Eucalyptus trees, which Fibria uses to make pulp, come from renewable planted forests that not only help to protect the soil and native forests, but also to sequester carbon and benefit the climate and air quality. Planted forests, therefore, are part of the solution to the impacts caused on the environment and climate.
Fibria cultivates 656,000 hectares of eucalyptus in the states of Espírito Santo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Bahia, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul. It also maintains 374,000 hectares destined exclusively for conservation on areas interspersed with its plantations, which involves restoring native vegetation and protecting springs and biodiversity, and has another 61,000 hectares destined for other uses.
Forest management is the administration of forest resources to obtain social and economic benefits while respecting the sustainability of the ecosystem. On the areas where it commercially cultivates eucalyptus, Fibria adopts a series of principles and procedures to ensure the economic, social and environmental sustainability of forests in order to transform its management into a strategic value whose benefits extend to society.
Thanks to investments in research and development, the plantations are some of the world’s most productive. This performance is due to proper soil preparation and fertilization, integrated control of pests and diseases, constant weather monitoring and the use of eucalyptus species and clones that are highly adapted to the environmental conditions of each unit, among other factors.
A new concept being increasingly explored by the company is sustainable intensification. Learn more below.
Fibria’s forestry operations hold the certifications Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) licenses (FSC-C100042, FSC-C100704 and FSC-C110130), Cerflor/Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.
Go to the following links for a summary of the management plans of Fibria’s forestry units.
Summary of Forest Management Plan – São Paulo StateOpen PDF
Fibria’s forestry and industrial strategy is perfectly aligned with the new recommendations of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to “produce more with less resources,” based on the concept of sustainable intensification of agricultural production, which takes into account the protection of ecosystems.
In the area of productivity, which is a fundamental pillar of sustainable intensification, Fibria’s progress is noteworthy: its annual pulp production per hectare of 6.4 tons in the 1970s practically doubled to 10.6 tons by the beginning of this decade, with the newly planted clones having the potential to produce 11.8 tons per hectare. Fibria’s target is to reach 15 tons per hectare/year with the new clones recommended for planting by 2025.
To achieve these results, Fibria consistently invests in technology and forest management, which lead to, among other benefits, a lower concentration of land ownership and a higher supply of land for other uses – in other words, producing more with less. Fibria also invests in market intelligence and technological research in order to accompany transformations in the forestry industry and the growing need for excellence and sustainability in all processes and business areas.
Technology in the Field
Still in this model of sustainable intensification, Fibria has other important competitive edges. One is its pioneering use of innovative forestry technologies and of operating systems and equipment to continually improve its activities.
The company understands that knowing well the environment in which you work is the best way to identify the ideal solution for each situation, with the use of as much technology as possible. As such, Fibria has sought the most modern resources in the industry, such as drones, satellite imagery mapping, automation, etc. All of which enables it to attain maximum production in a sustainable way.
Another example of innovations that led to productivity gains is the machines that manipulate forestry loads. They function as large mobile cranes with claws and have a high capacity for moving the wood that arrives at the mills, resulting in logistics and productivity gains. In Fibria’s case, the machines load and unload the trucks with wood for transport to the chipping lines, where it is transformed into woodchips.
On these various operational fronts, Fibria incorporates into its routines the principles of sustainability, intelligence, knowledge, technology, innovation, big data resources, Internet of Things and people development. The company uses these resources to care better for its forests and to produce more with less resources.
Excellence in forest stewardship is futile if it is not accompanied by initiatives to protect the forests. Actions to combat forest fires help to improve Fibria’s efficiency and are the focus of innovation.
The time it takes to detect a fire is critical, since it is directly related to the size of the area affected. When fires take a long time to be detected, large areas are affected. The company uses real-time monitoring systems with cameras distributed across the plantation to detect and activate fire suppression efforts as quickly as possible. Fibria also maintains teams trained to control fires on its silviculture, environmental restoration and forest protection areas.
A fleet of vehicles equipped with a Compressed Air Foam System (CAFS), the only one in Brazil, completes this structure. With more power to combat fires, each vehicle is equivalent to nine water tankers with 10,000 liters each, or a total volume of 90,000 liters. Since their tanks also contain foam and compressed air, the water volume is multiplied twentyfold, which reduces the time needed to combat the fire and the volume of water used. Each vehicle has two fire hoses and can reach two focal points simultaneously.
Wood Procurement Policy
Fibria undertakes a commitment to adopt best practices for preventing the sourcing and supply of wood and wood fibers from the following categories:
To learn more about Fibria’s Wood Procurement Policy, click here.
Fibria’s forest management is not limited to its own areas. Based on the concept of shared value, the company works jointly with communities to leverage the local economy. These efforts included programs like Forest Savings, which encourages rural producers located near the mills to plant eucalyptus as a secondary source of income. Meanwhile, the company enjoys an additional supply source for meeting its wood demand.
The Forest Savings program, which was implemented in 164 municipalities in the states of Bahia, Espírito Santo, Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo, is seen by rural producers as a business offering special support. They receive incentives starting in the first year, support for structuring the plantation, eucalyptus seedlings, technical assistance, training on cultivation and management, guaranteed acquisition of the wood and environmental education.
This system of local partnerships already has approximately 1,685 producers with 67,000 hectares of plantations that account for 28% of Fibria’s wood supply. In 2016, Fibria’s local purchases in the regions where it operates accounted for 51% of its total volume. The cultivation of lasting relationships also is demonstrated by the fact that 30% of the wood purchased by the company comes from suppliers who have been Fibria partners for over 15 years. For more information, visit the Program website.
Where It All Started
Fibria invests in the cultivation of eucalyptus clones enhanced through classic genetic improvement. The production of new clones and the selection of those that best adapt to each region are carried out at our nurseries and in field tests conducted by our Technology Centers located in in Aracruz (ES), Jacareí (SP) and Três Lagoas (MS). The Technology Centers recommend the best-suited clones, which are multiplied via vegetative propagation in our operational nurseries.
Fibria has owned nurseries located in Aracruz (ES), Capão Bonito (SP), Três Lagoas (MS) and in the Helvécia district of Nova Viçosa (BA), as well as one nursery on a loan-for-use basis.
Fibria’s oldest nursery, which supplies the Aracruz Unit, has annual production capacity of 30 million seedlings.
With annual production capacity of 14 million seedlings, this nursery supplies the Jacareí Unit.
With annual production capacity of 30 million seedlings, this nursery also is used to train and integrate local workers with a view to creating an alternative source of income for families in the region.
Inaugurated in 2017, the new, cutting-edge nursery at the Três Lagoas Unit is the world’s first automated eucalyptus nursery, with area of 48,000 m2 and annual production capacity of 43 million seedlings. Guided by artificial intelligence, 24 robots manage the selection, planting, seedling diagnosis and automatic loading for transportation, in a process that provides a threefold gain in productivity over conventional nurseries, along with gains in quality and reductions in costs.
Analysis of real-world situations
Fibria acknowledges the impacts of its operations on the regions where it operates. That is why it provides different solutions for the various contexts. Although it has a state-of-the-art automated nursery at its Três Lagoas Unit, it adopts an entirely different approach in southern Bahia state that aims to help meet the community’s social needs. In Helvécia, the company opted for technology that allows for as many local residents as possible to be involved in seedling production.
In Conceição da Barra (ES), Ibirapuã (BA) and Três Lagoas (MS), Fibria invests in community nurseries, acquires seedlings for the native forest restoration program and provides seeds and technical assistance to the families involved. This is just yet another example of the company’s initiatives to foster local development. The community nurseries have the capacity to produce 410,000 seedlings every year.
Eucalyptus cultivation is complex and involves various steps, which include integrated planning of the property, selection of areas, soil analysis and environmental microplanning, which involves opening access roads without causing soil erosion, creating green corridors, preparing the soil and controlling pests and disease, reducing any impacts on the environment and local communities, among other precautions.
To obtain the best results from its plantations, Fibria invests in innovative solutions, such as a tool that uses software, like SAP Predictive Analytics, that employs analysis modeling to verify large volumes of data and indicate trends to support decision-making.
Click here to see the states where Fibria has plantations.
Harvest And Transportation
See the eucalyptus cultivation and harvesting steps performed by Fibria:
To minimize the impacts of its transportation activities, save fuel and reduce carbon emissions, Fibria is always searching for innovative solutions, such as the five-trailer road train (pentatrem), which significantly outperforms the commonly used three-trailer road train (tritrem). The pentatrem consists of five interconnected trailers that provide a 69% gain in load capacity and a reduction in truck traffic on the highways leading to the company’s mills.
At the mill in Três Lagoas, Mato Grosso do Sul, the use of the pentatrem resulted in a 30% reduction in Fibria’s truck traffic on highways BR-158 and BR-262, since the vehicles that transport wood use side roads and a tunnel built by the company to connect with its planted areas. These are pioneering and creative solutions that clearly demonstrate the company’s sustainability strategy in all areas of its operations.