We are pleased to present this annual report, which details Nuveen’s progress in achieving a range of sustainability goals across our farmland assets globally.
The report complements a companion publication that offers a high-level overview of our work: How we invest in farmland: An introduction to Nuveen’s global agricultural sustainability approach. Taken together, the documents intend to provide our investors and other stakeholders with clear insight into what we do and how we do it.
Nuveen is committed to pursuing the UN- backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Farmland Guidelines, which we developed in 2011 in partnership with other farmland investors. Since 2012, we have been tracking our progress in this effort by measuring 12 Key Performance Metrics from year to year. We are pleased to have achieved results of 95% or higher on nearly every KPI.
Building upon our pioneering work on meeting the PRI Farmland Guidelines, we are expanding our depth of reporting on Nuveen’s advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which were adopted by United Nations member states in 2015. This year’s report features a new Logic Model that details how our sustainability practices impact specific SDGs, and sets the stage for numerous articles that explore how we measure and manage the positive and potential negative impacts of our investment and farmland management activities.
In the pages of this report, you will discover how our sustainability work takes shape in these areas:
- Deforestation prevention – our Zero Deforestation Policy is part of our broad-based commitment to preventing deforestation in the delicate biomes of Brazil.
- Water and soil health – the manifold efforts of our staff and farm operators to encourage both sustainability and productivity goals come to life in stories about two innovative farm operators in Australia and a vital effort to protect threatened fish species in California.
- Worker health and safety – our focus on the well-being of farm workers is captured in a story about efforts to address environmental risks in Poland.
- Making an impact – our enduring commitment to investing responsibly is revealed in stories about the exciting momentum of two sponsored Nuffield Scholars and efforts in Brazil to engage people in rural communities and to preserve a historical landmark. We also highlight efforts to advance inclusive and productive work through our ongoing program that engages workers with disabilities in the western U.S.
We hope you enjoy this in-depth look at our extensive farmland sustainability efforts. All of us at Nuveen and Westchester will continue to work with our partners and stakeholders to drive productivity, transparency and sustainability in our operations and investments, now and in the future.
If you would like to discuss the content of this report, please contact Nuveen’s Head of Real Assets Sustainability, Sanaz Raczynski and Westchester’s Sustainability Director, André Chaves.
Sustainability by the numbers
- 6 SDGs targeted
- 16 Scholars supported through individual or multi-sponsor international leadership programs
- 900K Acres carrying third-party sustainability certification
Snapshot of Nuveen farmland portfolio
At the end of 2018, Nuveen managed more than 2.1 million gross acres of globally diversified farmland with properties ranging in size from seven acres to 50,000 acres. During the year, Nuveen acquired more than 205,000 acres of farmland across Australia, Brazil, Chile, Poland, and the United States.
We continue to implement our core investment strategy, which targets the acquisition of high-quality, row crop-producing assets in the world’s principal grain-, sugarcane-, oil seed- and cotton- exporting regions. We also seek additional diversification through investment in farmland for specialty row crops, such as berries and vegetables, and permanent crop investments in premier growing regions, such as wine grapes, tree nuts, and tree fruits.
As we expand our portfolio into new geographies, we apply our existing pre- and post-acquisition due diligence and management procedures in accordance with each country’s laws and practices, with a strong emphasis on sustainability. We treat new geographies with the same care and scrutiny as our core geographies and expect the same level of performance and adherence to our guidelines as we do from our existing properties.
Check out Nuveen’s interactive farmland map.