In 2017, Fibria innovated its forestry, industrial, and logistics processes. The following sections tell some of the most relevant stories about innovation and advances in production. As a highlight, we describe the expansion of the second production line in Três Lagoas (Mato Grosso do Sul state).
The project was based on the integration of all aspects involved in a highly complex project, and these aspects were addressed in a holistic way. As early as the initial design and planning phase, we viewed the new line as a complete pulp production project, which starts in the forest, advances to the mill, and ends at the port for shipment of the product.
The other areas of the company that have worked together to prevent and mitigate social and environmental impacts through shared processes and regular meetings are as crucial as this chain.
Different from the sector’s usual practice, the director of the project was not just responsible for the industrial stage of the work. The overall management of the project addressed all aspects in an integrated way, ensuring that the work was systemic. This represented an innovation in management that yielded positive results and lessons for the future.
We are a forest products company. We have a proven track record of excellence in pulp manufacturing, but this is not enough for us: we seek to capture the best value from the innovation applied to our planted forests, creating and developing other products besides pulp. For this purpose, scientific research and the development of new technologies are essential tools.
We have scientific and technological research -Aracruz (Espírito Santo state), Jacareí (São Paulo state), Três Lagoas (Mato Grosso do Sul state) and Burnaby, Canada, as well as an experimental field network covering all our units. We invested 0.57% of the company’s net revenue in innovation (in 2017, a total of BRL 67 million was invested in research and innovation projects) and we own 334 patents and cultivars – seven more than in 2016.
Competitive Innovation (Desired Attribute) We are always looking for new solutions to improve our competitiveness, and that of our customers and partners”
In our production chain, and in the R&D networks, we always seek competitive innovation – one of Fibria’s Desired Attributes. We innovate, always based on the planted forest, to open new possibilities for business and products. We also want to differentiate our more traditional merchandise, pulp, and go beyond the concept of commodity. It is a position that places Fibria among the leading global companies in generating products originating from planted forests. In 2017, our R&D initiatives made significant progress on two fronts: radical innovations – in order to drive the current business – and disruptive innovations, which seek to create businesses. In the field of forest biotechnology, for example, we made progress that may become a reality in our operations in the next 3-5 years.
The Technology Center is present in all Fibria units: we rely on 48 scientists in the company as well as on qualified technical professionals dedicated to research and innovation. At each of the locations where it is present, it seeks to emphasize specific processes and products. See below:
Complementing its own means of research and development, Fibria also has external partnerships with universities, institutes, startups and entrepreneurs. Nearly 30% of our R&D resources are invested in this type of collaboration; it broadens our approach to technological improvement and allows Fibria to gain access to cutting-edge developments through a network of partners chosen from the best in Brazil and the planet.
Joelma Aparecida dos Santos Damiao, at the Technology Center in Jacareí (São Paulo state)
Photo: Marcio Schimming
In August 2017, we launched our own open innovation platform, Fibria Insight (www.fibriainsight.com.br). Through it, we can connect with startup companies, research centers, universities, and entrepreneurs, from Brazil and the around world, gaining access to ideas and innovations that can be developed jointly in partnerships of common interest. The platform works through topics and issues that are posted on Fibria Insight’s website by the company, in search of innovative ideas. Candidates will respond with proposed solutions for each challenge posted by Fibria.
The first two topics, launched in 2017, were a success. The first topic challenged candidates to present innovative uses and applications for microfibrillated cellulose in various branches of business; the second topic did the same in search of better packaging solutions for the bales of pulp.
In all, 46 candidates participated, presenting projects that responded to one of the challenges. At the end of a process that included an immersion of the top 15 candidates in the company, seven of the challenged candidates were selected to proceed on the development of the technologies they proposed along with Fibria. The approach foresees the contribution of Fibria’s resources to the projects chosen, in different investment modalities.
Three results can be highlighted in 2017 regarding the development of forestry technology. First, the Classical Genetic Improvement Program closed the year in line with the IMACel goals (tons of pulp/hectare/year). Note that the increase in the use of clonal compounds has contributed greatly to the better management of Planted Forests, reducing the risks associated with biotic stresses caused by insects, fungi, bacteria, and abiotic risks caused by climate change, such as drought.
It is worth pointing out that in 2015, Fibria considered two climate scenarios from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) in order to predict productivity risks in future climate conditions for the years 2030 and 2050. These possibilities were adjusted for Fibria’s planted forests. For each context (pessimistic and optimistic), we consider the potential impact on Fibria’s planted forests and identify areas with potential climate extremes, seeking the best recommendations for planting, in order to mitigate potential loss or optimize gains in forest productivity. In 2017, this work was recalibrated, considering the historical information and the changes observed in the climate pattern in several regions where Fibria operates.
Second, the Forest Management survey analyzed data and generated optimum fertilization recommendations for thousands of hectares at all company units, with significant benefits in terms of labor costs and safety, while continuing to meet the nutritional demand that supports full development and productivity of planted forests. Finally, there was an increase in the use of biological control of pests, with consequent reduction in the use of pesticides. Throughout 2017, Fibria’s Forest Protection and Natural Resources Laboratory produced and released over 10 million natural enemies.
In 2017, Fibria carried out 45 research projects in the areas of genetic improvement, biotechnology, forest management and protection, ecophysiology (study of the interaction between soil, climate, and plants), pulp products, biorefinery, and industrial processes.
Mayara Martins Aparecido, at the Technology Center in Jacareí (São Paulo state)
Photo: Marcio Schimming
Fibria ended the year 2017 with 334 patents, six of which were developed during that year. In addition to the patents, 25 cultivars – one more than in 2016. Our database contains patents for the pulp production processes, for products (pulp), for biotechnology, and for processes and products associated with biorefinery.
Internal entrepreneurship and innovation programs. Through i9 and using Fibria’s intranet employees can offer ideas and suggestions to improve the business and work routines. In 2017, a total of 1,535 proposals were submitted and, of these, 987 were implemented, bringing a return on investment (ROI) of BRL 39. ROI for 2016 was BRL 26.
were implemented, bringing a return on investment (ROI) of BRL 39. ROI for 2016 was BRL 26.