Keeping an eye on effects
How should we assess, monitor and minimize possible impacts on communities?
Acting directly in ten municipalities, cheek by jowl with nearly 150 communities, means we have a lot of people to hear. For Veracel, the concept of community is embracing and assumes inclusion. For this very reason, knowing these communities and understanding how our actions impact the people’s daily lives is key. Only thus shall we be able to plan our actions to mitigate negative impacts, potentiate positive ones and maintain a good relationship between our company and society. [G4-DMA Local Community]
The community’s perception also matters
Hi, may we talk?
Our main instrument to establish direct, effective and transparent communication with residents is Active Dialog. It includes different opportunities for relationship and engagement, whether regular or sporadic, when we get to know about the matters the public deems most important, and thus draw up our plan of action. Some of these opportunities are Action and Citizenship, Territory of Protection Program, Program of Visits, Meetings with Suppliers and Providers, Listening Rounds with Employees, Forest Forum, Council for the Mosaic of Protected Areas in the Deep South of Bahia State (COMAPES), Council on the Development of the Coast of Discovery, among others. In addition, surveys and channels such “Fale Conosco” (Speak with Us) and our 0800 number, and even matters brought up by the media help us identify the main subjects to be tackled so we can keep up to date with the interests of our publics and be able to interact constructively and proactively. [G4-SO1]
Positive influence in the territory stemming from the supply chain is also evaluated and monitored, following established behavior norms. Learn more in “Sustainability in the productive chain”.
Looking people in the eye
The Action and Citizenship program is carried out in partnership with Mãe Terra Institute. It started as an opportunity for us to meet communities directly, to discuss matters related to forest operations in advance. At meetings we present the possible impacts generated by operations (click here to see actual and potential impacts) and, once a consensus with the residents is arrived at, mitigating actions are also discussed. Before the start of operations, communities are provided with all the company’s contact information to enable them to communicate with us whenever they need to.
The success of this direct communication model brought about the Program’s expansion into special editions to tackle specific subjects. The format of meetings with local leadership was adopted, for instance, to discuss matters related to re-use of material and recycling, at Environmental Action and Citizenship. Marine Terminal Action and Citizenship was put in place in communities near Belmonte Marine Terminal to deal with safety in connection with transportation and marine operations in these locations.
“Action and Citizenship has provided Veracel with an opportunity to carry out increasingly responsible operations, bringing our company very close to community leadership, opening up channels for dialog and fostering confidence and mutual respect.”
Isabel Bianchi, Veracel’s specialist in Social Responsibility.
How am I driving?
We are well aware that hauling wood along roads may cause impacts on communities, in addition to noise, dust and emissions. Safety is also involved. Therefore, in order to orient all our drivers in line with our Code of Conduct and procedures to foster the best practices for this activity, residents can also make use of our 0800 number to report any behavior or occurrence in connection with wood haulage. A call is enough to criticize, praise or make suggestions regarding the attitude of the drivers of our vehicles. In 2016, there were only three reports, but the channel is open whenever the community needs.
Complaints, criticism, suggestions or doubts about Veracel? Speak with us!
To make contact with the public even easier and strengthen the company’s compliance, in May 2016 we set up our 0800 service, 24/7, from private or public landlines or cell phones. Anyone can access the channel to complain about discrimination, labor issues, poor conduct on the part of Veracel’s employees, noise, dust and other matters.
If the user prefers, complaints can be made anonymously, to ensure discretion, impartiality and reliability in connection with the subjects brought up. All calls are taken by an external and independent company, following international norms governing security of information.
Cases concerning discrimination, human rights, environmental impacts, impacts on society and corruption reported through the Anonymous Communication Channel are managed by the Internal Auditing and Compliance area. Every month we send reports to the members of the Audit Committee comprising our shareholders Fibria and Stora Enzo, and quarterly we forward an analysis of the cases being investigated that are deemed highly relevant. [G4-DMA Discrimination, G4-DMA Human Rights, G4-DMA Labor Practices, G4-DMA Environmental Impacts, G4-DMA Impacts on Society and G4-DMA Battling Corruption]
“The 0800 service provides greater robustness to the company’s governance, from the very moment it provides freedom to reports in an anonymous communications channel.”
Anderson Ângelo de Souza, Financial and Administrative Director
Actual and potential impacts of our forest operations
Among actual and potential impacts mapped out and identified in connection with forest handling (silviculture, roadbuilding, forest harvesting and haulage of wood), the following must also be considered: risk of traffic accidents, noise and dust raised by moving vehicles; risk of damage to improvements (fences, electric grid, bridges and slaughterhouses, etc.) due to accidents; and structural damage to housing.[G4-EN30, G4-SO2]