Sustainability Policies

Since establishment, IWC has worked towards securing the sustainability of its clients’ investments.

As investment managers and advisors of institutional investors, IWC Group has a duty to act in the best long-term interests of its clients. We believe that environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues can affect the performance of investment portfolios (to varying degrees across companies, sectors, regions, asset classes and through time). We also recognize that applying these Responsible Investment Principles may better align investors with broader objectives of the society. Therefore, IWC Group seeks to carry out all investments in a manner that is socially responsible and environmentally sound based on an ESG Policy, incorporating:

SRI Guidelines

Set of socially responsible investing guidelines, applied as part of a comprehensive due diligence process, before investment is pursued, and on an ongoing basis at post-investment stage. The SRI guidelines are built upon on the IFC Performance Standards, Equator Principles, and UN PRI for responsible investments.

Code of Conduct

Covering issues, like corruption, facilitation payments, child labor and working conditions, protection money, and other improper and questionable business methods, outlining IWC’s acts in relation to these and its expectations on counter-parties. Underlying legal instruments and principles are OECD’s Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, and the UN Convention against Corruption (both ratified by Denmark).

Certification policy

IWC strives towards attaining the most appropriate, recognized third-party forest certification for all forest investments and forestry activities under advice or management by IWC (FSC, PEFC, other schemes with equivalent to those standards). This serves as risk management tool, improves transparency and market access, providing higher exit value opportunities.

Commitments

IWC is a signatory of the UN PRI, member of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), participates in Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC’s) stakeholder consultation forum, and the Danish Sustainable Investment Forum (DanSIF).

As of 2016, 84 percent of investments under management or advice are certified, while the majority of the remaining investments are in the process of becoming so. IWC works towards attaining the most appropriate, recognized third-party forest certification for all forest investments (FSC, PEFC or other equivalent to those) and forestry activities under advice or management by IWC.

IWC’s SRI guidelines in respect to agriculture are based on UNPRI’s Principles for Responsible Investment in Farmland, Land Acquisition and Involuntary Re-settlement, developed by large institutional investors, and IWC recommends that attention is paid especially to the principles regarding existing land and resource rights.

Climate Change

Sustainably managed forests provide essential goods and services and are therefore crucial for nature’s balance. Apart from economic and livelihoods services (timber for production of goods, household appliances and fuel), they also provide ecosystem services (clean air and water, conservation and biodiversity preservation, mitigation of climate change- carbon sequestration and stocks conservation, heat waves and floods prevention), which are vital for life’s existence. The carbon stored in world’s forests is 296 million Gt – equivalent to 861 563 coal-fired plants’ annual CO2 emissions. Over 1 billion of hectares of forests serve as soil and water protectors, and 1.6 billion (the size of European’s continent and a half)- as ecosystems services, cultural or spiritual values providers. The world has already lost 129 million hectares of forests between 1990 and 2015 (FAO, 2015), particularly in South America and Africa. Nevertheless, thanks to international collaboration and the forest management development, over the last 25 years, the rate of net forest loss has been cut by over 50%. Today, out of 4 billion hectares of forests, 438 million (11%), are managed under some certification scheme, compared to 14 million hectares in 2000.

Agriculture, on the other side, is highly dependent on climatic conditions, hence directly impacted by climate change, while at the same time contributing to it through released greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. However, agriculture can also play part in climate change mitigation by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions- thanks to technical practices, which have already led to 44 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent reduction in OECD countries (within 1990-2010), productivity increase (contributing with 2% reduction annually within the same period and countries) and by sequestering carbon while maintaining food production.

It is for certain that both, agriculture and timberland, are having major role in our sustainable future and are therefore key characters in the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030.