Two Minutes with Campbell Global

Two Minutes with Campbell Global a new email series from industry leaders at Campbell Global. Every six to eight weeks, we'll keep you up to date on a key timberland investment topic.

A Conversation with John Gilleland on Responsible Investment

Campbell Global was founded in 1981 with a commitment to sustainable timberland investment and management services. In this series, CEO and Chairman John Gilleland talks about how the firm's values fit with the growing emphasis on responsible investment.

Q. How did Campbell Global's interest in responsible investment begin?

JG: Responsible investment is one of the core beliefs that formed our approach to timberland investment and management services over 35 years ago. Our founding vision combined an entrepreneurial and financial mindset, with forestry expertise aligning sustainability and long-term investors. Fundamentally, we create value by enhancing the forest's ability to grow, converting trees into products responsibly and managing the entire spectrum of our forests. That approach hasn't changed.

Q. How does timberland fit with the growing emphasis on responsible investment?

JG: Timberland is a renewable and sustainable asset that can literally grow in value with informed, purposeful management. Incorporating environmental, social, and governance factors in decision-making enhances the forest's long-term value. So it's a very natural fit. We're considering environmental aspects beyond the trees, from how you care for wildlife, to watershed management, to recreation, to the impact on climate change.

For investors focused on carbon mitigation, trees are a natural carbon sink that continue to sequester carbon after they are harvested and converted to manufactured forest products. Newly planted areas sequester carbon at high rates, and a healthy forest has wide-ranging benefits.

In this regard, we understand how important a working forest is to the surrounding communities. We're focusing on local employment and supporting the infrastructure you need for working forests within rural communities.

These factors are all implicit in the way we create value for our clients. The emphasis on responsible investment simply makes them more transparent.

Q. The interest in responsible investment continues to grow. Are we approaching a turning point in the investment community?

JG: I'm not sure I'd call it a turning point, but I do think there is a growing focus on the impact of all investments. There's an increased desire for consistent reporting of performance metrics related to responsible investments; the environmental, social, and governance considerations. We see that as a positive trend.

For us, that means working closely with each of our clients to align their specific investment objectives and responsible investment goals with opportunities to acquire and sustainably manage timberland assets. It goes back to our founding vision of putting the forest at the center of our focus. It's who we are, what we do and why we think timberland is a great investment. Timberland is one of a very limited universe of truly renewable, sustainable investments where biology and professional management combine to create value.