Treetops Capital is a signatory to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative (PRI). The Principles for Responsible Investment were developed by an international group of institutional investors reflecting the increasing relevance of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues to investment practices. Treetops also became an Endorser of the Farmland Principles of Responsible Investment, created in September 2011, and incorporated into the PRI in 2014 as Guidance to Responsible Investment in Farmland, the goal of which is to improve the sustainability, transparency and accountability of investments in farmland. The Farmland Principles were developed by AP2 (Sweden), ABP (Netherlands), APG (Netherlands), ATP (Denmark), BT Pension Scheme (UK), Hermes EOS (UK), PGGM (Netherlands) and TIAA-CREF (USA). Treetops is committed to implementing the Farmland Principles in their investment policies and practices. The most recent report from UNPRI entitled “Responsible Investment in Farmland’’ can be found here.
THE 5 PRINCIPLES
PROMOTING ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
- We will promote measures aimed at protecting the environment and contributing to the sustainability of specific crops and locations, for example by reducing soil erosion, protecting biodiversity, reducing chemical emissions, effectively managing water, and mitigating climate impacts.
- We will require investment managers and operators acting on our behalf to conduct an environmental assessment identifying the relevant environmental impacts and risks of a planned investment.
- Based on this environmental assessment, investment managers and operators will be expected to implement mitigation and management measures relevant and appropriate to the nature and scale of the proposed investment.
RESPECTING LABOR AND HUMAN RIGHTS
We will respect labor and human rights in our farmland investments. We will require investment managers and operators acting on our behalf to do the same and to avoid complicity in human rights abuses.
- We will require investment managers and operators to identify relevant labour and human rights risks and impacts of a planned investment, and to implement mitigation and management measures to address them appropriately.
- Depending on the location and the nature of the investment, we expect investment managers and operators to explicitly implement policies to respect rights such as those relating to indigenous peoples, vulnerable groups, unique cultural systems and values, local food security, labour and any other relevant rights in the scope of their risk assessment and mitigation measures.
RESPECTING EXISTING LAND AND RESOURCE RIGHT
We will respect the existing use of and ownership rights to land and other resources and we will require investment managers and operators acting on our behalf to do the same.
- Investment managers and operators acting on our behalf will be required to implement processes for land acquisitions and related investments that are culturally appropriate and transparent, are monitored, ensure accountability and the engagement with relevant stakeholders
- For investments with potential significant adverse impacts on affected communities, the investment managers are expected to implement processes to ensure their free, prior and informed consultation and facilitate their informed participation as a means to establish whether a project has adequately incorporated affected communities' concerns.
UPHOLDING HIGH BUSINESS AND ETHICAL STANDARDS
- We will promote high business and ethical standards in our farmland investments.
- We will require that investment managers and operators acting on our behalf respect the rule of law even where it is poorly enforced. - - - We will also require them to implement processes aimed at avoiding corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery, and to reflect an informed view of industry best-practice in their operations.
REPORTING ON ACTIVITIES AND PROGRESS TOWARDS IMPLEMENTING THE PRINCIPLES AND PROMOTING THE PRINCIPLES
- We will report publicly on our activities and progress towards implementing the Farmland Principles, taking into account appropriate confidentiality considerations.
- We will encourage other institutional investors to endorse and implement the Farmland Principles.