Sustainability and Responsible Investing

In addition to what it says about us, In Our Nature also says something about our surroundings. We are both in nature and a part of it. We depend on it and it depends on us. Of the many features of forests and farms that make them unique in the investment landscape, perhaps the most significant is that they are alive.

Brian Kernohan, Chief Sustainability Officer



Our Mission

Hancock Natural Resource Group (HNRG), a Manulife Investment Management Company, creates value through the sustainable management of natural resource investments. We manage our assets as good stewards of the land, the environment, and the community on behalf of our investors.

Our Approach

HNRG is a thematic investment manager, focusing on areas where social or environmental goals can offer commercial investment opportunities. We believe that good stewardship is good business, and that forest and farmland assets – when well-managed – directly contribute to global sustainability and responsible investment objectives.

Impact Investing Spectrum

Our Sustainability Platform

Through the five pillars of our Sustainability and Responsible Investing (SRI) platform (Ecosystem Resiliency, Watershed Protection, Climate Stability, People Empowerment, and Community Prosperity), HNRG integrates environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors throughout all aspects of its investment decision-making and property management. Learn more about our platform below:

Inspiring Muckleshoot Youths - Going Above and Beyond
Improving Forest Health to Help Local Communities Prosper
Preserving Elkins Ferry – a Historic Battle Site

1/3 Inspiring Muckleshoot Youths - Going Above and Beyond

In Washington State, Hancock Forest Management (HFM), our timberland property management company, developed a cooperative summer stewardship youth corps designed to provide meaningful employment for Indigenous youth. The program provided an opportunity for eighteen Muckleshoot youth to participate. The program involved completing various forestry tasks, including clearing Scotch broom and developing a trail system for an outdoor education and community celebration area. The trail system was utilized to host the “Muckleshoot Community Forestry Field Day.” The youth spent one day a week with tribal elders who provided lessons and experiences on the cultural aspects of the forest on a variety of topics, including plants and sweat lodges. The youth also spent one day a week with a forester to be introduced to forestry and see what being a forester means. The program taught the youth crew work and technical skills as well as assisted in the development of writing resumes, cover letters, and interview skills. Each youth participated in a college day to explore higher education.

2/3 Improving Forest Health to Help Local Communities Prosper

Hancock Chilean Plantations (HCP) is a 62,000 hectare (153,205 acre) sustainably managed timberland estate in Southern Chile which is comprised of both plantations and native forests. HCP formed a partnership with EcoSoluciones to improve forest health through active forest management on approximately 1,500 hectares (3,706 acres) of the property. Management includes thinning (the removal of poor quality, unfavorable species in the canopy), which encourages the return of natural habitat and expedites the forest growth to healthy, productive native species. Harvesting activities also benefit local economies by providing employment opportunities* and wood for local business consumption. The project has had a positive and sustainable impact on the forest’s health while providing jobs and input into local communities in HCP’s area of operations and beyond. This project received Forest Stewardship Council® certification.

*As of December 2017, EcoSoluciones directly employs 7 professionals and 20 people in an indirect way in forest management. In addition, a small fleet of 15 trucks, plus about 10 small and medium-sized customers who buy the wood.

3/3 Preserving Elkins Ferry – a Historic Battle Site

The Civil War Trust, with help from The Conservation Fund, purchased from HNRG, a portion of a Civil War
battle site at Elkin’s Ferry, Arkansas. The site was a historic crossing on the Little Missouri River. On April 3, 1864, the Union Army fought a battle with the Confederate calvary on the south side of the river as the main Union force attempted to cross. The battle continued into the following day until the Confederate cavalry withdrew. The Civil War Trust and The Conservation Fund have an ongoing effort to preserve and protect Civil War battle sites for future generations. The Elkin’s Ferry site is part of the Camden Expedition Sites that are designated as National
Historic Landmarks which attests to the exceptional heritage value of this location. The remote, rural nature of this site has resulted in it being very well preserved and one of the most pristine Civil War battlefields in Arkansas.

Our Impact

HNRG’s impacts in 2020 include managing 100% of our eligible timberland investments to third-party sustainability standards, managing our entire U.S agriculture platform to the Leading Harvest Farmland Management Standard1, making our operations climate-positive, and adhering to a strict zero-deforestation policy. Over the past five years, our forests and farms have removed an average 3.0 million tons of CO2 annually, and since our founding in 1985 we have planted over 1.2 billion trees. For more information please see In Our Nature our 2020 Report on Sustainability and Responsible investing.

1. As of May 17, 2021. Includes both third-party leased and directly operated assets. HNRG is a founding member of Leading Harvest. In addition, Oliver Williams, Global Head of Agriculture, is current Chairperson of the Board of Directors for Leading Harvest.

Certifications and Memberships

HNRG is a Manulife Investment Management (“MIM”) company. MIM, the global asset management business of Manulife Financial Corporation, is a signatory to the UN PRI.

HNRG adheres to the International Finance Corporation’s Equator Principles in its acquisition processes.

HNRG is a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and an active contributor to its Forest Solutions Group and work programs on Scaling Positive Agriculture and Nature Action.

HNRG is a member of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and an contributed to its 2019 Report: “Scaling Impact Investment in Forestry”

HNRG sponsors the Joint Program on the Science & Policy of Global Change at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Joint Program is a team of natural and social scientists studying interactions among human and Earth systems to provide a sound foundation of scientific knowledge.

100% of HNRG-managed forests are third-party certified sustainable. We manage over 3.4 million acres of forests in the United States and Canada that are certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI).

100% of HNRG-managed forests are third-party certified sustainable. We manage nearly 2.1 million acres of forests in Australia, New Zealand, and Chile that are certified under the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC).

100% of HNRG-managed forests are third-party certified sustainable. We manage nearly 1.9 million acres of forests in Australia and New Zealand that are certified under the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).

HNRG currently manages over 300,000 acres of third-party certified sustainable farmland. Certifications include Global GAP (Apples), USDA GAP (Almonds, Pistachios), SAI-FSA (Cranberries), Lodi Rules (Wine grapes), and the Leading Harvest Farmland Management Standard (almonds, pistachios, apples, and cranberries, walnuts, grapes, corn, soybeans, cotton, potatoes, peanuts, and others). HNRG has partnered with our colleagues throughout the agricultural investment sector to establish Leading Harvest, a non-profit that will own and manage a third-party, performance-based, industry-wide sustainability standard for agriculture.

The logos above are registered trademarks of the respective organizations represented.
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