SYDNEY, 8 April 2015 – New Forests, a forestry investment manager operating in the Asia Pacific and the United States, has issued its 2014 Sustainability Report. The report aims to provide transparent and accurate information about the company’s progress and performance in the areas of sustainability and responsible investment, an approach that takes account of the material relevance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in investment management.
“The New Forests 2014 Sustainability Report reflects our mission as a business to generate excellent returns for our clients while also creating positive and lasting benefits to the communities and landscapes in which we invest,” said CEO David Brand. “Increasing investment in real assets by institutional investors requires that managers like New Forests demonstrate shared value for our clients, the communities where we operate, and the environment.”
The publication of the report marks New Forests’ third public sustainability report. Along with a discussion of ESG issues facing the business and New Forests’ investments, the report includes social and environmental impact reporting using both case studies and standardised metrics from the Impacting Reporting & Investment Standards (IRIS) program.
“New Forests has begun using new metrics to report on social and environmental management in an effort to enhance transparency and accountability,” said MaryKate Hanlon, Sustainability Manager. “We believe our commitment to ESG reporting and public disclosure is unique among forestry investment firms. We are proud of the significant achievements we’ve made to date, and by reporting publicly we set the stage to demonstrate further progress on ambitious goals as our business evolves and grows.”
With more than 615,000 hectares in assets under management, New Forests manages 395,000 hectares of certified plantation forests as well as wetland and stream mitigation banks and forest carbon offset projects. The report describes the environmental achievements across New Forests’ estate – including 113 kilometres of stream restoration, more than 50,000 hectares of protected areas, and more than 57,000 hectares managed for ecological restoration. Community benefits and ongoing initiatives are also discussed, such as the launch of a community engagement program in Southeast Asia and collaborations with Native American tribes to develop improved forest management projects for the California carbon market.
Along with the release of the 2014 Sustainability Report, New Forests has also announced its new Responsible Investment Policy. The policy sets New Forests’ requirements for integration of ESG considerations into its investment programs. New Forests embraces this approach to responsible investment in order to lower risk and support stable investment returns, but also because innovative approaches to forest and land management can add value to investments.
“Our new Responsible Investment Policy is a reflection of New Forests’ ambition to create shared value and strong investment results by managing ESG-related risks and opportunities,” said David Brand. “With this new policy, New Forests will continue to grow our business as a leading responsible investor specialising in forestry and conservation investments.”