Manulife Investment Management announces new principles for forest and agricultural carbon projects

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Sees carbon as an integrated value driver for investors

BOSTON, April 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ – Manulife Investment Management today announced new guidelines for managing quality carbon credits for forest land and agriculture. The new principles have already been incorporated into Manulife Investment Management’s forestland acquisition selection for existing carbon projects and new carbon project development opportunities. They meet the company’s intent to generate high-integrity, high-quality carbon credits for investors and the environment.

Manulife Investment Management logo (CNW Group/Manulife Investment Management)

“We recognize the demand for carbon offsets which is currently driven primarily by corporate net zero commitments; however, voluntary demand for carbon offsetting is expected to increase up to 100 times by 2050,” said Thomas G. Sarno, Global Head of Forest Investments, Manulife Investment Management. “The increased demand is helping to move carbon markets towards greater transparency and sequestration standardization and is another way for clients to grow their capital while having a positive impact.”

“We are confident that through the continued focus on natural capital accounting and the applications of new and existing science to measure soil carbon capture and generate the resulting carbon value, we will deliver the enormous potential of agriculture to contribute to the carbon sequestration objectives sought by investors,” added Oliver S. Williams IVCFA, Global Head of Agricultural Investments, Manulife Investment Management.

Over the past year, an internal Manulife Investment Management working group has conducted a comprehensive analysis of key carbon standards created by various independent groups. The Task Force then developed a set of Carbon Principles aligned with the draft Carbon Core Principles created by the Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Council, a recently launched governance body that grew out of the Upgrading Task Force. scale of voluntary carbon markets. The company includes, but does not limit, its new carbon guidelines to the key principles of additionality, permanence, leakage and accurate monitoring, reporting and verification. The internal carbon standards working group will only recommend opportunities if the project adheres closely to the new guidelines.

According to these guidelines, carbon credits must be:

  • Real – They must genuinely reduce carbon emissions and contribute to global climate change initiatives

  • Based on Realistic and Credible Reference Levels—Reference levels should be defined as normally occurring emission levels in a business as usual setting

  • Monitored, Reported and Verified – Use of recognized and certified intermediaries, platforms and protocols operated by public or private organizations for credit verification, issuance and trading

  • Permanent—Carbon is sequestered over the long term for a real climate benefit

  • Incremental – Additional carbon sequestration beyond business as usual that would not otherwise have occurred in the absence of carbon finance

  • Capable of minimizing and accounting for any leakage – Calculate and minimize emissions that may be transferred to adjacent or nearby locations that are not participating

  • Counted only once — Unambiguous credit attribution

  • Focused on co-benefits and causing no net harm – Focus on additional social and ecological benefits such as enhancing biodiversity and minimizing negative externalities that may result from carbon project activities

  • Managed to avoid enabling greenwashing for carbon offset buyers and carbon insert transfer recipients—Strictly screen potential buyers and recipients of credits for tangible commitments and progress toward climate action

“Manulife Investment Management has managed sustainable forestland and sustainable agriculture investing strategies for more than 30 years, and providing options through carbon capture is another way to generate value for investors. clients,” said Eric Cooperstrom, Managing Director, Impact Investing and Natural Climate. solutions, Manulife Investment Management. “We are working to develop even more intense carbon value investment capabilities, and the implementation of our new carbon crediting guidelines provides additional rigor to instill investor confidence in these emerging natural climate solution strategies. “

Manulife Investment Management manages approximately 6 million acres of woodlots across United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Braziland Chile. He also oversees approximately 400,000 acres of prime agricultural land in the prime agricultural regions of United States and in Canada, Chileand Australia. The company’s comprehensive private markets businesses include private equity and credit, infrastructure, real estate, forest land and agriculture with a total AUM of US$59.2 billion worldwide (as of 12/31/21).

About Manulife Investment Management

Manulife Investment Management is the global brand for the global wealth and asset management business of Manulife Financial Corporation. We draw on more than a century of financial stewardship and all the resources of our parent company to serve individuals, institutions and pension plan members around the world. Based at Toronto, our industry-leading capabilities in public and private markets are bolstered by an investment footprint that spans 18 geographies. We complement these capabilities by providing access to a network of unaffiliated asset managers around the world. We are committed to investing responsibly in our business. We develop innovative global frameworks for sustainable investing, collaborate with companies in our securities portfolios and maintain a high standard of stewardship where we own and operate assets, and we believe in supporting financial well-being through our workplace pension plans. Today, plan sponsors around the world rely on our expertise in pension plan administration and investment to help their employees plan, save and live a better retirement. Not all offers are available in all jurisdictions. For more information, please visit manulifeim.com.

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SOURCE Manulife Investment Management

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