ForestFinance principles

Diversity & equal opportunity

We put equality on our agenda: All employees have the right to come up with new ideas. Gender equality is part of our corporate philosophy; more than 60 per cent of our employees are women, many of whom are holding leading positions. We are proud to have employed people from more than ten different nations on four continents. The majority of our approximately 100 employees are part of the local indigenous population (Ngöbe-Buglé). This provides a unique basis for the exchange of ideas.

Training & further education

ForestFinance systematically supports its employees with further education and training, ranging from reading and writing to computer courses. All forest workers are trained in the ecologically sustainable management of mixed forests and innovative technologies and monitoring systems. This ensures the permanent transfer of knowledge between the forestry departments abroad and in Germany, which is essential for sustainable regional and local development. For instance, ForestFinance has introduced a training programme for sustainable forest management in Vietnam. We also believe that rainforest protection is only truly effective when the local population is involved, thus we actively support environmental education at Panamanian schools and have built a public educational nature trail in Las Lajas, Panama.

Fair & safe working environment

Happy employees equal happy customers. ForestFinance is proud to secure hundreds of jobs for locals in rural regions, and the wages and working conditions of the Panamanian employees are above local standards. We pay fair wages exceeding the minimum standards in the project countries. Furthermore, all ForestFinance employees receive an additional life insurance policy for the security of their families. If an employee is in an emergency situation, ForestFinance offers interest-free private credit agreements. Our corporate philosophy reflects the base principles of the International Labour Organization (www.ilo.org). By aligning our values with these internationally recognised organisations we are actively fighting against child labour at all of our project locations. Of course, ForestFinance also provides all safety equipment, which is often not customary in these regions. Many of our employees have gained immediate responsibilities with their job entry at ForestFinance. Due to flat hierarchies, transparent decision-making and strong participation, everyone is involved and has their own space for personal development.

Working together

Involving the local population is our unwavering precondition for successfully creating a new stable forest with full ecological benefits, instead of rapid growth plantations which follow the quick-profit scheme. This process begins with the ideal selection of land areas, which is decided by biological, climatic, and hydrological facts, and equally important, social aspects. Who is the owner of the land?

A fair exchange of interests without expulsion or taking advantage of the financial situation of sellers has always been part of our corporate philosophy. ForestFinance contributes to the improvement of the living and working conditions in rural Panama, including the land sellers, through the creation of long-term and socially secure jobs and through additional social programmes.

Movie nights, Christmas parties or football games with the ForestFinance-Treestars – we have found a way to become involved in the local development by offering social and leisure activities.

 

I like to learn and to try out new things. The more skills you master, the more flexible you become”, says Nicolás Santos, our all-round talent. He has been working for ForestFinance for over 15 years and knows every step of the process chain. Together with his wife and his three children he lives on the grounds of the tree nursery in Santa Cruz. Currently, Nicolás learns how to become a carpenter, of course by making use of the sustainably produced timber derived from the project. Soon, the new carpentry school will give many other employees new perspectives as well.