Innovation and Technology
Continuous investment in technology and culture of innovation that drives the development of solutions to the major challenges facing society (enabling the transition to the bioeconomy), in addition to providing greater competitive advantage to the business.
Management approach on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
All activities performed by FuturaGene, Suzano’s biotechnology subsidiary, are regulated by the National Technical Commission on Biosafety (CTNBio), an agency linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications, which advises the Brazilian federal government on issues related to biosafety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The company follows the Biosafety Law, as well as all regulations and communications published by CTNBio, and all of its facilities operate under a Biosafety Quality Certificate (CQB – Certificado de Qualidade em Biossegurança) granted by the Commission, which makes it possible to develop its research projects and carry out the respective biosafety assessments of its technologies in laboratories, greenhouses and fields, in accordance with the guidelines established by legislation.
FuturaGene has in place an Internal Biosafety Commission (CIBio), whose legal role is to ensure support for compliance with legislation, promote training and make recommendations regarding biosafety, and supervise activities with GMOs and their by-products within the company. FuturaGene’s activities are inspected internally by CIBio, which periodically assesses whether the processes are being carried out in accordance with the criteria established by CTNBio and by the regulatory and registration agencies – Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA), Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) and the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA).
The company requests authorization from CTNBio to install each new experiment in the field and submits an annual report to the Commission describing all activities performed in the laboratory, greenhouses and fields. FuturaGene’s activities in Brazil are frequently supervised by MAPA and IBAMA.
FuturaGene voluntarily adheres to the Program for the Recognition of Compliance with the Principles of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP), operated in Brazil by the National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (Inmetro). BPL is a quality system that encompasses the organizational process and the conditions under which non-clinical studies on safety to human health and the environment are planned, developed, monitored, recorded, filed and reported. FuturaGene holds the GLP recognition for studies involving the detection, identification and quantification of GMOs through molecular methods, used for the step of molecular characterization and quantification of protein expression in genetically modified events.
FuturaGene has developed a multidisciplinary Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for selecting Research & Development projects, including those related to GMOs. Each potential technology/project is evaluated taking into account its scientific aspects (characteristics, concept, history in other species), business prospecting (need, cost, return), regulatory issues (prior approval in other countries, potential risks, biosafety) and intellectual property issues (existing patents, right of use, freedom of operation). Any technology that poses risk to the environment, human or animal health is excluded through these filters. The development of products that show adverse or unexpected results during biosafety or performance evaluations is immediately suspended until a complete review of all criteria is finalized, which may lead to the restructuring or cancellation of the project.
Suzano developed a policy and a positioning document on the experimentation and use of genetically modified trees. In particular, this policy sets out the commitment to:
- maintain compliance with all applicable laws, conventions and protocols;
- scientific advancement based on ethical decisions;
- global dialogue;
- provide access and share benefits along the entire value chain, with technology transfer at no cost for humanitarian or environmental purposes;
- recognition of risks or controversies related to the use of emerging technologies;
- avoid the most controversial practices related to emerging technologies;
- inform about the use of emerging technologies;
- implement measures that reduce or mitigate the risks associated with emerging technologies.
Suzano and FuturaGene also follow the criteria established by the forest certification bodies, such as FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®)¹ and PEFC (Brazilian Forest Certification Program), with regard to GMOs, and performs activities for research purposes only, and in areas outside the scope of certification. Suzano is in the process of formalizing its positioning and policy regarding genetically modified trees and intends to publish the documents already in the first half of 2020.
- Forest management certificates FSC-C110130, FSC-C118283, FSC-C100704, FSC-C009927, and FSC-C155943; and chain of custody certificate FSC-C010014.
Percentage of revenue from GMO products or products containing GMO ingredients
wdt_ID Indicator 2019 1 Percentage of revenue from GMO products or products containing GMO ingredients 0
FuturaGene’s activities only involve research on genetic improvement and increased productivity, not the marketing of products.
Sustainability of products and services
Seeking to generate the least possible environmental impact from its activities, products and services, Suzano is concerned with sustainability aspects throughout its business, even when designing new products. In this sense, the development of new products or services involves a series of environmental and social analyses, including implementation of preventive actions and necessary controls, always in accordance with the current legislation. Therefore, when new environmental aspects and impacts are identified in the projects, products and services under development, we conduct a deep analysis of their significance in order to determine the operational controls applicable to each case.
Furthermore, to reinforce the sustainability attributes of its forest products, Suzano carries out projects in partnership with universities and research and development centers in Brazil and worldwide, namely: University of São Paulo (USP), State University of São Paulo (Unesp), Federal University of Lavras (Ufla), Federal University of Viçosa (UFV), ISE-Senai, Embrapa, Iowa State University (United States), Grenoble INP and Cirad (France), among others.
The company also participates in the Working Group on Engagement with Genetically Modified Eucalyptus, in partnership with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and research and development institutions, and works in cooperative projects with the forestry organization Sociedade de Investigações Florestais (SIF) and the Institute of Forest Research and Studies (Ipef).