The company AF (Agroempresa Forestal), manager of the forest assets Bosques del Uruguay (BDU), announces that it has become a signatory of the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). This international organization works to promote the incorporation of environmental and social sustainability criteria into the investment process and encourages companies and organizations everywhere to align their strategies and operations with the Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.

Social and environmental responsibility is one of our founding pillars, and signing these internationally recognized Principles is in line with our values and our way of working, which has guided us since our beginnings and in every challenge we have embraced. These are the cornerstone principles of AF, and by taking this step, we reaffirm our commitment to be a responsible investment manager following the best global practices”, asserted Francisco Bonino, President of AF Uruguay.

Implemented by the United Nations Secretary-General, the PRI were devised by the investment community and reflect the view that environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues play an increasingly important role in investment practices. According to the UN Global Compact website, this organization is the leader proponent of responsible investment, and members currently number 15,400 organizations and companies based in 160 countries, thus becoming the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative. Today, the UN PRI works with more than 5,000 signatories, representing over US$ 100 billion of assets under management.

AF started its operations as a forestry services company in Uruguay in 2000, and expanded to the Southern Cone region, mainly by launching Forestry Trusts in Uruguay. It currently manages more than 131,000 hectares. In 2011, AF launched its first publicly traded financial forestry trust, Bosques del Uruguay I (BDU I), for US$ 50 million and 9,536 hectares. In 2015, AF launched the second one, BDU II, for USD 70 million and 14,656 hectares, in 2016 the third one, Bosques del Uruguay III, for US$ 190 million and 46,269 hectares, and in 2019, BDU IV, for US$ 330 million and 61,394 hectares.

Considering the total planted area, 70% is planted with eucalyptus and 30% with pine. The majority of this timber is exported, and an equal proportion is destined for sawn wood/plywood and pulp. China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan are the main export destinations for sawn wood/plywood.

Each farm managed by AF is operated under a Forest Management Plan approved by the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries, and under FSC standards.