Growing an Effective ESG Strategy: Canada’s Forest Trust is Building Smart Forests

Canada's Forest Trust is building Smart Forests as a nature-based solution to help organizations and communities achieve net-zero carbon emissions and meet their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. Remsoft Forest Intelligence technology will play a key role in developing and managing them.

The number of companies and organizations developing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies is growing worldwide, responding to what S&P Global describes as “unprecedented market and policy momentum” in 2021.

The importance of achieving ESG goals has never been more critical. The climate crisis continues to worsen, the loss of wildlife and plants grinds on, and people’s food security and livelihoods are increasingly under threat. Meeting ESG goals is more than buying carbon credits. As S&P Global concludes ”the benefits of nature-based solutions such as preserving wetlands, forests, and coastlines will continue to gain favour as effective strategies to help adapt to the physical impacts of climate change.” When built on a just transition, nature-positive solutions can also support a green economy.

Each of the three components of ESG – environmental, social, and governance – are individual entities that interact with each other. Achieving meaningful progress means creating solutions that recognize the intertwined nature of the E, S, and the G and seek to balance the three.

Making Forests Smart with Canada’s Forest Trust

Canada’s newest innovator in ESG services, Canada’s Forest Trust (CFT) has entered the market with a nature-based solution for meeting the ESG goals of businesses, schools, organizations, communities, and individuals – building Smart Forests™.

Founded by Gary Zed, a businessman and philanthropist based in Ottawa, CFT offers customized programming and proprietary tools for Smart Forest Stewards to meet their ESG targets through the power of Smart Forests.

CFT’s Smart Forests combine the resilience of natural ecosystems with predictive technologies and Indigenous land knowledge. They come with a Forever Forest Guarantee: ensuring that every forest built not only undergoes expert management and monitoring but that it will never be clear cut. This commitment means Smart Forests offer a long-term and sustainable carbon sequestration solution that learns from Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, supports youth education, wildlife and plant biodiversity, and vital environmental services such as clean air and water.

Smart Forests will also create thousands of jobs across Canada, empowering a robust green economy and ensuring that Forest Families don’t have to choose between economic and ecological sustainability.

Partnering to Scale Up and Innovate

In its bid to build thousands of forests and move Canada closer to net-zero, CFT has secured several key partners that bring together proven techniques, learning from Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and innovative forest management technology to maximize its effectiveness.

As CFT expands its forest footprint across Canada, partnerships will be essential to our success given the volume and variety we plan to plant,” said Gary Zed, CEO, Canada’s Forest Trust. “A great deal of planning goes into growing healthy Smart Forests which not only optimize carbon sequestration but offer economic, social and other environmental benefits.”

Collaborating to utilize traditional ecological knowledge, Indigenous oversight, Indigenous supply chains and workforce is paramount.

This knowledge is key to ensuring that our forests are planted and protected properly,” says JP Gladu, Chair, CFT Board of Directors and former CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. “CFT’s commitment to building relationships with Indigenous communities will help to strengthen the Indigenous economy and at the same time, combat climate change with the most natural solution to global warming: forests.”

Optimizing Smart Forests with Intelligence

Alongside indigenous and leading enterprise partners, Remsoft Forest Intelligence™ technology will play a key role in developing and managing CFT Smart Forests.

Data-driven forest intelligence will help CFT plan and make effective decisions, track progress, and recalibrate as necessary to ensure the long-term health of every Smart Forest,” says Andrea Feunekes, CEO, Remsoft.

From preparing to planting to preserving, Remsoft software will help CFT optimize their resources and asset management and balance ESG goals.

The Future is Forested

With Smart Forest Stewards across Canada, CFT is rapidly growing through their 5-phase program that procures, prepares, plants, preserves, and protects millions of acres of Smart Forests. Over the coming years, these forests will sequester and store tens of millions of tonnes of carbon.


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