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New Forests new business unit and appointments

Lauren Stewart

New Forests, the global forestry investment manager, has announced two key appointments in sustainability and communications and the formation of the company’s new Impact & Advocacy business unit. Source: Timberbiz

Jo Saleeba joins as Head of Sustainability, bringing her extensive experience in sustainability and working with asset owners on responsible investment and climate change. Ms Saleeba was the inaugural CEO of the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) Australia and New Zealand and previously led the responsible investment team at HESTA, one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds.

Jo Saleeba

Responsible for building on New Forests’ position as a global leader in sustainable forestry, Ms Saleeba will continue to develop the company’s sustainability and impact framework and focus on how opportunities in natural climate solutions, biodiversity conservation and the circular bioeconomy can create value for investors, the environment and communities. She will engage investors in scaling impact through the deployment of capital to sustainable forestry and landscape management.

Lauren Stewart joins as Head of Communications, bringing almost 20 years’ experience working across investment management, banking and corporate markets in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe. She was most recently Principal, Head of Communications for BNY Mellon Investment Management Asia Pacific. Ms Stewart will proactively drive a global communications strategy to grow investor engagement with New Forests’ investment strategies and track record and to increase the recognition of forestry investment as a climate change and sustainable development solution.

Ms Saleeba and Ms Stewart will both report to Radha Kuppalli, Managing Director, Impact & Advocacy. Ms Kuppalli has been with New Forests since 2006.

“We are excited to bring Jo and Lauren on board and form a new business group which reflects the critical importance of sustainability, communications, thought leadership and advocacy to New Forests’ investment performance and growth,” Ms Kuppalli said.

“Scaling investment in sustainable forestry can mitigate climate change and protect biodiversity, accelerate the transition to a circular bioeconomy, and support rural livelihoods. The Impact & Advocacy Group will work across New Forests to support the achievement of these outcomes as a company and as an industry.”

Since its inception in 2005, New Forests has been a global leader among asset managers in its approach to managing and reporting on ESG issues and investing in conservation finance and environmental markets. As the world tackles climate change and sustainable development in the coming decade, New Forests’ vision is to see forestry as a key sector in the transition to a sustainable future. The Impact & Advocacy Group will reinforce New Forests’ position as a world-leader in its approach to impact, and ensure New Forests uses this position and its track record of impact, to advocate for policies and frameworks that will support more investment in Natural Climate Solutions and the Circular Bioeconomy.

This week’s announcement follows the appointments of former acting Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Office at AMP Capital, Adrian Williams as Chief Financial Officer in January 2021, and Christine Loh (SBS, OBE), as Independent Director, in May 2021.