Green Resources is Africa’s largest forestation company and a leader in East African wood manufacturing. The company has 45,000 ha of standing forest in Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda, established through its own planting activities. It operates East Africa’s largest sawmill in Tanzania and electricity pole and charcoal plants in Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda and is also one of the first companies globally to receive carbon revenue from its plantation forests.
Green Resources was established in 1995 and is a private Norwegian company with 80 shareholders. It employs more than 4,000 people and the companies currently making up Green Resources have invested close to USD 300 mn equity in its African operations. Green Resources holds land to establish more than 100,000 ha of additional plantations with an aim to serve the growing regional and global demand for wood products. Its strategy is based on growing wood for both traditional uses (sawn timber, panel board, packaging, paper, tissue, etc.) and for the growing bio-chemical and energy sectors. It is a leader in carbon finance. Green Resources has probably planted more new forest than any other organization in Africa during the past ten years.
Green Resources also harvests logs from its own plantations established in the 1990’s and will continue to do so as the plantations mature. Much of the harvesting is in Uganda where eucalyptus is being logged for use in the electrical pole industry, pine for sawlogs and the residues for charcoal production. The company expects revenues from harvesting to sharply increase over the next five years.
Green Resources aims to follow the highest international environmental standards by conserving natural forest and other valuable habitats. The company has more than three-quarters of its forests certified according to the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) standard, the world’s leading standard for environmental and sustainable forest management, and is aiming for 100% certification. It is the only company with FSC-certified plantations in three African countries and it owns more than two-thirds of the FSC-certified plantation forest in Africa outside the Republic of South Africa (RSA) and Swaziland. As part of this sustainability policy, the company only harvests plantation forest, currently is planting at least ten new trees for every one tree that it harvests, and only plants on low value grassland or degraded forestland.
Green Resources’ strategy is based on the sustainable development of the areas in which it operates. The company believes that forestation is one of the most efficient ways of improving social and economic conditions for people in rural areas and aims to be the preferred partner for local communities in these areas; it also wants to be the favoured African employer within its industry.
The prime objective of the industrial operations is to add value to the forest. Green Resources’ main industrial operations, Sao Hill Industries (SHI), Tanzania, have been significantly upgraded in the past three years. It now operates two log lines, a pole treatment plant, joinery facilities and a charcoal plant, including what is probably Africa’s (ex-RSA) largest and most modern sawmill. It has several sales branches throughout Tanzania. It also operates an electricity pole plant in Uganda. The industrial operations generated USD 18 mn of revenues in 2013/14.