Asia Plantation Capital Defends Its Title As ‘Best Sustainable Forestry Management Team’ 2015

Bamboo clumps being tended to by Asia Plantation Capital staff

For a second consecutive year, Asia Plantation Capital has garnered the title of ‘Best Sustainable Asset Forestry Management Team – Global,’ at Capital Finance International’s Asset Management Awards 2015.

Capital Finance International (CFI.co) is an international print journal and digital resource reporting on global business, economics and finance. A repository of pertinent information and analysis on trends and developments in the world of finance and investment, CFI.co has established itself as an authoritative and dependable resource for industry insiders.

Not content with defending its ‘Best Sustainable Forestry Management Team’ title, Asia Plantation Capital’s associate company, APC Securitization SA, also picked up the award for the ‘Most Innovative Forestry Bond Issuer’.

In announcing the ‘Best Sustainable Forestry Management Team’ award, CFI.co commented, “More than just a forestry management company, Asia Plantation Capital is a full-service, vertically-integrated stewardship business that aims to bring sustainable forestry out of its niche and into the mainstream. As such, Asia Plantation Capital is fully committed to adhere to global best practices of corporate governance in order to facilitate access to the buoyant forestry industry by institutional investors and others looking to underwrite large-scale sustainable initiatives.”

Asia Plantation Capital grows trees on sustainable plantations and harvests those trees in a sustainable manner, constantly interplanting other crops to ensure benefits to an ecosystem upon which its business model depends. The company embraces its responsibilities to the people who work and live in and around the plantations in which it operates, paying workers significantly above the national average in whichever country it operates, and benefiting communities by providing infrastructure projects such as roads, schools and medical facilities that improve lives and livelihoods.

“We are incredibly proud that Asia Plantation Capital has not only received one, but two CFI.co awards, in 2015,” said Mr Barry Rawlinson, Chief Executive Officer, Asia Plantation Capital, Asia Pacific. “Over the past year, we have grown tremendously, and with the added pressure and rising expectations, it would have been easy to lose sight of our core tenets and what we have always strived to achieve. I believe, however, that this award, and the second accolade given to one of our sister companies, is undoubtedly a testament to the fact that we have succeeded against the odds by sticking, with unceasing determination, to what we believe in. We are committed to what I like to refer to as ‘holistic sustainability’, and this recognition of our values and efforts is very much appreciated by everyone involved.”

Aquilaria trees growing in one of Asia Plantation Capital’s sustainably managed plantations

He continued, “We are indebted to every one of our staff members – from our top management and compliance people, all the way through to our accountants, scientific advisors and administration staff – for the enormous efforts they have put in, and their contributions to the success of the company. I always like to single out the people who, in my opinion, are the unsung heroes of the piece – our members of staff who are, literally, ‘on the ground’, working on our plantations. They have played such a big part in enabling us as a company to grow so well from the initial foundations that we laid down. It’s so gratifying to be able to work with people who have, at their very heart, the commitment to sustainability that informs everything that we strive for as an organisation.”

At the core of its business, Asia Plantation Capital is spearheading the rejuvenation and replanting of Aquilaria trees on its sustainably managed plantations. The Aquilaria species produces Oud oil, agarwood chips, and powder, and the dark, resinous heartwood has been traded for thousands of years for its distinctive and highly-valued fragrance and associated properties. According to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) the Aquilaria species has been on the endangered list since 1995, and top-grade agarwood obtained from the tree has become one of the most valuable commodities in the world.

In bestowing the second award – that of ‘Most Innovative Forestry Bond Issuer’ – the CFI.co judging panel commented, “Sustainable forestry presents investors with an attractive, safe, and environmentally sound option. The agarwood plantations of Asia Planation Capital, producing a scarce, and thus highly-priced commodity, stand at, or near, the apex of the forestry sector. With the launch of both a securitised capital growth bond and a securitised fixed income and capital growth bond, APC Securitization SA – part of the Plantation Capital Group – has introduced two well-designed instruments that environmentally-aware investors may leverage to put their capital at work, not just for personal gain, but for the benefit of the wider society as well.”

Having helped to save the endangered species of Aquilaria tree from the verge of extinction, the Group already has plans in motion to invest heavily in bamboo – a seemingly ubiquitous crop that has been either overlooked, neglected or taken for granted for far too many years.

Bamboo is clean, green and has an extraordinary and vast array of uses; from energy to food; from clothing to flooring; and from filtration systems to purification processes, not to mention its medicinal applications. With such appealing properties, the Plantation Capital Group’s subsidiary, Eco Tech Asia, has launched a line of bamboo-based travel bags and lightweight bicycles in 2015, to complement its range of bamboo flooring products.

Asia Plantation Capital has had a memorable and productive 2015, and is delighted to be recognised by people within the industry for its efforts in promoting sustainability and environmental awareness. As Asia Plantation Capital’s CEO, Barry Rawlinson, concludes, however, “This is just the beginning. Our group of companies is ever mindful that a lot of work remains to be done, but we will never compromise on our commitment to the highest standards of social and environmental governance.”