New Heavyweight International Sustainable Forestry Coalition Takes Root

Ten leading forestry companies, managing almost 9 million hectares (22 million acres) of forests in 27 countries worth tens of billions of dollars, have united to help solve some of the world’s largest environmental challenges.

Prompted by the urgent call to action on climate change, biodiversity loss, and reducing emissions by halting and reversing deforestation, some of the world’s largest forestry companies have announced a new initiative.

The group, known as the International Sustainable Forestry Coalition (ISFC), includes founding members Dasos Capital, F&W Forestry, Gresham House, Marubeni, Mitsui & Co., Ltd (Mitsui), New Forests, Oji Holdings Corporation, Rayonier, Stora Enso and UPM.

Collectively these companies manage almost 9 million hectares of forests in 27 countries, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Ireland, UK, Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, France, Poland, Spain, Portugal, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique.

Executive Director of the new coalition Ross Hampton 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 Peoples.”

“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 (FCLP). 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.”

Convening Chair of the ISFC, and Chair of nature-based real assets manager, New Forests, Dr. David Brand added, “For the forestry sector to play a greater role in the overarching sustainability transition it needs to engage more directly with the Climate Change and Biodiversity COPs, with initiatives such as the Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership and with other policy processes related to the conservation and sustainable management of forests.”

“There is an expectation that the forestry sector needs to grow and contribute to a transition to greater use of sustainable, renewable, naturally decomposable materials in society; to a sustainable built environment; and to thriving rural communities. This will require expanded investment, but also an approach that creates and perpetuates landscapes which effectively balance conservation and production functions.”

The ISFC is expected to undertake activities during New York Climate Week and at COP28 in Dubai.