BNP Paribas Expands With Woodland Acquisition

    Stockholm (NordSIP) – Healthy forests facilitate biodiversity preservation, water management, and are crucial for the survival of global climate systems. Forests are also an intrinsic part of all climate scenarios rely on Negative Emission Technologies (NETs) necessary to reach net zero emissions and limit global warming to 1.5-2°C in order to cover biogenic emissions and emissions from hard-to-abate sectors.

    In this spirit, and driven by investors’ increasing for sustainable private solutions BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM), has been expanding its sustainable investment offering and its private markets investment platform.

    Most recently, BNPP AM has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in leading Danish natural resources specialist International Woodland Company (IWC). IWC is a Danish company with over 30 years’ experience managing and advising services sustainable timberland and agriculture investments and ecosystems services, and overseeing €5.5 billion of timberland investment programmes globally.

    “We welcome BNP Paribas Asset Management’s investment in IWC and look forward to partnering with them to grow the nature-based solutions universe together. Both companies share a vision of combining fiduciary duty and active contribution to the transition to a sustainable world. We believe that wood is the preferred material in a carbon-neutral world, and agricultural production is on an important path to deliver sustainable proteins to the global citizen. This partnership will enable IWC to expand its distribution reach and further its resources on sustainability and the EU taxonomy to the benefit of both our current and future clients,” Otto Reventlow, CEO of IWC, commented on this occasion.

    The natural capital investment market is still relatively small, with institutional timberland estimated to be less than US$100 billion, equivalent to approximately 0.1% of global GDP. This compares to estimated global government expenditure of around US$500 billion annually on activities that can be harmful to biodiversity. BNPP AM’s acquisition of IWC is expected to close in H1 2023 and is subject to regulatory approval by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority.

    “Our investment in IWC is fully aligned with our commitment to be a leading sustainable asset manager, be forward looking on sustainability-related topics with our clients and increase our focus on sustainable investment strategies, especially within private markets. It is a key component of our Net Zero and Biodiversity roadmaps, as well as being aligned with broader BNP Paribas Group initiatives to protect and restore forests and biodiversity, such as Zero Net Deforestation or Act4nature. We are seeing growing interest from our clients for investing in forestry as an asset class, and via IWC we are very pleased to be able to offer them an enhanced range of sustainable solutions that complement our existing private markets capabilities and contribute to reducing the net zero financing gap while enabling a just transition for nature,” David Vaillant, BNPP AM Executive Committee Member, concluded.

    Filipe Albuquerque
    Filipe Albuquerque
    Filipe is an economist with 8 years of experience in macroeconomic and financial analysis for the Economist Intelligence Unit, the UN World Institute for Development Economic Research, the Stockholm School of Economics and the School of Oriental and African Studies. Filipe holds a MSc in European Political Economy from the LSE and a MSc in Economics from the University of London, where he currently is a PhD candidate.

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