Sadhguru will be in Paris in October for the Yves Rocher Summit. Here’s the story of how PGH and Yves Rocher partnered to plant 15 million saplings for the planet!

On the 12th and 13th of October, Sadhguru will be the guest of honor at a summit in Paris, organized by the Yves Rocher Foundation (YR). The summit is in celebration of YR having planted 50 million trees so far. Sadhguru will be a key speaker at a roundtable conference and will also conduct a meditation session for 400 people. The group includes UN delegates, French media persons and representatives of NGOs from 27 countries that YR has partnered with.

The Yves Rocher group is Project GreenHands’ (PGH) single largest sponsor. The relationship works the other way too, with PGH being Yves Rocher’s single largest partner. Let’s look at the story of how PGH’s association with YR began.

Over 50 years ago, Mr. Yves Rocher was convinced of the importance of environmental conservation when he created the brand that bore his name. His son, Jacques Rocher, president of Yves Rocher Foundation, continued to follow and fulfill that vision after he took over the reins. Today, the Yves Rocher group is the world leader in botanical beautycare with operations in over 90 countries.

Jacques Rocher, president of Yves Rocher Foundation, plants a tree with PGH volunteers

In 2007, inspired by Wangari Mathai and using the framework from the UN initiative “Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign”, Jacques took a pledge to plant 1 million trees. To fulfill that aim, YR began identifying planting partners. They read about PGH creating a Guinness World Record. As they found out more, they were inspired by Project GreenHands’ “Trees for All” program where saplings are raised in Isha nurseries with people’s participation, and distributed to anyone who commits to plant and nurture them. YR tied up with PGH, and GreenHands planted 1 million saplings through their sponsorship.

From 1 million to 50 million

Sadhguru with Jacques Rocher (left) plants a tree in France

Following this success, YR set their sights higher, at planting 50 million trees. Seeing the impact of Isha’s work, they have continued their partnership with Project GreenHands, and in the last 5 years, 15 million saplings of 84 different native tree species – including fruit, fodder, timber, shade-giving, flowering and avenue trees – have been distributed to people. It is commendable that when most corporate companies insist that tree-planting should happen in their city if not their backyard, Yves Rocher, a company that does not have any business operations in India, has supported this project. This is a true example of what real CSR means.

On the occasion of his visit, Sadhguru will also be giving a public talk for the first time in Paris on 12th October, and Sounds of Isha will be performing at the Parisian theatre. Registrations are open at www.ishafrance.com.