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Audit: Minnesota sustainable forestry program lacks oversight, should be changed or scrapped

Audit: Minnesota sustainable forestry program lacks oversight, should be changed or scrapped | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

There is so little oversight of a state program that has spent $44 million promoting sustainable forestry on private land that lawmakers should make significant changes to it or scrap it altogether, Minnesota's legislative auditor said Tuesday.


The Sustainable Forest Incentive Program was created in 2001 to encourage good forestry on private land by locking in agreements for at least eight years that require landowners to submit and abide by sustainable forest management plans. In return, they get incentive payments set at a flat $7 per acre. About 2,300 landowners participated this year, with over 737,000 enrolled acres. The idea behind the payments was to offset property taxes on private forest land, thus encouraging landowners not to develop it.


But Legislative Auditor James Nobles' report said lawmakers should consider ending the program and identifying better ways of encouraging sustainable forestry. The findings follow Gov. Mark Dayton's recent calls for next year's legislative session to focus on eliminating old, unneeded laws and programs.


Nobles told an oversight subcommittee his office "is not criticizing the concept of sustainable forest management. We are simply questioning whether this particular tool ... has been designed and implemented in a way that ensures that we are achieving measurable results."

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Ceres urges institutional investors to promote sustainability

Ceres urges institutional investors to promote sustainability | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Pension funds and other asset owners, along with their money managers, need to transform their investment process to promote sustainability in the economy, an approach that would redound to more stable and enhanced long-term value creation,according to a set of guidelines released Wednesday by Ceres.


Through a comprehensive integration of environmental, social and governance factors into the investment decision-making process, institutional investors could better manage looming risks and potential opportunities that include climate change, extreme weather, resource scarcity, population growth as well as human and labor rights, according to the course of action laid out by Ceres, a coalition of investors, environmental groups and other organizations that work with companies to address sustainability issues, including climate change.


“The 21st Century Investor: Ceres Blueprint for Sustainable Investing” — a 56-page report available at Ceres' website — was put together in consultation with or feedback from major public pension funds, investment advisory firms, investment consultants, among others.

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Mindy S. Lubber, president of Boston-based Ceres and director of its Investor Network on Climate Risk, said in a separate statement in the report: “Today, rapidly accelerating climate change, dwindling water supplies, supply chain breakdowns, population growth and other sustainability challenges pose enormous, unprecedented risks to the global economy. But they also have created enormous economic opportunities in renewable energy, efficiency technologies, resilient infrastructure and other solutions to these challenges.”

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Growing the future: Global strategies for sustainable success in the forest, paper and packaging industry

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Thanks to FORSight Resources (https://twitter.com/FORSightResourc) for this link

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CalPERS, UC Davis launch research initiative to study impact of sustainability factors on investments

CalPERS, UC Davis launch research initiative to study impact of sustainability factors on investments | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) today launched, in partnership with University of California, Davis, the Sustainable Investment Research Initiative (SIRI). The initiative is an effort to drive innovative thought leadership that will inform and advance the organization’s understanding of sustainability factors and the impact they have on financial performance.


Today’s launch also marked the start of a Call for Working Papers from scholars and investment practitioners globally in the fields of finance, economics, accounting, law and business. The papers will contribute to a rigorous debate and discussion on the impact of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues on long-term value creation and capital market stability.

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In 2011, the CalPERS Board approved integrating ESG issues as a strategic priority across its investment portfolio. It is grounded in the three forms of economic capital – financial, human and physical – that are needed for long-term value creation, according to the pension fund’s 2012 report, “Towards Sustainable Investment.” SIRI will provide independent evaluation and insight for CalPERS sustainability strategy, as well as contribute to the larger debate.



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