Fibria ended 2017 with many accomplishments, but also with a great challenge in strategic terms. On the one hand, the startup of the new pulp production line in Três Lagoas marked our first major investment in expansion, the end of a deleveraging period, and signaled the consolidation of the company’s new strategic flexibility.
Três Lagoas (Mato Grosso do Sul state)
Photo: Marcio Schimming
Larger and more balanced, Fibria gained better conditions to look forward and analyze future opportunities. Options may include organic growth of its historical business (pulp) or the diversification of its product portfolio using innovative ideas and advanced technologies applied to planted forests, which remains at the core of everything we do.
On another front, we took on the great challenge of creating higher value-added products for our customers with the strategic technological lines of research in which we chose to invest.
Here, it is important to follow parallel and complementary paths: while advancing in the improvement of our own technologies and production processes, we must also work with our customers to develop products and applications that solve their current problems and offer them new business opportunities.
To overcome this important challenge, we have joint development agreements with our customers: more than offering them ready-made products, we seek to develop new solutions together. In more advanced stages, we must offer customers the means to conduct industry testing of the products under study, in adequate volume and consistent quality.
In 2017, we made progress on this joint development trail with our lines of research for new businesses and products. In 2018, some of these projects may reach the ideal stage to be presented to the company’s Board of Directors for evaluation and possible investment decisions.
It will take decisive steps to make Fibria’s presence manifested more and more in the global construction of a low-carbon economy – diversified, technologically advanced, and sustainable – using products originating from planted forests.
Seek maximum efficiency with reduced costs in industrial and forestry operations. This includes projects related to the continuous evolution in the productivity of our forests and the adoption of global best practices in waste reuse and maintenance of operational stability, as well as reduction of negative externalities generated by the operations.
Growing organically, through consolidations and commercial contracts, and having competitive costs are factors that determine the success of a business operating in an increasingly competitive global market. Therefore, expansion depends on a consolidated forest base and preparation for new businesses.
Work to diversify the business and offer solutions that move away from the concept of commodities, whether in the area of pulp, biorefinery, in new business relationship models, or real estate development.
Fibria works on strategic lines of research in order to develop products and services based on planted forests. To this end, the company uses its own structure of laboratories and teams of scientists and technicians, and seeks to make partnerships or acquisitions that facilitate access to innovative technologies. Next, learn about some of these lines and their advancements in 2017.
Bio-oil is liquid wood. Vaporized without the presence of oxygen at temperatures above 500 degrees and condensed. It can be refined, like oil, and can replace fossil fuels that are more harmful to the environment. Fibria and the US-based company Ensyn (in which we have a 12.1% interest) are jointly developing a project already in advanced stages to produce and market bio-oil on a commercial scale, obtained from wood – a clean and renewable fuel.
In 2017, we performed industrial testing of bio-oil processing at refineries and continued to fine-tune the product.
On a scale of 1 to 100, diesel and gasoline made from fossil fuel oil have a carbon intensity of 100; similar fuels refined from bio-oil have a carbon index of 20 to 22. This means that the product under development by the Fibria/Ensyn partnership is almost five times less polluting, in terms of CO2 emissions, than its fossil fuel equivalent.
In 2017, Fibria’s pilot plant in Aracruz began operation to produce MicroFibrillated Cellulose (MFC) – a product made by refining pulp through mechanical treatment.
The production volume of the Aracruz pilot unit allowed Fibria and its customers to develop and test jointly, throughout the year, new applications of Microfibrillated Cellulose in hygiene, paper, cement, and cosmetics industries, among others. Because of its unique characteristics, the material can be used to manufacture specialty papers, diapers with greater absorption power, cement with reduced setting time, and differentiated cosmetics.
For the future, Fibria anticipates production lines of pulp already enriched with the microfibrillated variety, supplied to customers who would use it in specially developed products.
One of the most promising applications of microfibrillated cellulose is in the textile industry, in which the product will be used as an input in the production of yarn to make fabrics and clothing. Fibria has been exploring this application, which has the potential to integrate the company into one of the largest production chains in the global economy.
In 2017, Fibria became a shareholder (with an 18% stake) in Spinnova, a startup in Finland that develops extremely innovative technologies in this field. Startup research, among other possibilities, opens routes for the manufacture of fabrics from wood, with the potential to compete with cotton and viscose (the latter is already made from cellulose). And they do it consuming only a fraction of the water and chemicals used in the traditional textile industry.
Fibria’s alliance with Spinnova aims to develop joint projects in Latin America, using microfibrillated cellulose from eucalyptus pulp. We expect to have results in the near future that support the formation of a global joint-venture between Fibria and Spinnova to operate in a new market for textiles created from the wood products from our planted forests.
At the back, Mario Luiz Costa, laboratory research technician, in Aracruz (Espírito Santo state)
Photo: Marcio Schimming
Another Fibria project in the development of new products of forest origin is with the Canadian company CelluForce, a global leader in the production of NanoCrystalline Cellulose (NCC) – material composed of nanocrystals, with applications in the prospecting of oil and gas, and in industries such as cement, plastics and composites, paints and coatings, cosmetics, among others.
The partnership signed in 2016, when Fibria acquired an 8.3% stake in CelluForce, and the first samples of the material were received in 2017 for testing with customers. The results obtained are being studied so that in 2018 advancements may be made. It is worth mentioning that Fibria has the exclusive distribution rights in South America of nanocrystalline cellulose produced with the Canadian company’s technology.
Fibria is developing the use of pulp to replace a significant percentage of the plastics commonly used in composite manufacturing. The most feasible results point to a partial replacement of polyethylene and polypropylene resins.
Production of lignin derivatives is another line of Fibria research. Lignin is the “glue” that holds together the fibers of the trees. In pulp production, it is disposed of as waste and later burned as fuel to produce energy. Among the various applications being studied by Fibria, the most mature is the use of lignin as a resin in the production of wood panels instead of fossil materials. In 2017, industrial tests of this application were carried out in partnership with potential customers. In order to proceed with the research, Fibria has a technology center in Canada – Fibria Innovations – result of Fibria’s acquisition, in 2015, of a Canadian company specializing in the study of this material.
These are the set of commitments that will guide Fibria’s operations until 2025. Adopted in 2011, with the support of the Board of Directors and the Sustainability Committee, these goals are based on the company’s strategic pillars and priority aspects. Through these commitments, we want to ensure the consolidation of our strategy and the sustainability of our business.
Fibria’s long-term goals are not static, they may evolve or include new commitments – examples are the goals adopted in 2016 to reduce water consumption in our operations. The following are the long-term goals and results for 2017.
Reduce by one third the amount of land needed for pulp production.
Increasing the productivity of 10 tons of pulp per hectare per year in 2010 to 15 tons of pulp per hectare per year in 2025, with new clones planted through new forest management techniques.
11.8 tons of pulp per hectare per year (potential of new clones effectively recommended for commercial plantations).
Double carbon absorption from the atmosphere
Increasing net sequestration from 5.5 million tCO2eq/year in 2011 to 11.1 million tCO2eq/year in 2025, by increasing forest areas (eucalyptus forests and conservation areas) and restoring degraded areas with native species.
NOTE: Net annual sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere is defined by the difference between total sequestration of planted and native forests and direct and indirect carbon emissions from forestry, industrial, and logistics operations throughout the pulp production cycle, from our nurseries to our customers.
Promote the environmental restoration of 40,000 hectares of owned areas between 2012 and 2025.
Planting native forest species, and stimulating and conducting the natural regeneration of native species.
Note: this goal does not consider Fibria’s support to restoration projects in third-party areas, developed through agreements with other entities.
24,800 hectares recovered between 2012 and 2017.
Reduce by 91% the volume of industrial solid waste disposed of in owned or third-party landfills.
Reducing from 60 kg/ton of pulp, in 2011, to 5 kg/ton of pulp, by 2025, by generating less waste in the mills and reusing waste in the soil.
51.1% reduction in the destination of solid waste to landfills compared with 2011.
Achieve 80% approval from neighboring communities.
Raising the approval rate in neighboring communities from 50% in 2011 to 80% in 2025, by improving the quality of the relationship with communities, supporting local development projects, and inclusion of the community into the company’s value chain. Inclusion of the community into the company’s value chain.
Average approval of 70.6% (survey is conducted every three years).
Help communities make self-sustaining 70% of income-generation projects supported by the company.
Evolving from 5% self-sustaining projects in 2011 to 70% in 2025, by expanding the Rural Land Development Program (PDRT) model, promoting technical and managerial training, with the help of consultants and partnerships, and attracting the support of other company partners.
23.6% of the projects are considered self-sustaining.
The objective is divided into forestry, nursery, and industry fronts.
Manage water in micro-watersheds in Fibria’s forests and disseminate technical knowledge on the subject to our neighbors in critical watersheds
Establishing a methodology capable of quantifying the impact of the regional climate and different types of land use on water resources, developing water indicators to better assess landscape planning in these watersheds, and creating an efficient plan for sharing technical knowledge with people living on the watersheds.
Based on the detailed monitoring of water use in eucalyptus forests, Fibria intends to establish quantitative goals and then mitigate possible conflicts related to overlapping use of water.
This process allows for decision-making on the most appropriate management of landscapes aiming to develop forests with high productivity, and less impact on water and environmental resources in the regions where Fibria operates.
Based on physical, social, and water characteristics, we selected three watersheds to be monitored and established a strategic plan for environmental monitoring. We also defined monitoring indicators to evaluate the effect of management on the watersheds in partnership with experts from the Luiz de Queiroz School of Agriculture (Esalq/USP).
Reduce by 17% the specific consumption of water withdrawal per seedling produced (liters/seedling produced)
Relying on the use of substrate with greater capacity to retain moisture, daily monitoring and management of water consumption, new technologies for seedling production, and use of rainwater for irrigation.
Increased seedling production, with a 14.7% reduction in water consumption per seedling produced in nurseries.
Reduce by 17% the consumption of water withdrawal per ton of pulp produced (m³ of water/ton of pulp).
With the support of thematic committees that study opportunities to improve water consumption at the mill, daily monitoring and management of water consumption, and structured projects to replace use of water with effluents. An example of the work of these committees was the prompt response to water restriction when there was a crisis due to the rupture of the Samarco dam, which led to a rapid reduction in plant consumption (20%), a condition that was maintained even after the incident.
As a result of this work, we achieved some important benefits, such as:
Less water abstraction from natural sources, reduced volume of effluents and environmental impacts, More efficient production, decreased volume of water to be treated, and consequently, less use of chemicals.
4.8% reduction in industrial water consumption per ton of pulp produced as of 2011.
|2016 Goal||Results||2017 Goal|
|Update and evaluate the current scenario of relations with critical and strategic stakeholders in the states of Espírito Santo and Bahia. Identify, update, and revalidate existing risks and conflicts, aligning internal drivers and reviewing the strategies of the areas of the company involved.||Goal reached||A comprehensive diagnostic of the current situation of stakeholder relations was made, by three consulting firms. Based on the results, four large workshops were carried out with the participation of representatives from the strategic areas of the company. Each workshop covered a different subject (indigenous, quilombolas, MST — Landless Rural Workers Movement —, and employment) and had representatives from each of these communities. They discussed the situation of the relationships, current problems, and defined a position for each of these issues envisioning the future of these complex relationships. Based on the positions, all strategies were reviewed.|
|Start a comprehensive dialogue with the community and government officials about the quilombola land issue in Espírito Santo state.||Goal reached||The work began in 2016. After that, we had to stop for political reasons, and then continued in 2017 and, for the first time, we are talking with CONAQ (National Quilombola Confederation), to jointly find solutions to the quilombola territory issue in the northern region of Espírito Santo state.
This dialogue also made it possible for Fibria to approach communities with a history of conflict (20 quilombola communities that in the past did not dialogue with Fibria). We have a project in place in 17 quilombola communities on the territory and, in 2018, we will be working with all 20.
|Increase multi-use forest programs through agroforestry projects in the states of São Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul.||Goal reached||We implemented two model systems in the state of São Paulo (Capão Bonito and São José dos Campos) and are now conducting the technica and financial analysis.|
|Begin the process to restore 1,729 hectares.||Goal reached||Process to restore 2,233 hectares initiated.|
|Map ecosystem services associated with the company and propose quantification and/or monetization.||Goal reached||• Map ecosystem services relevant to Fibria operations in Brazil
• Pilot study of valuation of two relevant externalities
|Develop the application of our price for carbon in internal projects.||Goal reached||Application of the shadow price of carbon to evaluate the Pentatrem logistics project and the deflector technology that improves the aerodynamics of trucks transporting wood.|