Sustainability

FAQs

Geographies

1
What are the focal countries?

Argentina, Australia, China, France, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Mongolia, Morocco, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States.

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2
Can I propose a project that spans multiple countries?

Yes.

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3
Will you consider projects outside of the focal countries?

We regret that we cannot fund activities outside of the focal countries. It is possible that we might add additional countries in the future based on new analyses of priority interventions.

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4
Do particular materials align with particular focal countries?

Yes, please use this table, which matches materials to particular countries, as an indicator of key priorities for the Fund:

 

Cattle leather

Cotton

Goat cashmere

Goat leather

Sheep leather

Sheep wool

New Zealand

United States

China

India

New Zealand

New Zealand

India

Peru

Mongolia

Spain

South Africa

South Africa

Ireland

India

 

Morocco

Greece

Argentina

Argentina

Turkey

 

 

United Kingdom

Australia

Australia

 

 

 

France

 

France

 

 

 

 

 

Italy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to work on priority materials outside of the focal countries as listed in the above table, please be in touch first by sending an email to fund4nature@conservation.org to verify validity.

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Technical questions

1
What is meant by “Regenerative Agriculture” under the Fund?

Regenerative agriculture is a system of farming that focuses on positive outcomes that ensure the long-term viability of land to sustain production by working ‘with nature’ rather than against it. Regenerative agriculture aims to go beyond simply doing ‘less bad’ and “do more good” by delivering many co-benefits for farmers, nature and climate. It is underpinned by the following core principles: 

  • Increase the capacity of soils to sequester carbon, hold water and improve other elements of soil functionality 

  • Protect, restore and enhance biodiversity (including native plant and animal species and their habitats), both on the farm and in the surrounding landscape. This includes avoiding any conversion or degradation of natural ecosystems

  • Support the livelihoods of farmers

  • Eliminate the use of synthetic agrochemical inputs by favoring ecological solutions that promote (not degrade) natural processes 

  • Enhance animal welfare of farmed livestock.

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2
Your definition of “Regenerative Agriculture” (above) has a lot of principles. Do I need to address all of these principles in my intervention?

Yes. The Fund seeks projects that address multiple areas of regenerative agriculture, although the focus of the proposed program can emphasize specific principles more than others. There are many types of farm-based practices that can address the principles and outcomes of a regenerative system and applications for the Fund should articulate the types of practices being promoted and expected measurable outcomes. 

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3
What are the focal materials/supply chains?

Leather, wool, cotton and cashmere. We regret that we cannot fund interventions for other types of materials.

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4
Will the Fund recognize particular certifications?

Potential applicants do not need to have existing certification in place. Indeed, this is a nascent area with few certifications that pertain to regenerative agricultural explicitly. Potential applicants should indicate any third party sustainability certifications that pertain to farm-level production practices, as this will help us understand existing practices - and how they might relate to regenerative outcomes. 

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5
How do you distinguish between organic and regenerative?

Under the 'umbrella' of 'regenerative', there are actually a suite of best practices, including organic approaches. Yet taken as a whole, regenerative agriculture aims to move beyond, and deliver on many outcomes such as restoring soil health, improving carbon sequestration, protecting biodiversity, etc. At the most fundamental level, our approach to promoting regenerative agriculture is focused on outputs and outcomes, not only practices.

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6
Do the grantees need to produce materials that are directly used by Kering brands?

No. The purpose of the Fund is to catalyze the transition to regenerative practices across the wider industry, and to build awareness and support of the importance of regenerative agriculture, including beyond the fashion sector. We do hope to connect select project to the Kering supply chain as we are committed to sourcing materials that enhance nature.

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7
Will Kering and other brands commit to a higher price for the materials that come out of the projects?

We will explore different incentives for farms who have transitioned to regenerative agriculture.

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Funding cycle

What is the anticipated application timeline?

A call for proposals will be opened on an annual basis, allowing applicants to submit requests for funding during the timeframe of January 1st to April 30th.   
Application period open: January 2021 – April 2021
Application deadline: Friday, April 30th at 11:59PM, Eastern Standard Time (EST). 
Decision: Funding decisions will be made by early July, with funds available in August.  Upon selection, applicants will be notified by the Fund. Conservation International will then reach out to applicants to inform them of next steps in the funding process.  

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Award details

1
What is the anticipated award size?

Applicants can request funding from €100,000 to €500,000 (for the life of the grant).

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2
What is the tenure of the Fund support for the projects?

Applicants can request funding for 1 – 3 years (not to exceed €500,000 over the three-year     period, if requesting the ceiling amount/duration).

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3
Why is the award amount/duration given in ranges?

We understand that different projects will vary in terms of resource needs, timeline for delivery of outcomes, and time to maturation. Therefore, the Fund is set up to provide applicants the flexibility to suggest projects that align best with the timeline and funding needs of the proposed activities. Applicants need to be clear what measurable outcomes will be delivered by the project during the tenure of the grant – even if the project extends beyond the grant period. 

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4
If I receive an initial grant for 3 years, can I apply for another grant at the end of this term?

The short answer is yes. However, all ‘phase 2’ opportunities will not be prioritized and will be assessed based on the competitiveness of the proposal and the availability of funding at the time of the request.

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Eligibility

What are the eligibility criteria?

All projects must meet the following eligibility criteria. Applicants must fall under one of the following categories:

  • MSME companies*:  Suppliers, farmers or estates that are categorized as micro, small or medium enterprises.  

  • Farming groups: Cooperatives or associations, with legal status in the project country.   

  • Project developers:  Not for profit organizations with a mission aligned to the purpose of the Fund.  Other raw material aggregators that engage with farmers / farming groups.


*For the purpose of the Fund, CI will use IFC’s definition of a micro, small or medium enterprise.  The ranges are shown in the table below.
 

Enterprise type

Employees

Total assets US $

Annual sales US $

Micro

<10 

< $100,000

< $100,000

Small

10 - 49

$100,000 - < $3 million

$100,000 - < $3 million

Medium

50 - 300

$3 million - $15 million

$3 million - $15 million

Following the short-listing process, applicants will be screened to meet CI due diligence review, which are shared in greater detail via the grant application portal. 

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Submission requirements

What does my application need to contain?

Your submission package must contain:

  • Completed application form in Word that includes an overview of the applicant, proposed project, KPIs, and workplan. 

  • Completed budget projections in Excel.

We also welcome the submission of select additional materials, such as photos and videos.
 

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Application evaluation

How will applications be evaluated?

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria: 

  • Alignment with Fund Objective: The proposed projects is aligned with the outcomes the Fund is seeking, in the countries that have been prioritized

  • Opportunity to Scale: The concept shows the ability to scale. In this case, scale is taken to mean either spatially to new geographies, and/or scaling into multiple/additional principles of regenerative agriculture using the funding provided. Given that the Fund seeks to transition 1,000,000 hectares towards regenerative agriculture, we are interested in projects that can scale across wide areas.

  • Feasibility of Idea: The proposed project with measurable outcomes is achievable within the project timeframe and budget, and there is a high likelihood of success. 

  • Capacity of Partner: The applicant has the proven l capacity to implement, manage, communicate, and report on activities proposed in the project.

  • Relevance:   and the ability to deliver high quality raw materials into fashion and luxury supply chains

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Monitoring and reporting requirements

1
If I am awarded a grant, what is expected in terms of reporting (financial, technical) and M&E?

Grantees will be expected to provide financial reports on a quarterly basis and technical progress reports on a semi-annual basis, utilizing a standardized reporting template.  As part of the technical progress reports, the grantee will provide updates on progress against key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs will be a mix of indicators prioritized by the Fund manager, as well as those proposed by the grantee. 

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2
How will you measure the impact of biodiversity projects supported by the fund?

We are interested in understanding biodiversity on the farm in terms of: (1) enhancing soil biodiversity; (2) protecting/restoring plant and animal species on the farm; (3) protecting/restoring habitats on the farm; and 4) as a result of all this, building back ecosystem functionality (services or nature's contribution to people). Conservation International will lead when it comes to providing technical support to assess biodiversity outcomes. Conservation International will provide addition information and support to award recipients on assessing biodiversity outcomes.

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Governance

What is the governance structure of the Fund?

  • Secretariat: Conservation International - responsible for day-to-day operations and coordination, financial oversight, grant-making and grant management. 

  • Technical Committee: Experts from Kering and Conservation International - charged with the process to select and approve grants, evaluate progress of grants and the Fund overall.

  • Leadership Council: Composed of senior leaders from business and conservation and who provides general strategic advice and direction.

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Other questions

1
How will you perceive proposals which propose cost-sharing measures/in-kind contributions?

If you have additional funding sources, please let us know. While this is not a requirement, co-financing may indicate enhanced capacity to implement and deliver outcomes.

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2
Can other companies (brands) join the Fund?

Yes, please get in touch at: fund4nature@conservation.org. We would welcome opportunities to expand the fund - and its impact - by bringing more funding partners to the table.

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3
How will learnings be shared to promote better practices more widely across the industry?

For more than a decade, Kering has championed sustainable material sourcing, and communicated regularly on this work. Kering and Conservation International will work together to ensure that lessons learned under the Fund are shared openly and regularly with the wider industry and community.

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4
I have more questions about the grant application procedure and/or activity implementation. Who can I ask?

Please send an email to fund4nature@conservation.org

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5
I am not planning to apply, but am keen to discuss a collaborative opportunity. Who should I contact?

Please send an email to fund4nature@conservation.org

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