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The co-founder of Devialet launches the Greenback, a rating agency of the cultivated land

The real diagnoses, you know? Rating agencies financial also? But how to assess the health of an agricultural soil? How do I know if the use that is made of it is suited to its characteristics? Greenback wants to be the agency of a rating of the soils. At the head of this initiative, Quentin Sannié. A man that audiophiles know, he co-founded Devialet in 2007, with Pierre-Emmanuel Calmel. In 2018, he leaves his chair, CEO for the green in Normandy, which lasts from. If for some, this expression is synonymous of rest, for Quentin Sannié, this is the sign of a new activity: the Greenback. Its ambition is to create the "first global agency for rating of the cultivated land".

"One of the problems of the ecological approach, it is to be often small. The small firm that makes small products nice. This is interesting. But if we want to solve problems on a global scale for global players, it is necessary to think globally, as the actors of the textile or of the agri-food industry", he explains. He wants to reverse the trend. Rather than see groups impose on farmers ' production methods, with specifications often very restrictive, it aims to bring these large outsourcers to adapt to their requirements, taking into account the quality of land operated, to replace the standards means the standards of results. All plots do not have the same needs. The use of a plant protection product may be relevant in geology and almost criminal in another case.

the living environment

He began by creating a group of farmer in Normandy, in the Eure. "They have been very open and very encouraging, tells Quentin Sannié. Very quickly the discussion came to the problem of the soil, it is a problem that is "root". The soil is not a simple support of the plant it is a space biological, not physico-chemical. However, we denied this reality. Crop yields begin to decline, half of the world's farmland are damaged or very damaged". A disaster, when we know that 95% of human food comes from the soil (the balance comes from the sea).

To measure the state of health of a soil, the Greenback is using several means. The start-up leverages existing databases, satellite imaging, studies... "We have tested about two hundred indicators of soil health, on pilot projects. We have developed a method to combine the analysis of soil with metadata", he explains. It is necessary to go on site, but by collecting often metadata on the concept of the plot, Quentin Sannié hopes to develop "models and learners". DNA sequencing of the soil to establish the biodiversity (microbial, fungal, nematodes - small worms), measuring carbon in the soil (for its organic mass), a measure of the integrity of the soil, pollution and soil erosion, through the study of satellite and radar images. The panel of tools is extensive and leads to a notation A, B, C... as a financial rating, with a dynamic perspective of evolution. The Greenback also takes into account the environment of the study plot, vegetation cover, crop rotation... in order To finalize these tools, a pilot project is conducted with a university of Washington, on the west coast of the United States, and with the USDA (department of agriculture u.s.). Others are in place in France and the Greenback is being prepared in Africa, in crops of cotton and cocoa.

major donors

The goal of the Greenback is to achieve a cost of the credit rating of the soil is very low. Its objective is to achieve a euro per hectare per year. "50 to 100 times less expensive than what exists today," says Quentin Sannié. Its business model is simple, it targets the large groups, agri-food, textile, but also the financial institutions. At a time when the companies put forward socially responsible practices, the Greenback think to have a role to play. "This may apply to all investors who want to engage in sustainable businesses, he adds. The value of the cultivated land in the world, it is 70 000 billions of euros, it is an asset highly speculative, because the concern is massive".

Note the land is also the means of protecting them against practices that impoverish and threaten, in a more or less short term, for the environmental balance. To reconcile the farmers with their neighbors, enhance the value of arable land, avoiding that they disappear under shopping malls or housing estates... Quentin Sannié also sees his new project as a way to bring its contribution to the protection of the environment. "It is not necessary to do the tech for the tech, but for good reasons", before adding, thoughtfully, "Devialet, it's not tech... it's the music".

The editorial team conseillePour France digitale, France needs a "plan-to-reset technology"SujetsEnvironnementGreentechAucun comment

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