Packhorse appoints head of ESG

Australian cattle property investment manager Packhorse Pastoral Company has announced the appointment of Dr Elaine Mitchell as its head of environmental, social and governance (ESG).

Dr Mitchell is currently a research associate at the Queensland University of Technology’s Centre for agriculture and bioeconomy.

Working in the centre’s managing for resilient landscapes theme, her research focuses on soil carbon including the mechanisms and drivers behind soil organic carbon and its response to agricultural management and global environmental change.

She was formerly program manager at the UK-based Bioclimate Research and Development, where she managed a portfolio of carbon sequestration projects in developing countries under the United Nations Emissions Trading Scheme.

At Packhorse, Dr Mitchell is charged with ensuring nature and biodiversity is at the forefront of the firm’s operations while generating consistent and sustainable returns for its investors.

“Packhorse is accumulating rural land on a mass-scale across Australia so the opportunity to implement regenerative practices based on science and deploy significant carbon sequestration projects is extremely exciting,” said Dr Mitchell on her appointment. 

“The expansive scale at which Packhorse is operating has the potential to positively impact climate change.”

Speaking to InvestorDaily in September, Packhorse chairman Tim Samway said the firm aims to build a $1 billion portfolio of cattle property over the next five years and deliver sizable returns for investors.

“Agricultural land has achieved compound growth of about 6 per cent per annum for as far back as you can go,” he said.

“These soils have been allowed to desertify, and we can improve the soils and actually increase the carrying capacity of the properties, which actually improves the value beyond the 6 per cent.”