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Aviva’s Scottish carbon capture project begins trail to net zero

Aviva Investors and forestry investment fund manager Par Equity plan to capture over 1.4 million tonnes of carbon through a woodland creation and peatland restoration scheme in the North-East of Scotland.

Aviva Investors and Par Equity, which is based in Edinburgh, have established an investment vehicle which has acquired 6,300 hectares of moorland in the Glen Dye area of West Aberdeenshire as its first investment.

Applications will be made to undertake extensive peatland restoration of 1,800 hectares and new planting n approximately 3,000 hectares. This will include 1,000 hectares of productive conifer and 2,000 hectares of native woodland.

The project has the potential to lock up an estimated c1.4 million tonnes of carbon, including c468,000 tonnes of carbon by 2040 and c32,750 tonnes annually from 2040 until 2055.

Plans will contribute to national forestry planting targets

Scottish Woodlands Ltd will design, implement and manage the project which is expected to make a substantial contribution to both Scottish and UK forestry planting targets. It also forms part of Aviva Investors’ Climate Transition Fund and will contribute to its aim of achieving net zero across its property portfolio by 2040.

“One of the most critical aspects of the Climate Transition Fund we launched this year is that it materially reduces carbon impact primarily through the decarbonisation of the built environment, but also via nature-based solutions, including afforestation,” Aviva Investors chief investment officer real assets Daniel McHugh said.

“This is the first of many investments we expect to make in this space, and the intention is for our carbon removal programme to be considered a best-in-class initiative which not only sequesters a vast amount of carbon over its lifetime, but does so in a way that takes into account the surrounding habitats and community.

“In the case of Glen Dye Moor, we will do this while maintaining and improving the network of access trails, enhancing biodiversity and restoring the degraded peatland across the land.”

Future timber produced at Glen Dye will be utilised in accordance with the agreement at COP26 on the use of sustainably-produced wood products – the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forestry and Land Use. Annual carbon sequestration reporting will the follow Woodland Carbon Code framework and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s guidance on greenhouse gas (GHG) forestry accounting.