José Luciano Penido, Chairman of the Board of Directors
Photo: Marcio Schimming
We delivered on our promise. For Fibria, this is the message we take from 2017. I would like to emphasize two points from the Board’s point of view. The first is the quality of the execution of our new production line in Três Lagoas – a BRL 7.3 billion project, in which all quality and safety procedures were followed, and production goals were met remarkably well.
The second highlight has to do with Governance, with the end of a cycle of the Board’s Sustainability Committee. The Committee’s first composition was very important to engaging relationships, building credibility, and transforming situations inherited by Fibria at its birth – such as tense and misguided social relationships with indigenous peoples, quilombolas, and landless workers’ movements. Now, in 2017, the Committee itself understood that it was important to look toward new challenges, such as those focused on developing innovation, human rights, and diversity.
This does not mean that we will shift our focus from the communities. The Committee will continue to track the company’s performance on this front, as well as the issues related to climate change, an important point for our business. After all, we are committed to and engaged in the concept of shared value, which aims to improve a company’s competitiveness by solving social and environmental challenges at scale. Creating shared value is a management strategy developed by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, professors of Harvard Business School. In 2017, the consulting company FSG, created by Porter and Kramer, demonstrated the application of this concept in several initiatives led by Fibria.
On another front, innovation in biotechnology reveals enormous opportunities for us to formulate materials that meet new societal demands, with a much friendlier ecological footprint than mineral or fossil-fuel products. This new low-carbon economy protects native forests, since it is no longer necessary to rely on native forests to extract the wood that can be produced in forests planted for this purpose.
With the new technologies, we are advancing towards turning our pulp mills into biorefineries of wood, expanding our product portfolio, interacting with the aerospace, automotive, food, cosmetics, textile, and civil construction industries. It will be the evolution of an apparently traditional and classic industry, to make use of technology in advanced products that are suitable to modern life – a life of comfort that must have low impact on the environment. I see Fibria in a fortunate and unique position: it is a company that has gained enough scale to deal with the risks and, at the same time, capture opportunities from this transition.
I end my message by mentioning an important challenge that we still have to face in the forestry sector. We need to be more and more transparent with society for the public opinion to perceive the role of planted forests in ensuring our quality of life and even for the survival of life on our planet. Planted forests integrated into the landscape significantly contribute to the protection of the springs and the interconnectivity of native forests, preserving biodiversity.
Society has not yet realized that our industry can be part of the solution to climate change. We’re doing our homework. Fibria is committed to restoring 40,000 hectares of native forests by 2025. In addition, on average, six eucalyptus trees were planted per second in 2017, totaling 190 million. This story must be told to the world to show people the importance of the forests we plant. This is a challenge for both Fibria and the industry.