Save on tax and save the planet: put some money in forestry

In turbulent political and economic times, many investors are attracted to physical, tangible assets that promise some sort of protection against inflation, upheaval in the financial system, or political change (or often, all three at once). Gold is one such “real asset”; property is another. But while most of us probably have some exposure to property, and many readers will already own gold, there’s one “real” asset you perhaps haven’t considered forestry. Investing in woodland might sound like a hassle (it can be), or only for those who are aiming to pass their wealth to the next generation (it certainly has its uses on that front). But if you are looking to diversify your portfolio and plan to invest for the long run, it’s an asset class that you shouldn’t ignore.

Woodland covers around 13% of the UK, according to government statistics the best part of 3.2 million hectares. It’s also attracting growing interest from institutional investors. These include the Church Commissioners, which manages the Church of England’s investments, and has on its behalf built a portfolio of forestry worth around £250m. Forestry can provide both long-term income and capital growth. The income is generated by the sale of the timber felled each year the biggest customers come from the construction industry, but the paper and packaging business is a significant source of demand too. Growth, meanwhile, is driven by the rising capital value of the asset over time as timber prices rise, so do the value of the forests producing it. Continue reading “Save on tax and save the planet: put some money in forestry”

Invest In Agriculture- 5 Reasons To Start Today

I can think of no better asset to own during any kind of financial crisis than farmland or investing in agriculture stocks.

In some ways, farmland is even better than gold or silver. At least farmland is an intrinsically useful thing. It provides a tangible yield in the form of good things from the earth. We all have to eat. As consumers trim their sails, they ‘ll give up a lot before they give up their calorie intake. In fact, worldwide, the per capita calorie intake is likely to rise, while quality soil will become a scarce commodity. Altogether, I see five big reasons why agriculture investments are as good as green gold Continue reading “Invest In Agriculture- 5 Reasons To Start Today”

Save on tax and save the planet

In turbulent political and economic times, many investors are attracted to physical, tangible assets that promise some sort of protection against inflation, upheaval in the financial system, or political change (or often, all three at once). Gold is one such “real asset”; property is another. But while most of us probably have some exposure to property, and many  readers will already own gold, there’s one “real” asset you perhaps haven’t considered forestry. Investing in woodland might sound like a hassle (it can be), or only for those who are aiming to pass their wealth to the next generation (it certainly has its uses on that front). But if you are looking to diversify your portfolio and plan to invest for the long run, it’s an asset class that you shouldn’t ignore. Continue reading “Save on tax and save the planet”

Success of Microsoft’s ‘moonshot’ climate pledge hinges on forest conservation

forest conservationOne mechanism by which the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement incentivizes greenhouse gas reductions is via carbon offsets, payments that compensate nations, states and private landowners who agree to keep forests intact in order to preserve carbon storage capacity and biodiversity. Continue reading “Success of Microsoft’s ‘moonshot’ climate pledge hinges on forest conservation”

Is Mass Timber The Path To Sustainable Construction?

mass timber As people become increasingly interested in the sustainability in all things, building construction was bound to find itself under scrutiny. Steel and concrete are notorious for their large environmental footprints. But they’ve historically been the only suitable answer as the primary load-bearing material for large, and especially tall, buildings.

That may be changing. Mass timber – engineered wood members  used as structural components for buildings – is getting a lot of attention lately. “Mass timber is very exciting. It’s a long-term durable product. It’s a critical carbon storage tool,” said Mark Rudnicki, Ph.D., Professor of Practice for Forest Biomaterials at Michigan Technological University and Executive Director for the Michigan Forest Biomaterials Institute. “Plus, it’s cost-effective, and aesthetically pleasing.” Continue reading “Is Mass Timber The Path To Sustainable Construction?”

Another Robust Year for Forestry

ForestryTHE AVERAGE price of commercial forestry on the market rose 23% over the last year, according to the latest sector statistics.

The 21st edition of the UK Forest Market Report, produced by Tilhill Forestry and John Clegg and Co, outlined a positive outlook for the ‘robust’ market in its annual analysis, and highlighted its ‘powerful attraction as an investment asset’.

That year-on-year rise in average forestry values takes it to £11,478 per stocked hectare, pushing a 21% increase in the total value of the forestry market.

Commercial forestry transactions worth £126.5m were completed in the past year, with14,235 ha of forestry traded in 2019, encompassing 81 forests, at an average cost £1.56m.

Continue reading “Another Robust Year for Forestry”

Finland fights to keep control of forests away from EU

(Photo: Greenpeace Finland)

Finland, which currently holds the EU’s presidency until the end of the year, is lobbying to keep forestry a national competency – undermining a key part of the EU’s climate efforts to reduce emissions.

The EU considers land use and forestry two of the most important sectors for the bloc’s climate policy – as they include the use of soils, trees, plants, biomass, and timber.

Bearing in mind the climate targets for 2030 and 2050, the European Union designed a regulation for land use and forestry (known as LULUCF), adopted in 2018, to ensure that the accounted total emissions in the sector do not exceed the ‘accounted sinks’ – also known as “no-debit” rule. Continue reading “Finland fights to keep control of forests away from EU”

Wood industry urges passage of forestry management bills

The wood industry said it is hoping for the passage of legislation on land and forest management, which it expects to attract investment in the forestry sector from both domestic and foreign sources.

“Those bills that have been sitting in Congress for so long (and I hope they are) passed, to encourage investors, foreign or domestic,” Charlie H. Liu, chairman of Philippine Wood Producers Association (PWPA), told BusinessWorld via phone.

A number of bills are pending in Congress include the proposed National Land Use Act; the proposed Forest Limits Act, which allows Congress to delimit forest land and national parks where conservation measures will be in force; and the proposed Sustainable Forest Management Act, which seeks to prescribe sustainable forest management of former mine sites, as well as to regulate the use of forest resources, including those within ancestral land. Continue reading “Wood industry urges passage of forestry management bills”

‘Deforestation is a material risk that companies can no longer ignore’

While Unilever and Nestlé have made strides towards implementing no-deforestation policies, the vast majority of companies have not. Now some of the world’s biggest institutional investors are pushing for change through the Investor Initiative for Sustainable Forests, says Julie Nash of Ceres

As the cycle of forest fires burning through the Amazon has captured the world’s attention, institutional investors have seized the opportunity to shift the focus to some of the root causes of the problem: decades of poor forestry and land-use management and poorly managed agricultural supply chains.

Earlier this month, in the run-up to Climate Week New York, an unprecedented number of investors – 230 institutional investors representing $16.2trn in assets under management – issued an urgent plea to companies to take action against deforestation. Among the investors are some of the largest investment managers and asset-owners from around the globe, representing more than 30 countries. Continue reading “‘Deforestation is a material risk that companies can no longer ignore’”