Planted forests are assets of immeasurable value to Fibria, which invests in protecting the environment and in continually improving its stewardship, which centers on sustainability. Of the 1.092 million hectares of forests managed by the company, 374,000 are dedicated exclusively to environmental conservation, which are protected in the form of Legal Reserves, Permanent Preservation Areas and Private Natural Heritage Reserves.
Reserves also are important for forming ecological corridors, protecting endemic species that thrive in restricted areas and maintaining the biodiversity of Brazil’s biomes.
Fibria’s commitment to increase continually the eco-efficiency of its production reinforces what it means to produce with environmental responsibility, using renewable natural resources and introducing into the environment as little waste as possible.
The conservation areas maintained by Fibria, which are particularly rich in fauna and flora, are home to endangered species. These forests are protected by various measures, which include restoration, improving stewardship, studying forest dynamics and integration with the plantation network. Actions of proven efficacy included forming ecological corridors and sequenced harvesting based on a scientific approach of ecosystems, always aiming to reduce environmental impacts.
Fibria’s operations are located in the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest biomes, which are considered two of world’s biodiversity hotspots (*a biodiversity or ecological hotspots are biogeographic regions with significant levels of biodiversity that are threatened with destruction).
One of Fibria’s targets is the environmental restoration of 40,000 hectares of own areas by 2025. For instance, through the Sustainable Forest Mosaics project, Fibria works together with other companies, non-governmental organizations and academia to restore tracts of Atlantic Forest, with the end goal of generating substantial gains for biodiversity.
Natural Resources Conservation and Stewardship
This program identifies, monitors and evaluates the environmental stewardship actions on Fibria’s areas in order to control the risks of impacts caused by its activities and to guide preventative measures. The information obtained is used to plan initiatives to protect and conserve natural resources.
The initiatives include identifying and mapping local biomes, surveying remaining native flora, identifying areas of significant ecological interest, and analyzing and determining ways to protect and restore areas destined for conservation. The program also involves wildlife management measures and the identification of invasive plant and wildlife species.
Changes in the climate caused by greenhouse gas emissions pose risks to the planet’s natural resources and consequently to Fibria’s operations and forestry base. Changes to precipitation patterns and rises in ocean temperature are already evident, and these events could worsen situations such as droughts, floods, destruction of animal habitats and anomalies in tree growth.
To fulfill its commitment to reduce the environmental impact of its operations, Fibria created a program dedicated to the issue of climate change that involves its partners as well. Among other initiatives, in 2016, Fibria increased the number of its weather stations from 37 to 57 to ensure more precise monitoring of precipitation and weather conditions. It also developed an integrated land planning process based on the SWAT hydrology model (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) and tested recommendations that take into account environmental criteria to support forest planning.
Every year, the company conducts an inventory of the carbon balance and stock of its operations that extends from its seedling nurseries to its products port of destination. The results are used to manage initiatives with the goal of incorporating climate change management into investments, operations, technologies and innovations.
The company set as a target to double, by 2025, its net carbon sequestration in relation to 2011, and publishes annually a greenhouse gas inventory that includes results, historical data and explanations of its performance.
Harvest operations on eucalyptus cultivation areas generate impacts on neighboring communities. For this reason, it is necessary to have good knowledge of the communities and to create a permanent forum for strengthening relations and dialogue. This process, known as Operational Dialogue, begins with the arrival of Fibria’s teams, generally before forestry operations begin, to give a detailed presentation on the operational processes. All of the community’s questions, criticisms and suggestions are heard. The Dialogue is led by a multidisciplinary team from Fibria, with professionals from the Forestry, Sustainability and Environmental teams.
In water resources management, Fibria became a global industry benchmark and, in 2016, set long-term targets [hyperlink to targets page] for its forestry, nursery and industrial operations:
- Forestry: conduct water management in micro-basins and disseminate technical knowledge on the topic to neighbors in critical basins;
- Nurseries: reduce by 17% specific water withdrawal per seedling produced;
- Industrial: reduce by 17% water withdrawal per ton of pulp produced.
With a broad view of the water scarcity risk, Fibria mapped 246 water basins and decided to act on nine of them, which are located in regions where the company has plantations and whose forest management could influence the water supply. The knowledge and experience generated by this survey – such as analyses of water withdrawal use and types, methods to reduce consumption and simple irrigation and recycling techniques – are being shared with neighbors to strengthen dialogue and foster integrated initiatives in local communities.
On the industrial front, Fibria’s manufacturing process attained excellence in water withdrawal and consumption, while its mills operate with a water withdrawal rate of between 25 m³ and 30 m³ per ton of pulp produced, while the international guidelines of Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) and of the International Financial Corporation (IFC) establish best global practices for water withdrawal of between 25m³ and 50m³ per ton.
On average, Fibria consumes 5 m³ of water per ton of pulp produced, which means that the company, on average, uses the same water 4.5 times and returns to the source 85% of the water required for the complete process. Learn more about Fibria’s performance in our Annual Report.
Fibria reuses 91% of its industrial waste, which include the ash, lime mud, primary sludge and scrap generated by its production process. Part of this volume is used internally and part can be used as raw materials for manufacturers in a variety of industries. In 2016, the company sold 886,000 tons of its industrial solid waste.
The company adopts as a principle in its management of solid industrial waste the creation of co-products, which are processed waste with energy value (high carbon content) and with agricultural value for use in silviculture and agriculture in general.
Learn more about Fibria’s long-term target for solid waste.
Waste reuse plays a significant role in Fibria’s energy efficiency through the burning of biological sludge in biomass boilers and in other processes. All of the company’s industrial units are self-sufficient in electricity and generate surplus power that is sold to the national grid.
Learn more about Fibria’s long-term target for solid waste.
Environmental Education Center
Fibria maintains an Industrial Environmental Education Center at its unit in Jacareí, São Paulo with the goal of promoting environmental education in local communities. The center serves as a platform for disseminating environmental awareness plans and actions in which the local community participates directly and hosts interdisciplinary events to train environmental multipliers and improve quality of life.
The center is an established base for holding formal and informal educational activities related to environmental issues, and helps to integrate local communities and strengthen relations between the company and society. It also expands synergies with the municipal government, government agencies, NGOs and other institutions, always with a focus on environmental protection, and supports Fibria’s relations with neighboring communities.
From 2004 to 2016, the center at the Jacareí Unit registered a total of 175,000 service events, through projects such as Youth Eco-agents, Environmental Education Training Program and Transformative Experiences.
Environmental Education Program
Created over a decade ago, Fibria’s Environmental Education Program organizes educational activities related to the environment. Part of the objectives follow the recommendations made by the Intergovernmental Conference on Environmental Education held in Tbilisi, Georgia, which was organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Through educational initiatives, Fibria promotes access so that people or social groups can acquire knowledge to give them a better understanding of environmental issues.
Integrated into the Environmental Education Program is the Odor Perception Network (RPO), which organizes volunteers to seek solutions for occurrences near the mills.