And have been doing so since 1995!
Our impact investments deserve their name.
We create value with our investors,
that stand for environmental and climate protection.
Get an overview of our work here,
our project certifications and our
Working for social coexistence and sustainable business in Latin America, North Africa and Europe. Sustainability is at the core of our philosophy. We define it quite classically as responsibility for future generations by...
We protect nature by preserving a total of more than 2,000 hectares of species-rich natural forests and by managing our forest, woodland and agricultural projects in an ecologically sustainable way. In ForestFinance mixed forests in Panama, various useful precious woods grow alongside native species on former fallow and pasture land. There, we have verifiably created habitat for 20 endangered animal species and eight threatened tree species.
With every newly planted tree, we protect the climate. Trees are natural CO2 absorbers, so-called carbon sinks. One hectare of our forest reserve in Panama stores around 188,600 kilograms of carbon.
Fair working conditions, equal rights and sustainable development are our standard. With our projects, we create fair jobs in structurally weak regions. We have around 250 employees worldwide. Around 50 percent of our management positions are held by women.
Only together can we preserve forests and create new ones. Fair cooperation at eye level, free from any discrimination, is therefore a cornerstone of our work. We work together with the local population and support people - whether in Germany, Panama, Peru, Colombia or Morocco. For our employees, continuing education is part of their training, from literacy to digitalization to children's rights.
The ForestFinance Group has been providing alternative and sustainable investments for 25 years. With our investment offers for small and large budgets, we combine return and positive impact. With all our investments you invest in the sustainable production of natural raw materials (for example: precious timber, organic cocoa, organic almonds).
With the investment in a ForestFinance product, all costs for care, harvesting and marketing of the raw material are covered. A truly sustainable investment goes far beyond the goal of collecting returns for the investor: Besides environmental and climate protection, it will also create fair jobs and improve living conditions. Because we value nature, we protect it and make its value visible.
We manage our cocoa forests as well as our organic farming projects according to organic guidelines. To document and ensure controlled organic farming to the outside world, all cocoa projects in Panama, four fincas in Peru (since 2022) and our date and almond project in Morocco now bear the EU organic seal.
Only products for which an approved inspection body has certified that they have been produced under organic guidelines may bear the organic seal. This means that they must meet strict conditions for production, processing, transport and storage.
During the first inspection, an auditor examines the farm. Thereafter, certified farms are inspected at least once a year, and about every fifth visit is unannounced.
The FSC® seal of the non-profit organisation Forest Stewardship Council labels sustainable forestry and products made with wood from verified sustainable forestry.
An FSC® certificate is awarded by independent inspection bodies and organisations authorised by the FSC. Annual inspections are carried out by independent auditors commissioned by FSC.
All ForestFinance forests in Panama and Colombia meet the standards of certified sustainable forestry. The measures for the protection of biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources in ForestFinance projects go far beyond official standards, as does our social commitment.
The Gold Standard certification was developed under the leadership of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) with environmental and development experts and scientists. It is the internationally strictest and most renowned climate protection standard, which is considered the quality standard for CO2 compensation projects.
The standard is intended to ensure the social and ecological sustainability of a project as well as its climate and developmental impact.
ForestFinance was one of the first companies in the world whose forest and cocoa areas in Panama were awarded the Gold Standard for land use projects. We work according to the guidelines of sustainable forestry in all countries and have Gold Standard certification in Panama and Colombia.
462,625 tonnes of CO2 are bound in our forests in Panama alone and more than 28,000 tonnes of CO2 in Colombia. (As of 2018 - more certified tonnes of CO2 are added each year under normal circumstances).
The UTZ label stands for sustainable cultivation of agricultural products and better opportunities for farmers, their families and our planet.
Compliance with the strict requirements by UTZ-certified farms and companies is verified by independent certification bodies. UTZ requirements include: environmentally friendly agricultural practices and business management, safe and healthy working conditions for all employees and, in addition, the fight against forced and child labour.
The ForestFinance projects in Peru and Panama carried the UTZ label until 2022, when it was replaced by the EU organic label. As part of the certification process, we held regular workshops and training sessions for our employees on topics such as environmental protection, education, labour law and children's rights, discrimination and gender equality.
Our work is closely intertwined with biodiversity conservation.
For this reason, we decided in 2010 to actively participate in the „Biodiversity in Good Company“ initiative. Together with companies from different sectors, we work on solutions and practical approaches to protect biodiversity in everyday business. In our Biodiversity Progress Reports, we report every two years on what we have been able to achieve for biodiversity protection.
Jobs and prospects against poverty
With our projects, we make an important contribution against poverty in rural, marginalised regions. We do this by working in close cooperation with the local population. Because only in cooperation with the local population is it possible to successfully create real forests with ecological added value in the long term. Our employees receive a fair salary that is above the national minimum wage. Workshops and further training opportunities encourage the regional transfer of knowledge and agricultural success. Many of our employees own small plots of land on which they apply the knowledge they have gained about organic farming. In this way, they achieve better harvests and contribute to environmental protection.
Fighting hunger with organic farming
At ForestFinance, we focus on environmental protection concepts that include people and open up food sources for them. To fight hunger, we need global food security, equitable access to food and the opportunity for everyone to cultivate land sustainably. That is why we stand for a healthy balance between people and nature, economy and ecology: In our cocoa forests in Panama our fine flavoured cocoa grows alongside banana plants and various tree species in an agroforest. A win-win-win situation: biodiversity benefits from diversity, our employees from the plantains, and our investors from the cocoa. Plus, we do organic farming: we create livelihoods and healthy, nutrient-rich food. We grow almonds, olives and dates in Morocco without the use of chemical pesticides.
Health and well-being for ForestFinance employees and their families
Only motivated, satisfied employees do the kind of work that pays off for our clients. That is why we offer more than just a fair salary, which is far above the minimum wage in the project countries. Health checks, vaccinations and additional insurance coverage are just as much a part of a safe workplace for us. In family emergencies, we provide unbureaucratic help in the form of micro-loans. Our corporate principles reflect those of the International Labour Organisation: we take a firm stand against child labour, protect our workers in the field with protective clothing and training in the safe use of machinery. Our certifications additionally ensure that we verifiably live up to our high standards.
High quality education and knowledge transfer
Whether in Germany or in the tropics, further training is part of the job for our employees - from literacy to computer courses. All forestry workers acquire expertise in the sustainable management of mixed forests, innovative forestry technologies and monitoring systems. This ensures a transfer and exchange of knowledge that is important for regional development. One example is our train-the-trainer programme on sustainable forestry, which ForestFinance has developed in Vietnam with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and other partners. But we do not remain idle when it comes to environmental education either: Tropical forest protection is only effective if the local population is involved. We are therefore involved with environmental education programmes at Panamanian schools and with a public forest nature trail in Las Lajas.
Gender equality at ForestFinance
When it comes to contributing ideas, but also in between genders - we focus on equal rights and equal opportunities. Over 60 per cent of our staff are women, many of whom work in management positions.
Decent employment and economic growth
In rural regions in Morocco, Peru, Panama and Colombia, we create decent, fair and secure jobs. At the same time, we ensure economic growth in the region with our flagship projects. In Panama, for example, our team has succeeded in establishing the country as a location for fine cocoa. Our cocoa fincas in Panama are among the best practice examples of sustainable, environmentally and climate-friendly cocoa cultivation.
ForestFinance supports sustainable consumption and production
We guarantee all buyers: Whether almonds from Morocco or cocoa from the fincas in Panama or Peru – everything is produced and processed fairly, in solidarity and in harmony with nature. With the establishment of our fincas for the organic production of food, our farming methods follow the guidelines of the EU organic seal. In Panama, all three cocoa fincas will be allowed to carry the EU organic label from the end of September 2022. In Peru, 90% of our fine cocoa is certified organic. In Morocco, the entire area of dates and almonds is certified organic. (Status 2022)
Climate protection measures
In order to be able to stop climate change, it is important to avoid new emissions where possible, to reduce current ones and to compensate for those already emitted! The greenhouse gas CO2 has a global effect. This means that it does not matter where on earth it was released into the atmosphere. Through a climate protection project on the other side of the globe, the greenhouse gases emitted can be offset and compensated. For example, with the tropical ForestFinance ProtectionForest, which produces as much CO2 on one hectare as a German citizen produces on average in 20 years. We know: We cannot achieve the climate goals by planting trees alone. We have to go further and remove carbon from the atmosphere in the long term. For example, with biochar (biocarbon).
Protect and sustainably use terrestrial ecosystems
In ForestFinance projects, we manage forests sustainably, combat desertification and stop soil degradation and biodiversity loss. More than 25 percent of our land is used exclusively for nature conservation. Existing natural forests within the fincas are preserved and protected. Together with the reforested fallow land, these nature conservation areas form vital stepping stone biotopes for many rare animal and plant species. In Colombia, we specifically plant acacias, which enrich the soil with nutrients and thus prepare it for later mixed forest planting. With our oganic farming projects in Morocco, we contribute to desert greening and create important new ecosystems.