The owner of Asos, who lost his three children in an attack, a millionaire and conscientious environmentalist

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By CAPosts 23 November, 2020 - 05:30pm 148 views

When Danish businessman Anders Holch Povlsen, the main shareholder of the British fashion portal ASOS, and his wife, Anne, lost three of their four children in April 2019 in the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday - in which 253 perished people - the richest man in Denmark came out of anonymity inside and outside his country. He had gone with his family to spend the holidays, and Alfred, 5, Agnes, 12, and Alma, 15, the three children perished at the Shangri-La hotel, in Colombo, where they were staying. The marriage and another daughter, Astrid, who was then 10 years old, survived and the couple described what happened as "completely incomprehensible". Then, silence, until last March they announced with joy the arrival of their twin daughters , "two small miracles that we receive as a sign of reaffirmation in life," they said. And, again, silence, now broken by the so-called conservationist Anders, 48, who is also Scotland's largest landowner, calling for tax cuts for companies that mitigate their CO2 footprint. Owner of almost 900 square kilometers in the Scottish Highlands, he has set out to protect them "because climate change is progressing very quickly, something my children understood," he said.

The death of the children disrupted discretion with that the family moved, and showed the close friendship that binds them to the inheriting princes of Denmark, Frederick and Mary. Both accompanied them at the funeral, along with their children, and the photos of the Povlsen couple embracing their only remaining daughter, in front of three small coffins, shook inside and outside their country. Before the tragedy, the businessman, whose fortune is estimated at about 7,000 million euros, according to data from Forbes magazine , said that he was not a billionaire in search of whims just to invest. This is repeated in an interview published this Sunday in The Sunday Times newspaper , where he indicates that the mission has been imposed to "reverse the damage caused to the trees of the Highlands by centuries of intensive grazing of sheep and deer." Overgrazing reduces biodiversity by not allowing sufficient recovery periods, and is one of the causes of erosion, and he estimates that his regeneration project will take several generations.

In the same British newspaper, he suggests that “turn the tax on companies to be able to measure financial responsibility based on carbon dioxide emissions, could encourage companies not to harm the environment ”. Povlsen is also the owner of the Danish fashion chain Bestseller, which includes brands such as Vero Moda, Only or Jack & Jones, and the second shareholder of Zalando, the German fashion digital portal, and owes its love to Scotland to its family summers when I was a kid. He recognizes himself in this environment, which he has described as a happy place, a sentiment shared by his wife, and acquired his first lands in 2006.

The British media indicate that he owns 1% of the lands of Scotland , and even surpasses the Prince of Wales , which has about 526 square kilometers. A report by the Scottish Land Monitoring Commission, reviewed by the British media, recommends that land sales take into account the public interest, and that the owners' plans and possible abuses of power be investigated. Anders Povlsen answers this in the interview admitting that “I could have explained my purposes better, but people may believe that I bought these lands without altruism, when the truth is that you cannot have double intentions when you try to protect and restore nature. ”. Of the emotional bond that binds him to Scotland, he shows the open letter of the Povlsen, published in full page by the local newspaper The Scotsman , to thank the messages of condolence received from there on the death of their children. It concluded thus: "The beloved memory of our three children, their wonderful spirits and their souls will always be in our hearts With the deepest thanks, Anne and Anders Holch Povlsen."

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