AAM Investment Group has released its inaugural sustainability report providing a detailed account of its ongoing efforts to environmental, social and economic performance across its portfolio of agricultural assets throughout Australia.
With almost $1 billion of assets covering more than 1.7 million hectares of land under management, the Australian-owned and operated company formally articulated its sustainability journey in 2022, documenting key priorities under three pillars – Planet, People and Prosperity.
AAM managing director, Garry Edwards, said he was proud to share the report and the work the company has been investing in to build a strong and economically resilient business.
“Since AAM’s inception, our operational expertise and approach to continuous improvement has enabled us to expand our portfolio, drive productivity growth and increase our positive impacts, for our people, livestock, communities and the environment” Mr Edwards said.
“Ongoing investment in innovative technologies to improve our assets and increase productivity supports our vision of creating a positive legacy for future generations.
“When we incorporate actual revenue received and capital investment, we estimate AAM managed and owned businesses generated a national economic impact of $463 million over the past financial year.
“As a large-scale operator, we invariably have the people and the capital to effect change, and we hope our learnings can inspire positive outcomes across the industry.”
With diversity of commodities and geographic regions driving the company’s investment philosophy, Mr Edwards said the important role agriculture plays in feeding, clothing and sheltering people across the globe, adds to the sector’s investment appeal when compared to other major asset classes.
“Globally, agriculture is the world’s oldest asset class, and has made a significant contribution to the national economy over the past 200 years,” he said.
Along with AAM’s economic and social contribution to local communities, the work the company is undertaking to minimise its environmental impacts is also highlighted in the Planet chapter of the report.
Key priorities in this area include improving the efficiency of water use, reducing impacts on the environment animal welfare and reducing waste.
During 2022-23, $11.2 million was invested in capital development projects across AAM’s assets to leverage innovation, optimise processes, and to improve the long-term sustainability of the business.
“AAM is undertaking change-making investments in the industry including innovation projects such as installing 70 Starlink satellite internet services, which is one of the largest deployments in Australia’s agricultural sector,” Mr Edwards said.
“We strategically waited for low earth orbit satellite technology to advance, and by doing so, saved more than $1 million by not investing in traditional earth-based internet infrastructure.
“During the year, we also commenced a multi-million dollar upgrade program across our manufacturing and processing facilities at AAM Timber, which will improve operational efficiencies, increase productivity and enhance the safety of our people.”
Mr Edwards said AAM would continue to seek opportunities to learn, improve and to adopt technology to support its sustainability initiatives and build strong economic resilience.
“We see our sustainability journey as cyclical,” Mr Edwards said.
“There is no finish line and there will always be opportunities for us to evaluate what we are doing and look for enhancements that will drive long-term environmental, social and economic benefits.”
Source: AAM. AAM’s inaugural Sustainability Report is available on its website www.aamig.com.au/sustainability