Sustainable Investment Awards 2021

Environmental fund of the year, alternatives: 12Tree Finance

12Tree Finance started as a specialised asset manager with a €200 million ($243.5 million) fund focused on sustainable large-scale agroforestry projects and with strong value-sharing with local communities in Latin America. Part of this strategy involved the launch, last year, of the Sustainable Agroforestry Fund (SAF), which is dedicated to cocoa farming investments.

12Tree quickly realised that in order to achieve its goals it had to get strongly involved more in the projects on the ground.

Oliver HankeThis led to 12Tree building an operations base in Panama that supervises and manages the projects, and has an in-house team of leading experts, ranging from irrigation specialists to phytosanitary experts, soil nutrition specialists but also its own data management team. It also has its own carbon certification experts.

In addition, it established a specialist crop sales team that is marketing its sustainable and traceable cocoa, coffee, bananas, coconuts, rubber, and many other products to buyers to cut out middlemen in the value chain which 12Tree says is generally dysfunctional in the tropical agriculture business.

"For us, this is a much appreciated recognition of the hard work that the entire team put in to develop a truly sustainable, deeply integrated and transformational asset manager that allows institutional investors to efficiently channel much needed capital into land restoration, carbon sequestration and sustainable rural development," said Oliver Hanke, chief sustainability officer at 12Tree.

So far 12Tree has attracted €500 million in capital from institutional investors and has developed 12 agroforestry projects. It aims to fix broken value chains in agriculture and forestry and provide a role model for how large-scale agriculture can be regenerative, inclusive, productive and profitable.

"12Tree Finance is experiencing financial success and creating real impact in the challenging agroforestry space," added one Environmental Finance Sustainable Investment Awards judge.