Clear commitment to connect and restore half a million hectares of Cerrado, Amazon and Atlantic Forest biomes in Brazil by 2030
Suzano, the world's leading eucalyptus pulp and paper producer and a global benchmark in the manufacture of bioproducts developed from eucalyptus, announced a new, long-term biodiversity conservation target on 25 June 2021 at its inaugural ESG Investor Presentation.
The ambitious target that Suzano has set will connect half a million hectares of priority conservation areas in Brazil by 2030, specifically focused on the Cerrado, Amazon and Atlantic Forest biomes. This area covers an expanse of land that is equivalent in size to the combined cities of Paris, Madrid, Moscow, Oslo and Rio de Janeiro.
The biodiversity target is the result of research and mapping done by Suzano and the Ecofuturo Institute over the past year. Suzano is committed to conservation best practice and adherence to Brazilian and international policies. To ensure this, Suzano carried out an extensive engagement and consultation phase with over 50 domestic and international stakeholders including NGOs, public and private sector organizations and the academic community. The research enabled Suzano to ascertain and assess both the opportunities and challenges associated with preserving biodiversity in the regions in Brazil that are most in need of protection.
Suzano identified that the most impactful way to support biodiversity would be to reverse the fragmentation of habitats by creating ‘biodiversity corridors’. Fragmentation is one of the primary threats to biomes in Brazil and by 2030, Suzano will work tirelessly with local and international stakeholders to connect approximately 1,850 isolated forest fragments mitigating and where possible, eradicating, threats to biodiversity across regions.
“We have undertaken a formidable challenge, which involves bringing together multiple different players, since our mission to connect fragmented biomes will not cover land only owned by Suzano. Our ambition is to launch a collaborative, diversified and continuous movement that effectively contributes to protecting endangered species while also improving environmental management, and to work together for the development of communities and create income generation opportunities,” says Pablo Machado, Executive Officer for China and Head of Sustainability at Suzano.
Walter Schalka, CEO of Suzano, says: “Driven by our mission to renew life inspired by trees, our aim is for Suzano to continue to lead from the front and find innovative solutions to build a better, more sustainable future for society and the world around us. It is through having ambitious targets, courage and a clear plan in place that Suzano will continue to work to become part of the solution to the 21st century’s greatest challenges that our planet and society are facing.”
Suzano will focus on the connection of biomes in regions where it owns forests, as well as protecting existing natural habitats and conservation areas as defined by Brazil’s Ministry of Environment and the designated Full Protection Conservation Units according to the National System of Conservation Units (SNUC).
To reach this goal, Suzano is focused on connecting, engaging and protecting. Based on these pillars, the company will act strategically by implementing biodiversity corridors, creating a network of Protected Areas, conserving populations of primates and palm trees, establishing business models that generate shared value and biodiverse production, in addition to actions to reduce impact drivers on biodiversity as a result of human action. For this it may also encourage ecosystem services, including carbon credits.
The biodiversity challenges that Suzano wants to address through the new biodiversity target include minimizing harmful changes to the ecological makeup of the landscape, reduction of genetic variability and potential extinction caused by the isolation of species, loss of resilience to climate change, and imbalances of natural pests and diseases.
Suzano’s broader conservation and biodiversity efforts include maintaining a database monitoring over 2,700 plant, bird and mammal species, including endangered species. Suzano’s sizeable existing 960,000-hectare conservation area is already distributed mainly in the Cerrado, Atlantic Forest and Amazon biomes in Brazil. These regions include permanent preservation areas and legal reserves (as required by Brazilian law), as well as highly valuable land earmarked for conversation voluntarily by the company, totaling 57,000 hectares of habitats of vital importance for both Brazil and the world.
In addition to the new biodiversity target, Suzano has committed to achieving additional ambitious ESG related targets by 2030. This includes: (i) developing and producing 10 million tons of renewable-origin products derived from biomass which will replace plastics and other petroleum products; (ii) removing the equivalent of 40 million tons of carbon equivalent from the atmosphere; and (iii) directly contributing to lifting approximately 200,000 people living in the regions where it operates out of poverty.