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 on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
Suzano develops research in biotechnology through FuturaGene, a business unit that is part of Suzano’s Technology and Innovation Department. FuturaGene has research centers in Brazil and Israel and a team of approximately 100 employees who work in laboratory activities, greenhouses, in the field or in administrative activities.
All activities performed by FuturaGene 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 topics related to biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). The company complies with the Biosafety Law, as well as all regulations and communications published by CTNBio, with all its facilities operating under a Biosafety Quality Certificate (CQB – Certificado de Qualidade em Biossegurança) granted by the Commission. This makes it possible to develop their research projects and conduct the respective biosafety assessments of their technologies in laboratories, greenhouses and fields, in accordance with the guidelines established in legislation.
FuturaGene has 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.
In addition, the business unit 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.
Furthermore, 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 full review of all criteria and results is completed, which may lead to restructuring or cancellation of the project.
In 2020, Suzano developed a policy and a document regarding its positioning on the experimentation and use of genetically modified trees. In particular, this policy indicates a commitment to: remaining compliant with all applicable laws, conventions, and protocols; being transparent on the topic; advancing science based on ethical decisions; conducting a global dialogue on the matter; providing access and sharing benefits throughout the value chain, with technology transfer at no cost for humanitarian or environmental purposes; recognizing the risks or controversies related to the use of emerging technologies; avoiding the most controversial practices related to emerging technologies; and reporting on the use of emerging technologies and implementing measures that reduce or mitigate associated risks. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) Suzano is currently working on formalizing its Policy and will publish the document in 2021.
The resources necessary for maintaining FuturaGene’s operations and developing the projects are supplied by Suzano through an annual budget, using the same model adopted for the other areas of the company.