NETHERLANDS - The €85bn healthcare workers' pension fund PGGM has awarded a $200m (€150m) 15-year forestry mandate.

PGGM chose US asset manager GMO for its first foray into forestry investment and the money will be invested in GMO's Long Horizons Forestry Fund in North and South America as well as the Asia/Pacific region.

PGGM said it envisages "investing primarily in forestry projects that qualify for FSC certification". The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) set up guidelines for sustainable forestry management.

"Forestry is a stable investment, not least because trees grow regardless of economic cycles," PGGM pointed out in a statement.

"Timber is one of the few commodities that have appreciated faster than inflation over the long term."

Earlier this year, the Netherland's largest pension fund €212bn ABP disclosed it was mulling to invest in timberland.

The €21bn industry-wide pension fund for the metal and electro-technical engineering industry PME disclosed last year it owned around 30,000 acres of forest in Alabama, Tennessee and Michigan in order to diversify its portfolio, investing 1.5% of its assets in the projects.