Sustainability Management

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  • Analysis of the environmental life cycle of products (paper)

    Related Material Issues

    Context:

    A major concern for the Paper and Packaging unit is to always develop products with the least environmental impact while bringing solutions to the market that are guided by a systemic and sustainable vision, based on concrete facts and data. Therefore, a methodology already being used for the paperboard line is Life Cycle Assessment.

    Life cycle assessments began to be used as a guiding factor in our product developments in the paperboard line, especially in the development of the new TP Cycle product, providing technical inputs for us to ensure the lowest possible environmental impact throughout its life cycle, especially when compared to analogous and equivalent products made from virgin fiber. This is how recycled fibers were inserted in our production process.

    We believe that there is no point in addressing the solid waste problem in our products and then having, for example, processes that require more water or emit more Greenhouse Gases. It is no longer enough to think in one “or” the other, but rather in “and” the other. With that in mind and not limiting ourselves to a single alternative, we are also working toward reinserting post-consumer paperboard fibers in our suppliers’ production of cardboard boxes, which are currently being used to package our cut-size reams. This alternative has two main advantages: the first is its scalability, since, in this case, the production potential of the cardboard chain after absorbing post-consumer material is substantially greater than that of paperboard. The second refers to the mitigation of environmental impacts. Since cardboard can now be produced using this type of input without major changes to the process, the reinsertion impacts caused by technical losses in the final product are minimal when compared to the production of paperboard of a comparable category.

    Use of recycled/recovered fibers

    The decision to incorporate post-consumer recycled fibers (based on the life cycle assessments performed) was synonymous with Innovation in 2020 for Suzano, which then launched TP Cycle, a new product in its paperboard portfolio. In order to optimize the supply of this new input, we entered into a partnership with the company Eureciclo, to ensure the quality of the material as well as its traceability. Its value varies directly according to market availability, which is very dependent on the engagement of end consumers, who must properly dispose of their packaging. In addition, Suzano already had Reciclato, both for the uncoated line and the Cut Size version, made entirely from recycled fibers. Specifically referring to Reciclato cut-size, we have focused more and more on increasing supply of this product to the European market, given its great differentiator and their growing concern regarding the topic of recycling.

    For the development of the TP Cycle, which depends on external supply of recycled fibers, we felt the impact of the pandemic on the supply of raw materials, especially those of higher quality and originating exclusively from paperboard. Since this product is intended for the cosmetics/pharmaceutical market, it needs to have a high level of purity, excellent presentation, and greater stiffness. For this reason, supply of post-consumer fibers needs to be meticulous. In addition, our disaggregation process does not support contaminants such as plastic and metal, which we have observed are still present in the bundles of this material. Also in partnership with Eureciclo, we are seeking to increasingly improve the auditing and approval process of the companies supplying this input.