Accelerating a Sustainable Future
Manulife Financial Corporation
Provide nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change, partner to scale financial investments, and preserve the social and environmental benefits of forests, agriculture and biodiversity.
As a global life insurer and asset manager, we understand the connection between our environment and human health. We’re in a unique position to provide and manage investments in nature-based solutions to help mitigate climate change. We strive to accelerate the pace of innovation around developing products that aim to both solve investor needs and help create a more sustainable future. As one of the world's largest timberland and farmland investment managers, Manulife believes sustainably managed forests and farms are a critical part of the climate solution, with immense benefits for people, the planet, climate and the opportunity for investment returns.
We will focus on providing and scaling nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change through products that amplify the carbon removal benefits of forests, partnering to share our knowledge, tools and experience and supporting local communities, nature and biodiversity.
Actions in this pledge
Conserving trees and forest landscapes
- Permanent conservation
- Secure a forest through acquisition or legal agreement to avoid planned or unplanned deforestation or degradation, and/or ensure permanent conservation of land
- Conservation support activities
- Support the operating costs and activities of existing conservation areas, including advocacy for conservation policy
We continue to protect sensitive lands, having placed a cumulative 479,000 acres into permanent conservation throughout our history. We are working to develop natural capital accounts that showcase the full ecological and social value of forests in order to build the business case for further conservation efforts. More details are available in Manulife Investment Management’s 2022 Timberland Sustainable Investing Report.
Restoring and growing trees and forest landscapes
- Assisted natural regeneration
- Actions that support natural regeneration without tree planting, such as Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration, forest soil remediation, exotic species control, disease prevention, and wildfire protection
- Re-establishment of forest through planting and/or deliberate seeding on land classified as forest, that has been degraded or where trees are unlikely to regenerate naturally
- Other restoration and tree growing activities
- Afforestation, likely on degraded or low-quality pastureland
In the next 5 years, building upon our existing USD$100 million commitment, we will continue to grow our investments in nature-based climate solutions. We will also aim to grow the scale of Manulife Investment Management’s carbon-focused forestry investments we manage, to offer innovative products to meet investors' climate-related goals.
As we grow the portfolio of carbon-focused forestry investments we manage on behalf of Manulife and our third party clients, we also aim to increase our sequestration of CO2 from the atmosphere through the forests we manage in accordance with the Manulife Investment Management Carbon Principles and leading sustainability certification standards including Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI®), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
Restoring & Growing
Enabling activities for trees and forest landscapes
- Nursery and seedling development
- Establish tree nurseries, including actions such as identification and collection of seeds and/or growing seedlings
- Sustainable forest management
- Activities that support the stewardship and use of forests (including by local communities and indigenous peoples), to maintain their biological diversity, productivity, and regeneration capacity, as well as their potential to fulfil relevant ecological economic and social functions
- Market development for sustainable forest products
- Activities that create markets and demand for ecologically and socially responsible timber and non-timber forest and agroforestry products, e.g. capacity-building for the harvesting and processing of agroforestry products, forest certification standards, etc.
- Education and capacity building
- Forest / tree species conservation and restoration education programmes, targeted educational and behaviour change campaigns, training and capacity building, including promotion of local and traditional knowledge and practices
- Data collection, management and technological tools
- Activities that provide data and/or technological tools to support conservation and restoration (e.g. monitoring etc.)
- Financial innovation
- Activities that create additional financial opportunities and incentives for conservation, restoration and reforestation (e.g. blended financing vehicles, etc.)
We will aim to partner with others and scale investments to:
- Create additional financial opportunities and incentives for conservation, restoration and afforestation or reforestation (e.g. blended financing vehicles, etc.).
- Support scaling the market for sustainable timber in building construction.
- Further the development of high-quality forest-based carbon credit standards.
- Accelerate the development of sustainable investment strategies for companies interested in natural climate solutions to support their climate goals.
- Partner to pilot new programs and technologies to promote nature-based climate solutions.
Our ecologically and socially responsible approach
We are actively integrating community perspectives and needs into the strategy and implementation of these activities. They are involved throughout various stages of our projects. On the ecological side, the sustainable management of forests integrates the latest science and remains at the core of our work here. We work closely with third-party certification bodies and those standards and principles are applied to our portfolio of projects.
Our results tracking
MIM Timberland tracks and reports on these metrics via our direct operations and property management as well as via third-party data providers.
GHG emissions and removals, tons of carbon credits generated, % of forest harvested annually, % of forests third-party certified, % of forests with conservation designation, stream length protected by forest best management practices, tree species, forest management plans, deforested land, reforested land, biodiversity assessment, ecosystem services provided, number of threatened species, water protection practices
# direct jobs (firm level), # indirect jobs (contractors, firm level), safety record, employee charitable contributions (firm level), forest recreation land open to public
Our system of accreditation
Our entire U.S. agriculture platform has been certified to the Leading Harvest Farmland Management Standard. Leading Harvest demonstrates our commitment to sustainability, assuring our key stakeholders of sustainable practices, robust management, and continuous improvement. We manage our farmland according to the standard at all our operations globally and are participating in a pilot to formally launch it in Australia.
All timberlands third-party certified to Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI®), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) standards.
We will work with leading carbon project developers and leading carbon registries in the voluntary market (e.g. American Carbon Registry, Climate Action Reserve, Verra, Gold Standard) and in the compliance markets (California Air Resources Board, New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme, Australia Emissions Reduction Fund).
MIM Carbon Principles are applied to all carbon projects.
We are working at locations across Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, and United States of America (USA).
We may also work elsewhere in South America and Europe in the future.