Giving sustainability an impact
Project Investments: Giving sustainability a real impact
More and more people want to be active in a sustainable way and thus make the world a better place. This also works with investments – if the investments really achieve an immediate, positive effect. Because sustainability is such a big issue in the investment world because it has finally become capable of gaining a majority in our society. There are numerous reasons why we need to change something in our society in terms of our attitude towards the environment, the climate, questions of governance and global quality of live – and thus also sustainability. The sustainability approach in investment is also politically promoted by the so-called “green taxonomy” of the European Union. This should enable investors to assess the climate and environmental friendliness of their investments.
We at Jäderberg & Cie. want to make Impact Investing accessible to a broad public. Impact Investing is aiming at achieving sustainability through direct project investments in a way that is both real and immediately noticeable. The “Fridays for Future” movement has already given an enormous number of people decisive impulses, and now the Corona crisis has triggered an additional impetus in the urge to shape our common future and our own lives in a sustainable way. And so slowly the awareness is gaining ground that equity funds and ETFs do not usually promote sustainability in the real economy, but only provide economic benefits for the capital market. Therefore, we have taken a different path and offer impact investments for private and professional investors under the names “JC Sandalwood” and “Ecomet Urban Metals”.
Commitment to employees and the community
Many people work on the remote plantations in Northern Australia, including some of Australia’s indigenous population. Diversity and equality of opportunity in the recruitment of new staff are a matter of course. Our asset partner also takes social responsibility seriously and supports various charitable projects. The employees live far away from many typical conveniences and in regions without facilities such as schools and hospitals. For this specific reason, it is extremely important that these people are nevertheless satisfied. In addition to the offer of company apartments, there are therefore further education measures and regular community events as well as sponsoring for local associations and clubs. The safety of the employees is also an important concern of the operators. Regular safety training in the workplace has led to 81 percent fewer accidents at work.
Mixed forests instead of monoculture
Environmental protection plays an important role in the cultivation of Indian sandalwood. To preserve the habitat and to handle the resources responsibly is an important concern. For example, over 100 different animal and bird species live on the sandalwood plantations in Australia. The demanding Santalum Album is a hemi-parasitic tree that can only thrive with certain host plants. Therefore, new mixed forests have been created with the plantations, which offer plants and animals a new habitat. The mixed forest cultivation supports the development of the soil quality, because it reduces the salinity of the soil and counteracts soil erosion. All seedlings – both for sandalwood and host plants – are cultivated in our own tree nurseries. There is no manipulation of the genetic material.
A lot of energy is needed for the distillation of Indian sandalwood oil. Quintis already uses up to 40% in the form of renewable energy (e.g. by using a biomass boiler). The water used in the distillation process is reprocessed by recycling plants. Modern technologies are also used in plantation operations to save resources.
Continuous efforts are being made to reduce water consumption at all locations, while ensuring that trees are grown in the best possible way. Thus, the use of efficient technologies such as drip irrigation systems or water treatment systems ensures that water is used sparingly. Quintis was awarded a water prize for this. The valuable Indian Sandalwood Oil is extracted from the heartwood and roots by steam distillation. This process leads to high water consumption, which is greatly reduced thanks to a specially developed, innovative system: The water is almost completely recycled using special bacteria. The remaining water consumption of the processing plant (40,000 liters per day, mostly for cooling) is partly supplied by extensively collected rainwater and finally by the municipal utility. This saves seven million liters of water annually.