Introduction From Chief Executive

Welcome to Coillte’s third annual Sustainability Report, covering the calendar year 2011.

Commitment to Sustainability

Coillte is Ireland’s largest natural resources company and we are committed to the innovative and sustainable management of those natural resources - land and forests.

We manage our forest estate responsibly, supplying logs to customers to produce a wide selection of timber products most of which are exported. We manufacture next generation wood panels for use in sustainable buildings and we utilise our land and forest assets to deliver renewable energy solutions. We do all of this while providing sustainable recreation facilities, protecting valuable species and habitats and sustaining local communities by providing employment and supporting tourism.

In 2011 we celebrated ten years of forest certification and following a major audit, retained it for a further five years, demonstrating our leadership in the sustainable management of natural resources and our commitment to delivering a positive result across a “triple bottom line” of economic, social and environmental objectives.

Raising performance and reporting standards

We continue to report on our sustainability performance using the internationally recognised Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Framework. This year we have enhanced our reporting with the inclusion of a range of new information and an external assurance statement which means we are reporting at the B+ level up from C in 2010.

The process of external assurance that we have gone through this year in order to report at the GRI B+ standard has identified a number of key lessons for us in relation to how we manage for sustainability.

Coillte has sustainability at its heart and it is a part of everything we do. As a result we have plenty of “data”. We are very good at measuring things and reporting on them. However, one area we need to enhance in managing for sustainability is the setting of targets in this area e.g. for energy consumption or emissions reduction. We have a set of Group KPIs which drive our business but we need to be more focused on setting clear and explicit targets for managing those impacts - social, economic and environmental — that define our performance as a truly sustainable company. Setting and achieving challenging targets will enhance our performance in many ways, reducing our environmental impact and also reducing costs through measures such as reducing energy consumption. This will be a key focus area in 2013.

Looking forward

During 2012 the Government made a decision in principle to sell the harvesting rights to Coillte’s forests, as part of its programme of selling State assets. The Government asked NewEra, an organisation set up under the auspices of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), to work with Coillte to assess the implications of that decision. Coillte has been working with NewEra and independent advisors on that assessment during 2012.

The potential sale of harvesting rights and a difficult business environment for all of our businesses creates many challenges. In addressing these challenges our commitment to sustainability remains undiminished. For Coillte sustainability is not a programme that runs alongside our business - sustainability is our business.

David Gunning
Chief Executive

David Gunning                     Chief Executive