions company by 2050. To accomplish this, the company has set new carbon intensity reduction goals. Through the use of technological advances that are foreseeable today, Repsol anticipates a reduction of net yearly emissions of at least 70%, and the company has committed to applying the best technologies to raise that figure. In addition, in the event this did not prove sufficient, Repsol shall compensate for emissions through reforestation and other natural climate solutions aimed at reaching that ambitious goal.
The reforestation sector presents us with development opportunities in Spain, as more and more companies undertake projects of this nature to reduce their carbon footprint, as part of their corporate social responsibility policies. In addition, the experience and technologies developed by Sylvestris to increase the productivity of their projects allows the company to manage these actions at an international level as well.
With the participation of Repsol Impacto Social, it is estimated that, by 2024, Sylvestris will have reforested more than 2,200 hectares and will have achieved an absorption figure, certified by the Spanish Climate Change Office, of 165,000 tons of CO2. To execute these projects, the company has planned on hiring nearly 2,500 people.
Social and environmental action
Sylvestris' actions have an environmental impact achieved through reforestation, as planted trees absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, and through the construction of vertical gardens and green covers, which provide oxygen, protect structures from noise and high temperatures, thus reducing energy consumption and, therefore, the carbon footprint of buildings. The company also stands out for its social inclusion policies, employing people in vulnerable situations in rural zones where forest recovery efforts are carried out, and people with intellectual disabilities in urban re-naturalisation projects.
In the 2013-2019 period, Sylvestris has undertaken more than 70 projects, restored and maintained over 600 hectares, and offered employment to 400 people. The company has received awards from different institutions, such as the Civildron award from the Community of Madrid for the best idea in the civilian use of drones.
Repsol Impacto Social: first investments
This past July, Fundación Repsol set in motion a 50-million-euro social impact investment programme, aimed at investing in and developing a portfolio of social enterprises focused on overcoming the global challenge posed by energy transition and creating professional opportunities for people in vulnerable groups in Spain and Portugal. The prioritised activities are related to emissions reduction, sustainable mobility, circular economy, energy efficiency, and ecological products and services. The objective is to get involved in the initial development of these companies and help them grow and be profitable.
The first investment made through the programme was the purchase of 25.4 % of Koiki, a network of urban micro-centres designed for last-mile sustainable distribution, which creates employment for vulnerable populations.
In addition, to bolster the presence of the social investment sector in Spain, Fundación Repsol signed a partnership agreement with ILUNION to develop business projects with social impacts within the field of the energy transition and sustainability, creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities and vulnerable groups.
Through this fund, Repsol and Fundación Repsol have made inroads into the social impact investment sector, which has not been widely developed in Spain until now, and its objective is to consolidate itself as a benchmark company in terms of social investment in our country.