In 1982, Tim O’ Brien and Mossie Ryan established Green Belt Ltd. largely in response to the launch of a European Community Forestry grant scheme and in the belief that the market was lacking a private professional management company that would take into consideration the variety of investor types. Since the early 1980s Green Belt has grown substantially and is well placed to benefit from the continued expansion of the forestry industry. In terms of planting Green Belt has to date planted over 170,000 acres throughout Ireland and continues to plant over 3000 hectares annually.
Thousands of Irish farmers and land owners with extensive forestry plantations are registered customers of Green Belt. The company’s central business within the realm of forestry management involves: the provision of forestry development and afforestation services to farmers, private and corporate investors; providing forestry management and maintenance services; sourcing, acquisition and development of land, for private and corporate investors; management services at all stages of forest maturity for woodland owners, including valuation and marketing; construction of forest roads; complete forestry technical advice service; harvesting of forests both thinning and clear fell; supply of woodchips and woodchipping services through Irish Woodchipping Services and the sale of forest blocks.
Green Belt Ltd. employs nineteen professional foresters covering all regions of Ireland, including the West of Ireland, counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. Since 1994 the company has been recognised by the Forestry Department (Department of Agriculture, and Food) as an Approved Forestry Self-Assessment Company. In recent years and months Green Belt has expanded its operations in a variety of diversified but related segments. Focusing its attention on the market potential within the renewable energy sectors Green Belt launched Imperative Energy Ltd. (http://www.imperativeenergy.ie).
This segment of Green Belt will supply Renewable Energy solutions on a commercial scale, concentrating on Biomass solution to Irish business and industry. Green Belt envisage that this sector will create a demand for a minimum 100,000 tonnes of woodchip annually and within a five year period Green Belt will be able to harvest this supply from the private sector. Turning to the domestic market, Green Belt has set up a new company, Renewable Energy Solutions Ltd. (RESolution), which aims to facilitate the demand for pellet stoves, pellet boilers, solar tubes and solar panels.
In an additional venture Green Belt established an international timberland investment opportunity in 2006. The company invested over €1.7 million to manage 207 hectares of Teak in Panama with a subsidiary company, Green Belt Panama S.A. Additionally, Green Belt is currently attempting to raise 5 million dollars in conjunction with Solas Financial Green Belt to purchase 500 hectares of land in Panama to establish and manage Teak plantations.
An additional recent venture undertaken by Green Belt Ltd. in conjunction with Slaney Consulting (Step Green Ltd.) is the effort to trade the carbon sequestered by Irish forests since 1990. This company will attempt to trade carbon credits from forest estates plus credits generated through Imperative Energy via the displacement of fossil fuels with carbon neutral biomass, either to the voluntary market or to the Irish government.
Green Belt has also secured a two year contract Forestry Consultancy contract in Kosovo.