Plantations International’s Triple Bottom Line: Sustainable Agriculture for the Environment, Climate, and People

Plantations International’s Sustainable Agriculture: A Comprehensive Solution for Climate, Environment, and Social Justice: We recognize that climate change is a serious issue that demands attention and action from the business community. Plantations International has set performance targets, and will continue to take actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from both direct and indirect business operations. We are committed to conducting our operations in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, and to engaging with industry and public stakeholders to develop responsible standards and voluntary initiatives that support this policy.

As food prices are closely linked to inflationary trends, owners of agricultural assets and those exposed to farming businesses possess a hedge against inflation. This is one key diversification benefit of the asset class. Agriculture has been shown to have low correlation with many other asset classes such as equities and corporate debt, which dominate the investment market. This means that including agricultural in a portfolio can provide significant diversification benefits, resulting in an increase in portfolio return or reducing overall portfolio risk. Population driven food demand remains the core base of demand for agricultural commodities. The demand for food is relatively inelastic to income, making demand for agricultural commodities less subject to an economic slowdown.

Despite multiple definitions for food security there are common themes or indicators that tend to appear and underline its characterization. These include food affordability, food availability and accessibility, food quality and safety, and existing natural resources. The FAO and The Economist both measure food security on a country based on these indicators at varying degrees. Food security ought to be a priority for all countries, whether developing or developed. Although low levels of food security are commonly associated with poverty stricken countries they are also found in affluent developed countries as well. Food security rankings despite providing a decent gauge of performance are not without limitations. For example, some of wealthiest countries logically fare well in overall rankings as they have the capability and infrastructure to provide accessible, healthy food to their populations. Yet these high rankings dangerously mask their poor natural resources and resilience rank which measures food import dependency to a small degree. This raises the question, how can a country be food secure when they can be highly dependent on others for their food supply?

With offices, plantations, and representatives across Asia, Europe, and Africa, Plantations International is a multinational plantation and farm management company that specializes in providing sustainable agricultural and forestry or “agroforestry” management services for its clients. Plantations International has clients ranging from private individuals to large landholders and corporate investors. We put teamwork, innovation, and our passion for creating “Ethical & Sustainable Capital” at the heart of everything we do.

Water scarcity is another impending crisis. 28% of agriculture lies in water stressed regions. It takes roughly 1,500 litres of water to produce a kilogram of wheat, and about 16,000 litres to produce a kilogram of beef. In 2050, the world will need twice as much water. As the world population soars, arable land per person proportionally shrinks. The stresses on food production and food prices will inevitably keep rising. Arable land loss can be combated by improving productivity per acre and taking measures against climate change and erratic weather conditions. Food wastage’s carbon footprint is estimated at 3.3 billion tonnes of CO2. Developing countries suffer more food losses during agricultural production, while in middle- and high-income regions, food waste at the retail and consumer level tends to be higher.

Ecosystems will change—some species will move farther north or become more successful; others won’t be able to move and could become extinct. Wildlife research scientist Martyn Obbard has found that since the mid-1980s, with less ice on which to live and fish for food, polar bears have gotten considerably skinnier. Polar bear biologist Ian Stirling has found a similar pattern in Hudson Bay. He fears that if sea ice disappears, the polar bears will as well. Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, cloud forests are drying, and wildlife is scrambling to keep pace. It’s becoming clear that humans have caused most of the past century’s warming by releasing heat-trapping gases as we power our modern lives. Called greenhouse gases, their levels are higher now than in the last 650,000 years. Plantations International is already seeing some of these changes occurring more quickly than they had expected. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, eleven of the twelve hottest years since thermometer readings became available occurred between 1995 and 2006.