Having launched its natural capital strategy last year, AXA IM Alts received over €500 million ($542 million) in commitments from AXA Group investors, with the target of removing or avoiding 25 million tonnes of CO2 per annum.
The strategy targets forest conservation and protecting vulnerable natural habitats from deforestation. It will finance activities that address the drivers of deforestation and improve conservation efforts, which will be quantified through the issuance of voluntary carbon credits.
Its portfolio will include strategic equity investments in companies supporting the natural capital ecosystem, direct project financing, and the provision of carbon solutions.
AXA IM Alts is part of AXA Investment Managers and specialises in alternative asset classes. The natural capital strategy forms part of AXA Group's €1.5 billion commitment to protect and sustainably manage forest ecosystems.
"There is an urgent need to grow scalable investment solutions to protect and manage sustainable natural capital, which are relatively nascent in today's market," said Alexandre Martin-Min, head of natural capital & impact investments at AXA IM Alts.
Already, the strategy has made an investment, committing €10 million to finance an afforestation and reforestation project in France.
The project, which also involves The Shared Wood Company, a developer and operator of forest conservation and sustainable land use projects, and Alliance Forêts Bois, a French forestry cooperative, will aim to restore approximately 1,800 hectares of degraded forests through working with small landowners.
It is expected to sequester the equivalent of 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over a 35-year period and will be certified under Label bas carbone, an initiative of the French Ministry of Ecological Transition1.
"Impressive financial commitment," commented one Environmental Finance Sustainable Company Awards judge.
"I commend AXA IM Alts on its collaborative approach to investment, and in supporting nature-based investment that includes and benefits small landowners," added another.
1 Source: AXA IM Alts as at 31st May 2023. Information/figures are given for informational purposes only and may evolve. Expected impact returns are not guaranteed and are subject to change.