New Forests releases 2015 Sustainability Report
Philosophy of Sustainable Landscape Investment aims to create shared value for investors and communities
14 April 2016 – New Forests, the Sydney-based real assets investment manager, today published its 2015 Sustainability Report. The report is New Forests’ fourth public report covering its investment activities across Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and the United States. New Forests’ investment programs include management of timber plantations, rural agricultural land, conservation areas, carbon offsets, timber processing, and related infrastructure.
New Forests’ CEO David Brand explained, “Throughout 2015 we have undertaken a review of our company’s corporate purpose, and have integrated the concept of shared value into our core business philosophy. We recognise that managing our investments to deliver both sound risk-adjusted returns to our clients and long-term benefits to the communities where we operate are mutually reinforcing goals. To deliver this corporate purpose we have developed a new performance framework we are calling Sustainable Landscape Investment.”
The Sustainable Landscape Investment model is being implemented across all of New Forests’ investment programs. It promotes holistic investment performance through an integrated focus on the areas of productivity, ecosystem services, land use planning, shared prosperity, risk management, and governance. New Forests’ 2015 Sustainability Report includes a discussion of material ESG issues within each of these thematic areas and uses impact reporting metrics from the Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS) catalogue of performance metrics, which is an initiative of the Global Impact Investing Network (The GIIN).
Highlights from the 2015 reporting include more than 473,000 hectares of certified forest area, 95% certified timber production, and more than one-third of New Forests’ 765,000 hectares of investments being managed for conservation and as protected areas.
“Our 2015 Sustainability Report provides measures of impact related to conservation, land use, timber production, and timber processing, which are important facets of demonstrating responsible investment management for our real assets,” said MaryKate Bullen, Associate Director, Sustainability & Communications. ”We believe it’s essential to make this information available for a range of stakeholders using both quantifiable indicators as well as qualitative information like case studies and discussion of why and how ESG issues are material to our investments.”
New Forests also reports on its responsible investment activities on an annual basis through the reporting and assessment framework of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The company received an A+ rating in its 2015 PRI assessment, which is available for download on the company’s website. In addition, New Forests has integrated ESG into all quarterly client reporting alongside financial and operational reporting.
“We see a growing interest from our clients and other institutional investors to understand and monitor the impacts of their investments alongside financial performance,” said Radha Kuppalli, Executive Director of Investor Services for New Forests.
Kuppalli continued, “It’s important we make ESG information public and promote the visibility of the role forestry investment plays to contribute to high sustainability investment outcomes, which are increasingly in demand by private investors seeking to mitigate their exposure to risks from climate change and other global challenges.”
Brand concluded, “New Forests views sustainability and responsible investment as an ongoing journey, and using our Sustainable Landscape Investment framework we aim to continue to push ourselves to define more ambitious and innovative investment goals. We hope our 2015 Sustainability Report advances the discussion on how institutional capital can play a role in developing sustainable and productive landscapes, and we welcome feedback on the report.”
Download New Forests’ 2015 Sustainability Report: http://tiny.cc/newforests2015.