Luxottica announces the launch of a first major forest restoration project in the foothills of the Dolomites (UNESCO World Heritage Site), which were damaged in 2018 by the severe Storm Vaia.
The project covers an area of 30 hectares of mountain in the municipality of Agordo (BL), equivalent to about 50 football fields, situated behind the company’s main production plant.
It will be the largest project of its kind financed by a private company in the forests affected by Vaia, carried out in collaboration with local institutions, in particular the Municipality of Agordo, about one hundred private owners and a number of local companies, with a focus on transparency and collaboration.
Luxottica will take charge of 15,000 trees, salvaging the trunks felled by the storm, securing the soil, protecting the saved trees and encouraging the development of those that will grow wild in order to naturally regenerate the forest.
The plan also provides for the planting of 2,000 new trees in small clusters, using only locally sourced species, to increase the forest’s biodiversity and resilience in accordance with scientific guidance.
The initial stage, which will be completed in the first quarter of 2021, involves cleaning up the area and removing the felled timber, and will be crucial to achieving two goals: Making the land completely safe, reducing the risk of landslides and mudslides, and safeguarding other forests from being attacked by harmful insects that thrive in abandoned timber on the ground (European spruce bark beetle).
The second stage of actual regeneration will begin in the spring.
The real benefits
Luxottica’s first forest will bring real benefits in terms of capturing and conserving CO2 , the main greenhouse gas, and will create a circular economy by using salvaged wood and forest waste for new local purposes, including the production of clean, renewable energy.
In fact, Agordo is already home to a plant powered by solid biomass, such as forest chips, clippings and prunings, which supplies the local Luxottica plant and was inaugurated in 2017 in collaboration with Enel.
The project is being carried out in collaboration with Etifor, a spin-off of the University of Padua specializing in environmental consulting, planning, research and training.
It will restore value to the area, mitigating the impact of Luxottica’s activities on the environment and transforming the traumatic event of Storm Vaia into an opportunity to improve the area in terms of hydrogeology, environment and landscape.