Establishing new forests to counter increasing CO2 emissions – a new Danish initiative

2015-2018 were the warmest four years recorded to date and the consequences on the environment and the world’s natural habitats can already be felt on numerous levels. The world’s forests presently store about 296 million Gt of carbon – the annual amount of CO2 emitted by 861,563 coal-fired plants. The creation of new, sustainably managed forests along with intensified investments into alternative asset classes such as timber and agriculture actively counter the increase in global CO2 emissions. In addition, these provide essential goods and services and are thus crucial for the balance of nature.  Apart from economic and livelihoods services – e.g. timber for production of goods, household appliances, and fuel – they offer essential ecosystem services, all of which are vital for our existence, incl. clean air and water, conservation, biodiversity preservation, mitigation of climate change, carbon sequestration, and stocks conservation, heat waves as well as floods prevention – all of which are vital for our existence.

As of 2019, the majority of the investments under IWC’s management or advice are certified, while most of the remaining investments are in the process of becoming so. Through our active participation at the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and the Danish Forum for Responsible and Sustainable Investment (DanSIF) as well as our continued commitment to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and our membership of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), we always strive to achieve the most appropriate, recognized third-party forest certification for all forest investments and forestry activities under our advice or management (FSC, PEFC, and other schemes of equally high standards).

Meanwhile, as an investment manager and advisor for institutional investors, the IWC Group will always act in the best long-term interest of our clients. We believe that environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues can impact the performance of investment portfolios directly, why they should be considered and managed on a continual basis throughout the lifecycle of an investment. Moreover, we recognize that applying these Responsible Investment Principles may better align investors with the broader objectives of society and the urgent call for sustainable investment opportunities among institutional investors. The IWC Group thus seeks to carry out all investments in a manner that is both socially responsible and environmentally sound, based on a strong ESG Policy Plan drawing from the IFC Performance Standards, Equator Principles, and UN PRI for responsible investments.

This week, TV 2 and the Danish Society for Nature Conservation will host the first fundraiser of its kind in Denmark, focused on the climate. For every DKK 20 raised, they aim at planting a new tree. In this way, the hosts’ ambitious goal of raising DKK 20 million (USD 3 million) could produce one million new trees on the ground.

According to Lotte Lindegaard, Channel Controller at TV 2, “climate change is one of the most important issues for society, both at home and globally, why it makes perfect sense for TV 2 to put it on the agenda. Through “Denmark plants trees” we want to gather, engage, and activate the Danes in the climate discussion – and not least emphasize that action matters and that it makes a difference when we do things together” (translated from Danish).

While the Growing Trees Network Foundation will oversee the establishment of the new public “Peoples’ Forests” (Folkeskove), the Danish Nature Fund along with WWF Verdensnaturfonden will make sure that another part of the donations is spent on preserving existing forests in Denmark and abroad. To learn more about the fundraiser, please follow this link (in Danish).