AXA IM Alts targets Amazon rainforest with latest natural capital investment

The firm has invested $49m in reforestation projects managed by Mombak, in which it has also taken an equity stake.

AXA IM Alts, the private markets arm of AXA insurance company, has committed $49 million to reforestation projects in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, according to a statement.

The investments have been made from the firm’s natural capital strategy, which collected $500 million from AXA Group in September last year as part of a plan announced in October 2021 to channel €1.5 billion to support sustainable forest management. Previous commitments under the strategy have seen the firm enter a partnership with The Shared Wood Company and Alliance Forêts Bois to restore 1,800 hectares of degraded land, and invest $2 million in nature tech company Chloris Geospatial.

With the new commitment, the firm aims to reforest over 10,000 hectares of degraded pastureland through a combination of native species plantations and assisted natural regeneration.

The projects will be managed by carbon removals start-up Mombak, in which AXA IM Alts has also acquired a minority equity stake. The $49 million investment will be made directly into projects that will be managed by Mombak, confirmed an AXA spokesperson.

In addition to financial returns, it is hoped that the reforestation projects will generate up to 6 million carbon credits. These will be verified by a VCM standard such as Verra and sold on the voluntary carbon market, confirmed the spokesperson.

Carbon credits can be “a moving target” when it comes to returns, head of impact Alexandre Martin-Min told NPM earlier this year, in part due to the different ways in which credits can be generated. “The amount of carbon you get if you put 50 million in afforestation and 50 million in REDD+ [Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation] is very different,” he said.