GRESHAM House has united with nine other forestry companies to launch a global initiative aimed at supporting the role of sustainable forest management in the climate transition.

The International Sustainable Forestry Coalition (ISFC) has been co-founded by the specialist alternative asset manager, along with Dasos Capital, F&W Forestry, Marubeni, Mitsui & Co, New Forests, Oji Holdings Corporation, Rayonier, Stora Enso and UPM. 

With a combined nine million hectares of forests under management in 27 countries, the members of the coalition represent a sizeable part of the global forestry industry.

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Gresham House is the UK’s largest commercial forestry manager and among the largest worldwide, with £3.4bn of forestry assets under management in the UK, Europe and Australasia. 

The new initiative aims to achieve greater recognition of the importance of sustainable management and preservation of global forests in the fight against climate change.

Its founders hope it will enable effective, unified representation for the sector in the rapidly shifting policy debate around forestry, natural capital and climate change.

Olly Hughes, managing director for forestry at Gresham House, said: “The consideration of long-term sustainability risks and opportunities is a crucial aspect of our forestry management approach. Sustainability-related risks include climate change and biodiversity loss. 

“Managing forests sustainably can help mitigate these long-term risks and maximise the long-term growth and health of these assets for the ultimate benefit of society as a whole.”

Gresham House has managed forestry and land investments on behalf of institutions, endowments, family offices and private investors for more than 40 years. 

It has also promoted sustainable approaches to managing forestry assets, launching its Forest Charter in 2022 to setting out a measurable sustainability framework for its forestry investments.

Ross Hampton, executive director of the ISFC, said: “ISFC’s mission is to advocate for: increasing the global provision of renewable materials in the context of a circular bioeconomy; supporting growth that is compatible with climate and nature recovery imperatives; embedding science-based principles in policy and incentives; and increasing benefits to rural and indigenous people.

“The ISFC is committed to help solve the challenges laid out in the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use, being progressed by the Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership. 

“The private forestry sector is a vital partner to mobilise capital at the scale required to deliver on these ambitions and the applicable United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”