Sustainability, Renewability, Power Brazil’s Fibria

The global market for forest products isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when discussing the invigorating eucalyptus plant. But this refreshing plant is sold for several purposes, and it’s an incredible resource for businesses and distributors alike.

The Brazilian-based company Fibria is one of the world’s largest producers of eucalyptus pulp, and its mission is to develop the use of renewable forests as a sustainable source of life.

Fibria was founded in 2009, the result of a merger between Aracruz Celulose and Votorantim Celulose e Papel (VCP). But the company’s roots really go back to 1967, when the first local eucalyptus tree was planted in Aracruz, on the coast of the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo. Today it is a major corporation employing 15,000, with an annual production capacity of about 5.4 million tons of pulp.

Fibria worker at Aracruz pulp plant

Headquartered in São Paulo, Fibria has three plants: in Jacareí (in São Paulo state), Aracruz (Espírito Santo), and Três Lagoas (Mato Grosso do Sul). It also has has one mill in Eunápolis (Bahia), which is jointly operated with the Finnish wood and paper company Stora Enso. Fibria exports eucalyptus pulp to more than 40 countries in North America, Europe and Asia.

The company’s goals are to maximize value, be responsive to social and environmental concerns and focus on disciplined growth. So Fibria combines its pursuit of healthy profits with efforts at environmental conservation, social inclusion and an improved quality of life.

Due to its commitment to the environment and to natural-resource conservation, the company emphasizes sustainability in its activities, said Geraldo Magella, corporate communications manager at Fibria. “A company that leads an industry needs to challenge itself to create value for society.”

The company continuosly seeks to optimize its use of natural resources, for instance, by reducing the amount of land used in pulp production by one-third, and by doubling the absorption of carbon gases from the atmosphere, thereby helping to mitigate the greenhouse effect.

“We at Fibria believe that there is no way to mitigate the risks related to climate change without participation of planted forests,” he continued. “As a forest company, Fibria can play a key role with other green companies in the search for alternatives that increase carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Fibria hopes to contribute to local communities by supporting projects that will generate 70 percent of the income of residents in a self-sustaining manner. As Magella noted, “It suits very well with the commitment to the efficient use of natural resources, and social engagement is inherent to the strategy devised by Fibria.”

A Fibria eucalyptus forest in Brazil

Due to heavy investor demand, Fibria’s issue of Agribusiness Receivables Certificates (CRAs) totaled R$1.35 billion, the highest volume ever in the Brazilian market, according to a company release on June 29.

“Investor confidence in Fibria, which continues to be rated investment grade with a stable outlook by two of the leading international rating agencies — Fitch and Standard & Poor’s — resulted in heavy demand for our receivables certificates,” said Guilherme Cavalcanti, the company’s chief financial and investor relations officer. “This operation is the largest CRA issue ever made in the Brazilian market.”

The CRAs will help fund Fibria’s agribusiness activities, including production and sales in its pulp-exportation program. The company will continue to respond to the global demand for forestry products, while adhering to sustainable industry practices.

“Fibria wants to do much more with the forest in a sustainable way,” said Magella. “Complementary products and services to those the company already offers will help create more value for society and strengthen us as a low-carbon company that is committed to sustainability.”

Companies all over the world are trying to incorporate more sustainable practices into their operations, and Fibria has emerged as a leader in this area, as more people have become impressed with the company’s success in integrating sustainable practices into the production and export of eucalyptus pulp.

Photos: A Fibria employee at the Aracruz pulp plant; A Fibria eucalyptus forest in Brazil.