Stafford uses five key methods to manage and monitor the adherence of its Timberland investments to its ESG principles:
- Evaluation of investment type;
- Evaluation of investment region;
- Evaluation of manager;
- Use of third party certification to independently verify sustainable practices; and
- Internal segregation of duties and third party auditing.
Stafford monitors implementation of its ESG principles through:
- Adherence to the Stafford's Responsible Investment Policy;
- Annual manager reviews that specifically addresses ESG factors;
- Completion of the annual UN PRI survey;
- Biennial survey of managers on the adoption of third party sustainable forest management certification; and
- Third party audits of management and fund accounts.
ESG initiatives are resourced by:
- Head of Compliance - oversight of ESG initiatives and Responsible Investment Policy and coordinating manager reviews;
- Investment Manager, Sydney - monitoring of external ESG trends, conducting manager research, supervising internal ESG reporting and initiatives; and
- Key manager leads - responsible for direct engagement with GPs on key issues.
Through Stafford's strong approach to responsible Timberland investment, to date we have experienced a very low number of actionable ESG related issues across our portfolio. Our proportion of certified sustainable forestry, at 98%, is also very high by industry standards.