In 2017, we had one of our most successful harvests. We managed to reconcile cost austerity with assertive investments linked to the vision of the future. Even though it was a challenging year for Brazil, Fibria was prepared and strong enough to achieve good results despite the political-economic scenario.
We started our second production line in Três Lagoas (Mato Grosso do Sul state), inaugurated before the planned date and below the estimated cost, a goal that reflects the company’s competitive position. The new line has the most modern technology in the world in our industry and brings advances to the industry of the future, which will be digitization and artificial intelligence.
We learned a lot from this expansion. One such learning is that without open dialogue and alliance we would never have completed the construction with good results. We work together with the government, suppliers, and the community to minimize the inevitable impacts of the arrival of thousands of workers. In this context, I’d like to mention the Agente do Bem (Agent for Good in English) Movement, which brought an innovative approach to the risk of sexual abuse or exploitation of children in high traffic areas. As a Fibria initiative, the city of Três Lagoas mobilized to build a citizenship network in order to address the problem and train representatives of the government departments and boards.
Marcelo Castelli, Fibria CEO
Photo: Marcio Schimming
I also would like to emphasize the challenges we faced in logistics. I am not afraid to talk about the fact that some things have gone wrong as long as we learn from and evolve through those mistakes. It was clear to us that logistics would be a focal point for an export company operating in the central region of the country. We anticipated the operation of the mill, managed to deliver a production volume and sales above our expectations, but at first, the logistics did not go smoothly. Thanks to a competent team, we managed to get around the situation, ship all of our production, and reach the end of the year with good results.
The year 2017 was also highlighted by the progress we made towards building a high performance culture, a process initiated in 2014. We launched We Are Fibria – an action that marks the evolution of our corporate culture and disseminates company concepts. We know what inspires us: we must be part of the development of transformational solutions for a more just and sustainable society. We are sure that our role does not replace the role of other players, such as the government or organized civil society. On the contrary, we are complementary, partners to these players and not isolated protagonists.
In the context of our organizational culture, sustainability is fully tied into our business strategy: it is connected to climate issues, to our relationship with our stakeholders, and to the consistent financial results we are expected to deliver.
I end with an equally important topic: diversity. We created our institutional position with the support of the professionals who are part of the Diversity and Inclusion Commission. We believe in the creative and innovative capacity of diversity. The vitality of the system depends upon it. In this sense, we can say that we have advanced in the gender issue, but we are still falling short of what is expected. There is still work to be done regarding racial equality in management positions. It is a journey, and we are taking the first steps.
If I could summarize the year 2017 in a few words, I would say that it is in periods of crisis and difficulty that we sustain what is most relevant. it is in periods of crisis and difficulty that we maintain what is most relevant. We took care of the business and never failed to invest in our environmental and social performance. As they say: when luck knocked on the door, it found us busy at work.