Shall we get to know each other?
We have opportunities to learn about the communities where we operate through initiatives of dialogue and relationship so that we are able to manage the real and potential impacts of our work.
In order to honor our commitment to produce cellulose in a sustainable way, we must know the communities with which we interact, recognize our footprint and work to manage the impacts. For Veracel, every grouping of houses identified with a name and has an association, church or school in common will be recognized as “community.” In the 10 municipalities where we operate, we live together with more than 140 communities, of which more than 40 are located close to our forestry operations. To know our footprint in the routine of these people, we keep systematic dialogue so that we can act to mitigate negative impacts, empower the positive one and maintain a healthy relationship with them. Learn more about the initiatives and how we conduct this process in this chapter. [GRI 103-1, 103-2, 103-3: Local Community]
Veja como compartilhamos no programa O que tem aqui as riquezas, culturas, curiosidades, belezas naturais e desafios enfrentados pelas comunidades em que atuamos.
Before, during and after
Here, the dialogue is always active
Direct and transparent communication with the residents of communities where we work is guided by the Active Dialogue, a tool including a variety of regular or occasional networking and engagement opportunities to know their most important demands and develop our plans of action. These opportunities include Ação e Cidadania program, visitation program, meetings with suppliers, Forest Forum and councils such as the Mosaic of Protected Areas of the Extreme South of Bahia (Comapes) and Development Council of the Discovery Coast. Surveys and Contact Us and 0800 channels as well as issues raised by the media also contribute to identify the main topics to be developed and communicated. With this set of initiatives, we seek to stay abreast with the interests of our stakeholder in order to interact with them constructively and proactively. [GRI 411-1]
Positive influences on the territory through the supply chain is also evaluated and monitored, following the standards of conduct established. Learn more on Sustainability in the production chain.
The Ação e Cidadania program was established in March 2012 to strengthen the communication channels among the company and the communities where it operates. These activities haves been so successful that, besides meeting a requirement of the Operation License for forest activities – which requires the company to submit its operations before starting the activities – the initiative has already proved to be an important forum for dialogue where transparency and accountability prevail.
During these meetings, we present out potential footprint, learn about the communities’ concerns, clarify questions and discuss the mitigation actions and make our communication channels available as well. These opportunities help us improve our array of impacts, since the residents provide us with important information about the territorial dynamics.
The successful program, carried out with the Mãe Terra Institute’s support, resulted in the unfolding of the actions as engagement opportunities for various topics to be developed with communities. We have thematic editions such as Environmental Action and Citizenship, which addresses issues related to the environment, and Ação e Cidadania at Maritime Terminal, held in communities near the Belmonte Maritime Terminal to address safety of transport and maritime operations at these locations. We also broadcast the Ação e Cidadania program on local radios, addressing diverse subjects of interest to the population, such as fight against the child labor, prevention of yellow fever, safety tips and trivia about the communities and their traditions.
To listen to other Veracel radio programs, access www.veracel.com.br/midia/acao-e-cidadania
Ação e Cidadania goes beyond dialogue. It is a relationship strategy that provides important inputs to our work, since we establish a trust and transparent relationship. And, although there is a methodology to be followed, the recipe is not unique. Each issue is a mutual learning.”
Izabel Bianchi, expert in Social Responsibility at Veracel
Statements received [GRI 103-2: Comunidade Local]
In addition to the impacts mentioned in the Ação e Cidadania events in 2017, we received 22 statements from communities related to our footprint through contacts in the various communication channels. They are complaints related to dust caused by the traffic of machines and vehicles; risks caused by trucks at high speed; risks of accidents involving fall of trees on homes due to nearby plantations; risks of damage to improvements (fences, houses, power network and others); river silting, among others.
The complaint handling includes mitigating or prevention measures, such as road wetting, driver guidance and other adjustments in activities when applicable, in addition to clarifications and other actions when the risks and impacts are not related to our operations.
How are we driving?
In addition to awareness campaigns on safe driving for our drivers transporting wood, in accordance with the Veracel Code of Conduct and best practices, we make a toll-free line available to communities so they can notify us about any occurrence in the wood transport. The channel is open to criticism, compliments or suggestions about the drivers’ behavior when driving our vehicles. In 2017, we received seven calls through this channel, and 100% were solved.
We have provided the toll-free line since 2016 to strengthen the company’s contact with the stakeholders and the compliance. It is available in the 24*7 format and can be used by anyone to make complaints about discrimination, labor issues, employee misconduct, noise, dust, among other subjects. The call can be anonymous, and the channel is managed by an external and independent service provider, following the international information security standards.
Cases related to discrimination, human rights, labor practices, environmental footprint, impacts on society and corruption reported through the Anonymous Communication Channel are managed by the Internal Audit and Compliance department. We send reports to the Audit Committee members composed by our shareholders Fibria and Stora Enso on a monthly basis, and we send them an analysis of investigated cases with high relevance quarterly. [GRI 103-1, 103-2, 103-3: Discrimination, Human Rights, Labor Practices, Environmental Impacts, Impacts on Society, Fight Against Corruption]
Entre os impactos reais e potenciais mapeados e identificados nas operações de manejo florestal (silvicultura, construção de estradas, colheita florestal e transporte de madeira) estão: riscos de acidentes de trânsito; captação de água para umectação de estradas; sombreamento do eucalipto em propriedades de terceiros; aterro em parte do rio para passagem de veículo pesado; ruído e poeira gerados pela movimentação de veículos; riscos de alterações de benfeitorias (cercas, rede elétrica, pontes e matadouros, entre outros); e comprometimento de infraestrutura em moradias. [GRI 413-2]