Sustainable Investment Awards 2023

ESG investment initiative of the year, Latin America: The BTG Pactual Timberland Investment Group

In 2021, The BTG Pactual Timberland Investment Group (TIG) launched a collaboration with Conservation International (CI) to serve as impact advisor to its new impact-oriented reforestation investment strategy in Latin America.

The strategic collaboration seeks to mobilise $1 billion over five years, with an aim to deliver risk-adjusted financial returns alongside climate, environmental and social benefits at scale.

TIG says the strategy aims to protect and restore hundreds of thousands of acres of natural forests in degraded landscapes across Latin America; plant hundreds of millions of trees in sustainably managed, independently certified commercial forests; provide tens of millions of tonnes of 'carbon benefit'*; and support inclusive and equitable community development.

During the award period, TIG and CI worked together to develop and operationalise 14 impact criteria designed to ensure positive impacts for people and nature, including both avoiding negative impacts such as habitat loss for critical species and delivering positive outcomes including water quality, forest protection, and carbon sequestration.

Together, TIG and CI use these criteria to evaluate new properties for acquisition. CI also advises TIG on site-level spatial recommendations for native forest reforestation on each acquisition, monitoring, and ongoing community engagement.

In 2022, TIG made its first investment as part of the strategy: the acquisition of a nearly 60,000-acre cattle ranch in southern Brazil.

Together with CI, TIG designed a landscape-scale management plan that targets the protection and restoration of approximately 30,000 acres on the acquired property and others in the region, enhancing biodiversity, protecting the headwaters of an important watershed, and supporting an expected increase in per-hectare employment of more than ten times existing levels on the acquired ranch in the first year of operations, said TIG.

One judge said it was "great to see collaboration between Conservation International and TIG to reforest old cattle ranches".

TIG is a division of BTG Pactual Asset Management, one of the world's largest timberland investment managers with $5.6 billion in assets and 3 million acres under management globally as of Q4 2022.

*Carbon benefit refers to the carbon sequestered by the trees and the carbon expected will be stored in long-lived wood products, in addition to reduced carbon emissions from substituting wood for more carbon-intensive alternative materials - such as concrete or steel in construction.