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 3,500 people in addition to engaging numerous contractors and suppliers. The companies currently making up Green Resources have invested close to USD 300m of equity in its African operations. Green Resources holds land enabling the company to establish close to 200,000 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, tissue, etc.) and for the growing bio-chemical and energy sectors. It is a leader in carbon finance with four validated reforestation projects. Green Resources has probably planted more new forest than any other organization in Africa since 2000.
Green Resources harvests logs from its own plantations and will continue to do so at an increasing rate as the plantations mature, and revenues from harvesting is expected to increase sharply over the next few years. Green Resources aims to follow the highest international environmental standards by conserving natural forest and other valuable habitats.
The company has three-quarters of its planted forests certified according to the Forest Stewardship CouncilTM (FSCTM) standard the world’s leading standard for responsible forest management and is aiming for 100% certification. It is the only company with FSCTM-certified plantations in three African countries and it owns two-thirds of the FSCTM-certified plantation forest in Africa outside South Africa 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 years. It now operates two line sawmill, a pole treatment plant and joinery facilities, 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. During 2015/16, a new Ugandan sawmill and a Tanzanian wood briquetting factory will start up. The industrial operations generate USD 18m of annual revenues.