SYDNEY, 11 April 2018 – New Forests, a Sydney-based investment manager, has become a Certified B Corporation®, making the announcement alongside the release of the company’s 2017 Sustainability Report.
New Forests Pty Ltd was certified by the non-profit B Lab® using its B Impact Assessment, a framework that measures the ability of a business not only to generate returns, but also to create value for clients, employees, community, and the environment. A core tenet of the B Corp™ movement is the use of certification to demonstrate that companies meet high standards for environmental and social performance, public transparency, and accountability.
“Becoming a B Corp is the latest step in New Forests’ ongoing effort to embed our company purpose – investing to create productive and sustainable landscapes – in everything we do,” said MaryKate Bullen, Associate Director, Sustainability & Communications. “Just as the forestry assets we manage must achieve independent third-party certification of responsible forest management, we feel it is important for our business also to demonstrate that we meet high standards of performance as a responsible business through a rigorous third-party review process.”
“We are pleased to announce that we are joining the community of B Corps at the same time that we release our latest sustainability report, which describes the way in which we manage investments for improved environmental, social, and economic performance under our Sustainable Landscape Investment approach,” said David Brand, CEO of New Forests. “As a B Corp, we join a network of like-minded companies that believe in the power of business as a force for good.”
New Forests manages commingled funds and separate accounts specialising in sustainable forestry and conservation finance. While targeting commercially attractive risk-adjusted returns, New Forests’ investment strategies also aim to produce positive environmental and social impacts through the company’s framework for Sustainable Landscape Investment (SLI). The SLI framework integrates performance management across the themes of productivity, land use planning, ecosystem services, shared prosperity, risk management, and governance. These six themes are described in the 2017 Sustainability Report, with metrics from the Global Impact Investing Network’s (GIIN) Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS) and case studies that demonstrate activities and outcomes for each theme.
“As our assets under management continue to grow both in scale and geographic extent, IRIS provides us a consistent and common language to monitor and communicate our impacts over time,” said Brand. “We aim for our reporting of these impacts to support our clients in understanding how their investments may contribute to international efforts such as the Paris Climate Change Accord and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Ultimately, forestry investments are well positioned to address some of the most challenging issues and opportunities we face today, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, social inequality, rising demand for natural resources, and the opportunity to decarbonise the economy.”
Highlights from the 2017 report include:
- New Forests had 855,000 hectares of assets under management as at the end of 2017, and assets have grown already in 2018 to more than 900,000 hectares.
- More than 113 million tonnes of CO2e are stored in the productive area of plantation forests under management, and New Forests’ carbon projects in the United States were issued more than 370,000 California Compliance Offsets in 2017.
- More than 17,000 hectares of trees were planted across 450,000 hectares of plantation forests during the year 2017.
- 219,000 hectares of land were managed with restoration objectives, such as watershed management, riparian restoration, and eradication of invasive species.
- More than 4,200 people were employed directly and indirectly in the operations of New Forests’ investments.
“Our 2017 Sustainability Report reflects the diversity of environmental, social, and corporate governance projects underway throughout our portfolio. It also describes how New Forests works with partners such as property managers, portfolio companies, NGOs, researchers, and stakeholders to improve asset management and align with local, regional, and international conservation and development priorities,” said Bullen.
“We are motivated by the rising tide of investors who want to support the Sustainable Development Goals through their investment portfolios, and we see partnership, capacity building, and innovation as the keys to making progress on the Global Goals. We hope our 2017 Sustainability Report shows that timberland investment – including forest management and forest conservation – has a role to play in the future green growth of the global economy.”
New Forests’ 2017 Sustainability Report is available for download at: https://newforests.com.au/#sustainability.