Coillte is a commercial company operating in Forestry, land based businesses, renewable energy and panel products. Coillte employs 1,100 people and owns over 445,000 hectares of land, about 7% of the land cover in Ireland.
The company was established in 1989 as a private limited company under the Forestry Act 1988 which set out its commercial mandate. Under this legislation the company's shareholders are the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Agriculture and Food.
The Coillte Group has three operating Divisions with different support functions:
- Coillte Forest operates the company's core forestry business
- Coillte Enterprises is the venturing arm of the Group that explores opportunities in renewable energy and biomass.
- Coillte Panel Products manufactures and sells Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) in Ireland, UK and continental Europe.
- Coillte owns over 445,000 hectares of land (approx. 7% of the land cover in Ireland). Since 1989 Coillte has acquired 52,000 hectares and increased the estate by a further 12,000 approx hectares through the Farm Partnership Scheme and other leases;
- 79% (352,000 ha) of the estate is forested, the remainder comprises areas such as open space, water roads;
- The estate is managed in three regions, and further subdivided into 13 districts;
- Approx. 1,100 staff are employed across the Group in Ireland the UK and Europe;
- Strong emphasis is placed on achieving balance between commercial, environmental and social objectives in managing the businesses.
- The Corporate Reputations RepTrak 2012 report listed Coillte in the top 7 companies in Ireland for 'Citizenship', which is defined as being a good corporate citizen, supporting good causes and protecting the environment
Overview of Divisions
Coillte Forest manages the Group’s forestry business including the establishment, protection and management of forests. Coillte is now celebrating 10 years of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, demonstrating that we manage our forests in a responsible way, balancing their economic, social, and environmental contribution.
Coillte manages approximately 20% of its estate primarily for biodiversity enhancement. In January 2011, Coillte commenced work on a second raised bog restoration project, targeting 636 hectares. This project is managed by Coillte with financial support from the EU LIFE Nature Programme and the National parks and Wildlife Service.
Coillte also recently completed the building and upgrading of 34 recreational facilities with the assistance of Fáilte Ireland and Local Authorities, which included looped walks and mountain bike trails. In 2011, the trails network expanded further with the opening of the first trail in the Dublin mountains at Ticknock.
Coillte's Recreational Team also advanced many partnerships in 2011: The Wicklow Way Management Partnership; Cavan County Council Burren Forest as a gateway facility for the International Geopark in Cavan/Fermanagh; National Parks and Wildlife Service feasibility study on the establishment of a wilderness area In the Nephin Beg Range, in North West Mayo; and The Irish Sports Council Recreation Trail Managers Programme was renewed for a further three year period.
Coillte Enterprise, the Group’s venturing arm, is active in a number of areas, optimising the value of the Group’s land assets. Coillte Enterprise comprises our renewable energy business - wind and biomass; telecommunications masts and related infrastructure; land sales and development; Coillte Wood Products; and Coillte Training and Safety Services. 2011 saw significant progress on the delivery of our strategic objectives, despite a very challlenging economic environment in Ireland.
- Coillte is a significant player in the Wind Farm development sector in Ireland, with a portfolio of 11 projects in 9 counties and the potential to develop over 400 MW of electricity. Coillte works in partnership with state and private companies to manage wind projects through the various stages of the project planning process. €10 billion in inward investment opportunity for Ireland exists in wind energy.
- Coillte is a leading player in telecommunications infrastructure provision in Ireland, managing a portfolio of 110 mast sites, with 400 masts. In 2011 Coillte set out an ambitious Telecoms Strategy to grow its position in the sector over the next 5 years.
- In our biomass business we signed our first long term fuel supply contract in September 2011 with an industrial renewable heat customer, Astellas Pharma in Kerry, representing a major milestone for the business.
- Despite the downturn in property sales, Coillte delivered 49 sales in 2011, in line with sales achieved in 2010
Coillte Panel Products
Coillte Panel Products (CPP) comprises SmartPly in Waterford Port and Medite Europe Ltd in Clonmel and is a significant player in the European panels sector. SmartPly manufactures Oriented Strand Board (OSB) which has a range of applications in construction including flooring, roofing and timber frame building. Medite Europe’s MDF products are exported to the UK, mainland Europe and beyond for a range of applications from children's toys, exhibition stands and shop fittings, to hi-fi speakers, cabinets, decorative mouldings and laminate flooring.
Coillte Panel products delivered a good financial performance in 2011. Turnover increased by almost 6% to €154 million, with over 90% derived from export sales. The UK remaisn our largest market, comprising almost 59% of turnover, an increase of 1.5% on 2010, despite challenging market conditions.
Click here to view Coillte's Stakeholder Newsletter Autumn 2012