£460m abrdn fund buys Cairngorm land for carbon

The £460 million Standard Life Investments Property Income Trust (SLIPIT) has announced the acquisition of land in the Cairngorms National Park that will be used as part of the company’s carbon strategy.

“The 1,447 hectares of upland rough grazing and open moorland in the Cairngorm national park has been purchased for £7.5m,” said the fund.

“The site supports 956 hectares for planting with natural broadleaf trees (about 1.5m trees in total) with approximately 115 hectares for peatland restoration, with the remainder open land to support bio diverse habitats.

“The site is expected to sequester approximately 195,630 tonnes of carbon up until 2060, representing 73% of the company’s residual embedded and operational carbon.

“SLIPIT takes ESG very seriously, and believes that strong ESG credentials will be a driver of performance, as well as an agent for good.

“The company is not investing in commercial forestry, but is acquiring a gold standard carbon offset at a fixed price.

“The purchase forms part of a wider strategy to achieve carbon net zero, based primarily on reducing operational carbon at the investment property assets with offsets for residual carbon that cannot be eliminated.

“It is anticipated that the costs of planting will be met through grant funding.”

SLIPIT fund manager Jason Baggaley said: “SLIPIT has acquired this significant opportunity for reforestation as part of its carbon strategy.

“We believe that being an early mover will give the company an important advantage in future costs for offsetting as society moves to net zero by 2050.

“We anticipate making a couple of further acquisitions, on a smaller scale, to complete this element of the carbon strategy.

“Although the focus is on carbon offsetting the opportunities for wider ecological and net bio diversity gain are also being explored, which is important given changing legislation around development in the UK”.