Impact fund investments support timber market in Latin America

The global impact fund TriLinc recently announced an additional £13 million investment in term loans and trade finance facilities to companies, including timber businesses, operating in Latin America. This will bring the total for financing commitments as of October 31st to £293 million worth of business expansion and socioeconomic developments in the regions.

TriLinc is an impact investing fund that provides growth-stage loans and trade finance to SMEs in developing economies where access to affordable capital is significantly limited. Impact investing, in itself, has seen a rapid increase in popularity in recent years. It’s usually defined as investing with the specific objective of achieving financial return along with a beneficial and measurable impact on communities across the globe. The company also aggregates and analyses social, economic, and environmental impact data to track progress and measure success against stated objectives.

TriLinc has a history of providing funding for other sustainable timber exporters in New Zealand and India. The firm’s operations focus specifically on supporting plantation development, harvesting and transportation. They make a particular effort to recruit harvest contractors and workers from local tribes and communities, generating substantial employment opportunities in the area.

Their recent foray into Latin America comes at an opportune time. The economy’s prospects are rapidly improving, and development in countries such as India have boosted the demand for wood and other construction materials, meaning foresters are enjoying a boon for business.

Along with their support of timber operations, TriLinc’s financing is also in the process of developing and implementing a waste to energy technology scheme in Mexico and Brazil where approximately 145,000 tons of municipal solid waste feedstock will be converted into 10.5 million gallons of ethanol each year. This will then go on to be converted into renewable jet fuel, as well as providing sufficient renewable electricity for the facility operations.

By introducing this technology into the Latin American marketplace, TriLinc felt they would be able to offer cost-savings for waste service providers throughout the growing metropolitan areas, decrease methane emissions from a reduction in landfill cover, reduce carbon emissions through promoting the use of cleaner jet fuel, and create significant employment opportunity for both the construction and operation phases of the facility. Future projects are also being planned across Brazil and beyond that will provide excellent opportunities for investment in the region and fully support the re-emerging economy and the SMEs that are so essential to its continued growth.

James Barrett, spokesman for GWD Canada, said: “Initiatives such as this set a promising precedent for the way in which thoughtful and intelligent investing can help to ameliorate the change in how our economies operate”.

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