AXA IM Alts estende la sua strategia green acquistando foreste in Francia

AXA IM Alts announces that it has completed the acquisition, on behalf of clients, of a 537 hectare deciduous forest known as ‘Forêt de la Reine’ in north-east France. The forest, has been purchased by AXA IM Alts’ market leading Real Assets team, bringing its total forestry assets under management to 84,000 hectares across France, Ireland, Finland and Australia, sustainably managed on a long-term basis and Eco certified by the main independent organisations.

Known as ‘La Forêt de la Reine’ and located in Gerbéviller in the Meurthe et Moselle region, the dense forest comprises a growing stock of primarily oak trees (88%), alongside some beech (11%) and a small number of other species, centred around a large pond. Oak is in high demand globally as a result of it being a highly versatile renewable material that is suitable for a wide range of uses from construction through to furniture manufacturing and even luxury products.

Benefitting from a highly accessible strategic forestry location, La Forêt de la Reine is surrounded by strong harvesting and timber processing infrastructure, as well as being in close proximity to the AgroParisTech campus, a leading university in environmental and forestry engineering, which is based in nearby Nancy. Furthermore, the Alsace-Lorraine region, where the forest is located, has a well developed wood industry and borders several European countries, facilitating international distribution. With one of the largest forest reserves in Europe, comprising approximately 17 million hectares, France is also AXA IM Alts’ leading forestry market for quality deciduous tree species, representing 63% of the stock under management on behalf of clients in this market.

The forest’s significant biodiversity characteristics align with AXA IM’s responsible investment approach and actions to contribute to the transition to a low-carbon world, allocating more capital to climate solutions and net zero aligned assets. Furthermore, it responds to AXA Group’s commitment to investing €1.5 billion over the coming years to support sustainable forest management, including €500 million dedicated to reforestation projects in emerging countries, enabling a total of 25 megatons of CO2 to be captured each year. The Forêt de la Reine should, through a responsible harvesting, lead to an estimated yearly net sequestered of c.2,500 tCO2 within the forest, and an estimated c.4,000 tCOof avoided emissions in total per year.

AXA IM Alts’ investment into forestry extends beyond the ownership of woodland, having last year acquired a 49% equity stake in REI Habitat, a French real estate development group, specialising in the construction of collective buildings made with timber, which aims to accelerate the levels of wood used in property management and to support the structuring of the French forestry and timber industry. Together with AXA IM Alts, REI Habitat plans to develop more than 400,000 sqm of housing and offices in timber structures over the next seven years in France, representing approximately 120,000 sqm of French timber and supporting the development of infrastructure necessary to grow the sector in the country.

Source : Company