FRA a US-based forestry investment research and analysis consultancy, has welcomed news that the Church of England has increased its exposure to timberland investments over the past 18 months.
Online PR News – 04-June-2012 – Bainbridge Island, WA – June 01, 2012 - Forestry Research Associates (FRA) a US-based forestry investment research and analysis consultancy, has welcomed news that the Church of England has increased its exposure to timberland investments over the past 18 months.
The Church of England is one of the UK’s largest non-profit organizations in terms of money invested and it has been restructuring its investment portfolio, worth £5.2 billion, over the past year-and-a-half. It has moved much of its allocation into uncrowded, unconventional assets such has timberland.
FRA claims that the example is the most powerful demonstration of a general move towards alternative investments in the charity sector in the UK and abroad and a general move away from stocks and bonds and into tangible, ethical asset classes.
“It seems to sit much better with charities to invest in something tangible and ideally something socially and environmentally responsible,” claimed FRA’s analysis partner, Peter Collins. He added, “The equity markets are a volatile place at the moment and when money is as precious as it is to the charities sector, a low risk approach is vital."
That's not to say that good returns can’t be made from alternative investments, added FRA.
FRA is a keen promoter of timberland investments as an option that is not closely aligned with general economic trends and indicators.
Firms like Greenwood Management, which operate plantations in Brazil, offer individuals and group investors, such as pension funds and charities, the chance to invest as little as EUR 10,000 in timberland that is managed sustainably.
These kinds of projects are popular at the moment as timber demand is rising off the back of the growth of emerging economies that need timber to help expand their infrastructures. As well as providing timber as a raw material for construction the plantations also provide the booming steel industry within Brazil itself with sustainable charcoal.