Manulife pledges support for environmental initiative

Manulife pledges support for environmental initiative | Insurance Business Canada

Manulife pledges support for environmental initiative

Manulife has announced that it has pledged to in order to “accelerate and scale” its nature-based solutions to ultimately help mitigate the effects of climate change.

Through its partnership with the World Economic Forum's Trillion Trees initiative, Manulife hopes that it can achieve tangible results by 2027. As part of the pledge, the insurer will aim to scale Manulife Investment Management's carbon-focused forestry investments over a period of five years. Manulife will support efforts to amplify the carbon removal benefits of forests while looking to resolve investor needs through this new collaboration.

"As a global life insurer and asset manager, and one of the world's largest timberland and farmland investment managers, we understand the connection between our environment and human health,” said Manulife chief sustainability officer Sarah Chapman. “We are well-positioned to provide and manage investments in nature-based solutions to advance climate change mitigation and are thrilled to build on our partnership with the World Economic Forum to do just that.”

Chapman added that Manulife believes that “sustainably managed forests and farms are a critical part of the climate solution,” and that this new commitment supports the shared value approach the company has taken across its “Impact Agenda.”

What does Manulife aim to achieve through its pledge?

The insurer has outlined the following plan:

Leverage nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change. 

Manulife will focus on offering and scaling nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change. Within the next five years, the company also hopes to build on its existing US$100 million commitment to grow its investments in nature-based climate solutions.

Partner to scale investments. 

It will create additional financial opportunities and incentives for conservation, restoration and afforestation or reforestation, while supporting scaling the market for sustainable timber. Manulife will also further the development of forest-based carbon credit standards and help accelerate the establishment of sustainable investment strategies for companies interested in nature-based climate solutions.

"With more than 30 years of experience sustainably managing natural resources, Manulife Investment Management is deeply engaged in the global conversation surrounding business and nature," added Manulife Investment Management private markets chief sustainability officer Brian Kernohan. "We believe that being a good steward in the financial markets means focusing on the long term, prioritizing the sustainability of our investments, and expanding the view of what matters, in addition to financial value.”

"The conservation, restoration and sustainable management of forests is critical to address both the climate and biodiversity crises," said World Economic Forum Nature-Based Solutions co-head Nicole Schwab. "High ambition and high-quality commitments and action from companies such as Manulife catalyzes positive change and drives impact by placing nature-based solutions at the core of their investments."

Last month, Manulife was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers 2023 by MediaCorp Canada. Notably, the company scored ‘A+’ for its work environment and community involvement.