There is Hope in Soil: Unlocking the Potential of Regenerative Agriculture

  • Speakers:
  • Emmanuel Faber, Rattan Lal, Bernard Giraud, Rick Ridgeway

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The Disruptive Innovation Festival is an online festival of ideas that asks the question: what if we could redesign everything? During the DIF, we’ll be asking our speakers to tell us what they think is in store for the future of the economy. While watching you can chip in with your thoughts and questions: sign up for a free My DIF account and ask your question through the discussion forum below the live stream!

Soil represents a challenge but also an immense opportunity to build a sustainable future. Regenerative agriculture, which focuses on nurturing soil health, can mitigate climate change and strengthen food security while boosting crop productivity and driving economic growth. And yet its potential is limited by a persistent gap between the science and implementation on the ground. This event will bring together governmental representatives, renowned experts and committed business leaders to discuss how we can bridge this gap and build a movement for regenerative agriculture worldwide.

This session is a recording from a high-level session organised by Danone during the COP 23 in cooperation with the French Ministry of Agriculture and Alimentation.


Emmanuel Faber

Emmanuel Faber

CEO, Danone

Emmanuel Faber began his career as a consultant at Bain & Company before working as an investment banker at Baring Brothers. He moved to Legris Industries, where he was named Chief Executive Officer in 1996. He joined Danone in 1997 to head the Finance, Strategies and Information Systems department. He became a member of the Executive Committee in 2000 and a member of the Board of Directors in 2002. In 2005, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Asia-Pacific region. From 2008 to 2014, he served as Deputy General Manager of Danone responsible for major corporate functions and was named Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2011. Since 2008, he has served as Director of the Danone communities mutual investment fund (SICAV). Since 2009, he has been a member of the Steering Committee of the Danone Ecosystem Fund. Since December 2011, he has been a member of the Steering Committee of the Livelihoods Fund. Since October 1, 2014, he has been Danone’s Chief Executive Officer.

Rattan Lal

Rattan Lal

Professor of Soil Science, Ohio State University

Rattan Lal is a Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science and Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at The Ohio State University.

His current research focus is on climate-resilient agriculture, soil carbon sequestration, sustainable intensification, enhancing use efficiency of agroecosystems, and sustainable management of soil resources of the tropics.

He was president of the World Association of the Soil and Water Conservation (1987- 1990), the International Soil Tillage Research Organization (1988-91), the Soil Science Society of America (2005-2007), and is President Elect of the International Union of Soil Sciences, Vienna, Austria (2014-).

Bernard Giraud

Bernard Giraud

President, Livelihoods Venture & Senior Advisor Sustainability and Shared Value Creation, Danone

Bernard Giraud is the President of Livelihoods Venture, a social business that manages two investment funds - the Livelihoods Carbon Fund and the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming (Livelihoods 3F) – for 12 major private companies[1]. Livelihoods funds support large scale projects which generate long term revenue and food security to the population, create public goods (water savings, CO2 sequestration…) for society as a whole and provide sustainable sourcing and high quality carbon credits to the partner companies. Projects are implemented at landscape level with public-private coalitions (public institutions, NGOs, private companies…) to address simultaneously poverty, environmental degradation and climate change. Returns to the funds are results-based to guarantee tangible social, economic and environmental impact.

Before the creation of Livelihoods, Bernard Giraud was Vice-President Sustainability and Shared Value Creation of the Danone Group, an international leader in food industry. In this position, he played an important role to make Danone a pioneer in social innovation and integrate social responsibility and sustainable development in the core strategy and business practices of the company. Bernard Giraud served also as a board member and CEO of Corporate Social Responsibility Europe (CSR-E) a leading European organization in the field of social responsibility. He has today also a position of Senior Advisor Sustainability and Shared Value Creation for the Danone Group.

Rick Ridgeway

Rick Ridgeway

Vice-President of Environmental Affairs, Patagonia

Rick Ridgeway is Patagonia’s Vice President of Environmental Affairs. He and his team implement the second two parts of the company’s three-part mission statement: “to make the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” 

He oversees the company’s environmental grant-making, internal and external environmental education, and environmental initiatives, including:

Freedom to Roam, a partnership with WWF to protect wildlife cores and corridors

- The Sustainable Apparel Coalition, gathering over 60 of the world’s largest apparel and footwear companies working to develop standardized tools to measure sustainability

Common Threads, a partnership with customers to take mutual responsibility for the full life-cycle of apparel and footwear. 

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