Sustainable forest planning and management that support forest productivity, disease and pest control, maintenance of biodiversity, environmental preservation, and the provision of ecosystem services – creating a virtuous cycle.
Optimizing opportunities from ecosystem services provided by forestlands
Suzano guides its operational decisions so as to maintain the integrity of the ecosystem services of the territory where it operates. For the ecosystem services provided by Suzano’s forestry areas, the following are some examples of the strategies established by the company that promote their availability, contributing to the improvement of the quality of life and well-being of society:
Climate regulation: By conserving and restoring native forests and managing its planted forests based on the Sustainable Management model, in order to continuously generate biomass, Suzano is promoting the removal of CO₂ from the atmosphere. In these cases, this is characterized as a positive externality regarding the regulation of the global climate, and given the size of the forest base of more than 2 million hectares, this type of externality becomes even more significant.
Every year, Suzano calculates the volume of emissions and removals and has recently assumed the commitment to “Remove 40 million tonnes of CO₂ from the atmosphere by 2030,” by constantly working to reduce its emissions and increase its removals.
For more information on the long-term goal established, click here.
Provision and regulation of water quality: In planted forests, minimum tillage is adopted at the time of planting, aiming for minimal soil manipulation and compaction and, during harvest, the forestry waste generated, such as bark, leaves, branches, and tops of trees, are kept within the plots, forming a layer of organic matter that nourishes and protects the soil. Road opening and maintenance is carried out using techniques such as the construction of furrows and/or water outlets, containment pallets, maintenance of vegetation on slopes, recovery of exposed areas, etc. Furthermore, planting is follows contour lines, i.e. perpendicular to the slope of the land. This combination of techniques promotes greater water infiltration into the soil, prevents erosion and, consequently, the transportation of sediments, debris, and pollutants that can degrade the water quality of rivers.
Access to water is key to sustainable development and fundamental to the survival of people, the planet, and businesses. Suzano’s eucalyptus forests, native forests, and mills are all directly dependent on water, and the effort to protect this resource is the responsibility of all. Thus, Suzano made a commitment in early 2020 to “increase water availability in 100% of critical watersheds by 2030.” Critical watersheds are those subject to lack of water availability due to natural characteristics (such as climate and soil type) and type of land use. Suzano will concentrate on watersheds that are significantly occupied by the company (equal to or greater than 30%), so that the practices adopted by forest management can be effective and generate the best results to reverse the criticality of these watersheds and the consequent unavailability of water.
In this way, an adequate forest management promotes several ecosystem services, among them, the provision of fresh water and regulation of water quality, which benefit not only the forest production, but also the supply of quality water to the different users of the watersheds in which we operate.
For more information on the long-term goal established, click here.
For more information on management of water and effluents in the forest, click here.
Pollination and Food Supply: Planted forests are huge bee pastures, and therefore a good opportunity for beekeeping.. Suzano created and currently invests in the Colmeias Program, whose goal is to strengthen the beekeeping chain in the regions where the company operates, contributing to generating income, improving the quality of life of participating communities, and to environmental conservation. Honey production in 2020 was 1,200 tonnes and generated more than R$11 million, stimulating the economy of the municipalities. Another strategy that helps the pollination and survival of the bees is the Integrated Management of Pests and Diseases, which is guided by the detection, monitoring, and combat activities. The purpose of these activities is to ensure minimum and rational use of agrochemicals, always seeking to use, when possible, other management tactics such as genetic resistance, biological control, and risk management, with a strong focus on preventive actions.
In addition, the Rural Land Development Program (PDRT) participates in the development of Suzano’s areas of influence through dialogue with neighboring rural communities. Its objective is to enhance the activities of each territory with the support of technical assistance in three areas: management, production, and marketing of participating associations and cooperatives. The program follows agroecological principles, promotes access to public policies, and improves the quality of life for rural producers. This program has already assisted more than 4,000 families in the agro-ecological agricultural production and production of milk and dairy products in more than 100 communities, generating more than 20,000 tonnes of food to date.
Learn more about the Colmeias and PDRT programs on the topic of “Social Development” page.
Cultural and Recreational Services: Suzano founded and has maintained the Ecofuturo Institute, a Non-Governmental Organization, since 1999, whose goal is to transform society by raising awareness about environmental conservation. One of the main initiatives is the management of Parque das Neblinas, where the following activities are developed: environmental education, scientific research, ecotourism, forest management and restoration, and community participation. The park has already received more than 50,000 visitors. Ecotourism activities include self-guided and monitored trails, scenic canoeing, bicycle touring, and a space for camping in the middle of the preserved forest.
Visits to Parque das Neblinas focus on environmental awareness, providing an environment of direct contact with the Atlantic Forest and offering visitors activities that give them the opportunity to reflect on the importance of nature conservation.
For more information about Parque das Neblinas, click here.
In 2020, Suzano also worked on the topic of Ecosystem Services relating carbon, water, and biodiversity. Because they are intrinsic to our business, these natural resources are considered to be an asset of great value added to the company, i. e., these are elements that make up our natural capital. Expanding and evolving the understanding of this topic is part of our sustainability strategy, since the integrity of ecosystem services is a key requirement for the fulfillment of the commitments we have publicly assumed.
In order to create and share value based on this topic and ensure that it is increasingly integrated into the company’s daily activities, in 2021 we will start the implementation of a structured operation strategy. In the short term, we will work on the valuation of our natural capital, which will give us a better understanding of where we are from a regenerative economy standpoint. In the medium term, this will allow us to consistently introduce this concept into our key processes so that we can monitor and improve their performance based on the same methodology.