In 2019, CTP acquired first 100 hectares of forest and set the goal to own one square meter of forest for every one square meter of its built portfolio, while working to restore and protect the original biodiversity of the forests. In February 2021, CTP moved closer to this goal with the purchase of a 460 hectares forest close to Zlín, a regional town in the southwest of Moravia which holds a rich history of manufacturing. This purchase brings CTP to 89% of its target compared to the GLA of 6.3 million m² in end-2020.
Remon Vos, CTP CEO comments: “CTP is very serious about sustainability across all our operations. Our entire real estate portfolio is BREEAM certified, and we incorporate renewable energy, BMS, and circular economic methods into our parks. But protecting the environment needs to go beyond our real estate parks and we take it as our responsibility to protect it at large scale.”
CTP set this 1:1 portfolio to forest goal to help solve a large environmental problem. Approximately half of forests in Czechia are monocultural with a particular species of spruce resulting bark beetle infestation which kill forests. With CTP’s focus on preservation of the forest and not harvesting timber in order to support to restore these forests’ biodiversity, they can be further enjoyed by local communities and play a key role in balancing carbon emissions.
Over the years, CTP plans replant 50 hectares which was deforested due to bark beetle outbreaks, restore natural springs and a pond, all of which will improve the biodiversity of the area. Additionally, CTP plans to keep forests open to members of the public to enjoy the area.
In 2019, CTP purchased 100 hectares of forest near Mladá Boleslav, an industrial town in the northern region of Czechia. At the time of purchase, the forest was impacted by bark beatless infestations. Since purchasing, CTP has planted over 108,000 different kinds of saplings native to the region, restoring the forest’s biodiversity to its original state.
By the end of this year, CTP plans to be operationally carbon neutral, and do date, they stand to be one of the greenest property developers in CEE. In five months, CTP raised 1.55 billion euros in Green Bonds to finance their green projects. CTP plans to purchase more forests in other countries of their operations as their portfolio grows.
CTP’s Gardener, Jakub Teplý, explains the importance of biodiversity in the region: “Many forests in the Czech Republic are planted as if they were cornfields: one large monoculture of a single species, in particular Picea abies (spruce) forests, which do not support much plant or animal diversity. Biodiversity is the best weapon against an unstable climate. Long dry periods with thunderstorms bring lots of water in a short period, which is a problem for groundwater retention because of spruce trees do not root deeply. Without water the trees do not have the ability to resist beetle infestation. The longer, hotter summers we’ve been having give the beetles time to reproduce more frequently in one season. Therefore, the trees start dying quickly, and so do whole forests.”