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The environment as a whole

For 25 years we have been working to better our relationship with the environment and leave future generations a positive legacy.


In the face of actual and potential impacts generated by our activities, we are well aware of our unquestionable responsibility regarding the environment. This is one of the most relevant subjects in our Sustainability Agenda and care with preservation is taken into account in all our practices. We act in line with Brazilian Law, following all the normative standards we have adopted, and carry out activities in connection with environmental education, for both our internal and the external publics, maintaining an ongoing dialog with the community to share knowledge and responsibility regarding nature.

Our industrial operations’ environmental indicators are closely watched over by means of the Daily Environmental Indicator (IAD), which monitors all production areas in line with pre-established targets for all aspects related to water, emissions into the atmosphere, liquid effluents and waste. [G4-DMA Energy, G4- DMA Water, G4-DMA Emissions, G4-DMA Effluents and Waste]


Watch the water!

The water that supplies our industrial operations is taken from the Jequitinhonha River, which is monitored monthly in three places to check the quality of water and the preservation of its course. Following the trend of recent years, in 2016 we maintained water catchment at about 38% of the total allowed by the National Water Agency (ANA). [G4-EN8]


Total water taken by source – Industrial



Total water taken by sourceUnitLegal limitReference201420152016
CatchmentSurface water: Jequitinhonha River


Total water taken by source – Forestry


Total water taken per sourceUnitLegal limit201420152016
Forestry NurseryOutflowm³/year363,13194,141111,342118,775*
CatchmentDam on a tributary of Pedra Branca river and a pipe well in the Forestry Nursery
Catchment235 registered points throughout the company’s entire area
Harvesting and roadsOutflowm³/year96,392139,137121,393
Catchment235 registered points throughout the company’s entire area

*The increase of total outflow volumes to be seen in the Nursery and Silviculture are due to increased production of seedlings and increased plantation area.



Catchment of water for industrial operations is 800 meters downstream from the point where treaded effluents are returned to the watercourse. The Jequitinhonha River is monitored monthly at three points: one upstream and two downstream.


Back and Forth

As determined by law, water that has been used in the industrial process is treated at the Effluent Treatment Station (ETE) before being returned to the river. In this process, levels of organic load, nutrients, pH and other indicators are monitored, ensuring that effluents comply with all the limits established.

In the case of forest activities, where effluent levels are relatively low, these volumes are not measured. Water that has been used for irrigation and cleaning in the nursery goes into a waterproof tank and it is used to water lawns and gardens when the tank needs emptying.




Effluent treatment results at Veracel’s Mill



Characteristics of effluents dischargedUnitLegal limitReference201420152016
(m3/adt)25 – 5021.4320.9020.79
CODkg/adt7 – 204,785,004,76
kg/tsa0.3 – 1.5*
TSSkg/adt0.3 – 1.50.330.290.25
Nitrogenkg/tsa0.05 -0.250.0400,0530.064
Phosphoruskg/adt0.01 – 0.030.0200,0160.023
DischargeJequitinhonha River
Method of treatmentProlonged aeration activated sludge
Reused by another organization?No
*DBO5 (kg/adt) reference BAT/IPPC 2001/Dec, other parameters reference BAT/IPPC 2014/Sept.


Let’s recycle!

In 2016, we generated 35.3 thousand tons of solid industrial waste, of which 89% was recycled. The drop in percentage of recycling as compared to 94% the previous year was because sludge from the Water Treatment Station (ETA) was sent to landfill because of the breakdown of the centrifuge used to dewater the sludge, so it could not be used to waterproof the covering of the industrial landfill.

The waste generation index was 32 kg/adt, while the target was 47 kg/adt.


Most of the waste was transformed into agricultural products;
all the soil acidity correctives used in our eucalyptus plantations are derivatives of this recycling process.


Agricultural inputs used in 2016 [G4-EN2]
2016Pesticides (tons)Fertilizer (tons)Corrective for soil acidity – ash (tons)
From recyclingNONOYES


Waste generated in the production process



Total weight of wasteUnit201420152016
Solid industrial waste generatedt/year71,09439,21435,271
Solid industrial waste generatedkg/adt642532
Generation of dangerous wastet/year151156103
Waste recycling index%92%94%89%


Industrial waste for recycling (tons/year)



Type of wasteDestination201420152016
Dregs and GritsRecycling – Soil corrective20,49919,02216,760
Bark contaminated with sandRecycling – Substrate for plants1,7401,194458
Sand from log yardRecycling – Recuperation of quarries1,2859501,606
Bottom ash (CF sand)Recycling – Recuperation of quarries3,3112,8051,730
Sludge from Water Treatment Station (ETA)*Recycling –Landfill covering1,1327271,441
Eucalyptus biomassRecycling – Substrate for plants16198129
Lime sludgeRecycling – Soil corrective22,80200
Secondary sludgeRecycling – Fertilizer5,5785,5254,552
Primary sludgeRecycling – Paper mills5,6241,7071,615
Light ashRecycling – Soil corrective3,4562,8422,850
Recycling – Soil corrective00261

* Generation of ETA sludge fell in 2015 due to low water turbidity in the Jequitinhonha River at the time, caused by a prolonged drought.

Industrial waste sent to industrial landfill (tons/year)



Dregs and Grits*Industrial landfill814445232
Bark contaminated with sandIndustrial landfill000
Sand from log yardIndustrial landfill000
Bottom ash (CF sand)Industrial landfill000
Sludge from Water Treatment Station (ETA)**Industrial landfill00866
Eucalyptus biomassIndustrial landfill0034
Digester refuseIndustrial landfill307652
Calcined lime***Industrial landfill3,3451,0201,442
Sand tailingsIndustrial landfill183022
Purge from lime furnace electrostatic precipitatorIndustrial landfill61414

*This kind of waste is only sent to the landfill when the percentage of sodium is over 5%. In 2016, the presence of sodium was below the limit, due especially to greater operational control.
** In 2016, all the ETA sludge was sent as waste to landfill because of the breakdown of the centrifuge to dewater sludge.
*** This waste is generated whenever the lime furnace stops or the crusher breaks down. In 2015 we started to re-use part of this lime generated within the oven, which explains the difference in volumes generated as of this period.


Non-industrial waste



Metal scrapt/yearRecycling586688683
Used oilLiterRe-refining75,33082,49558,776
Used batteriest/yearRecycling01313
Fluorescent lampsunitDecontamination07,7453,507
Refectory wastet/yearIndustrial landfill130114111
Non-recyclable wastet/yearIndustrial landfill9568051,553


Energy to use and sell

From the wood that enters the process as biomass, and waste matter from pulp manufacturing, we produce practically all the electric energy needed for our operations. It was no different in 2016; more than 90% of our energy came from renewable sources, mainly black liquor, a by-product of the process that we use as energy input. Additionally, we were able to sell part of the energy produced, which contributed to the company’s revenue and reduced overload of the supply system.


Types of fuel used to generate thermal energy (GJ/year)



Type of fuel201420152016
RenewableBlack liquor20,854,89422,187,34222,329,029
Non-renewableFuel oil321,026221,168232,091
Natural gas1,253,2321,317,0081,367,170

*Increased consumption in 2016 was due to failure of the boiler methanol burner, which requires diesel to keep burning non-condensable gases (NCG).


Generation and consumption of energy (GJ/year)



Electric energy201420152016
Produced at the mill3,360,4933,457,1803,453,923
Sold to grid376,859423,041419,658
Purchased from grid71,68752,69251,620
Mill consumption2,130,9952,142,6952,141,374
Sent to Eka899,095920,159930,528
Consumption of Forest Nucleus541487515


Consumption of fuel by other areas (GJ/year)



Forest machinery (harvesters, forwarders and trucks for hauling wood)*Diesel585,443530,709525,400
Pulp barge**Marine diesel245,894226,077231,859

* Consumption of harvester, forwarder and trucks for hauling wood.
** Marine diesel.
*** In 2016, we started reporting fuel consumption of refectories and forklifts as a way of improving information on this indicator.



Energy Intensity (KWH/ADT*)



Ratio of mill production and energy produced, sold, purchased and consumed

Electric energy201420152016
Produced at the mill839855871
Sold to grid94105106
Purchased from grid181313
Mill consumption532530540
Sent to Eka225228235

*ADT = air dried tons of pulp


A smell of what?


One of the possible impacts of pulp production is generation of odors coming from sulfur compounds. This seldom happens at Veracel, only when there are maintenance activities or some problem during the process. Although we know that this odor does not damage health, we monitor air quality regularly to avoid annoyances for nearby residents. This is the role of the Odor Perception Network (RPO). In 2016 there were three instances, which is within the limits we have established, although our target is zero.


We contribute to reducing the effects of climate change


As we are well aware of the importance of controlling and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), together with other enterprises we are part of an agreement establishing general guidelines to implement a pilot program of information for management about GHG emissions in the forestry segment, particularly the pulp and paper segment. This initiative is coordinated by the Brazilian Tree Industry (Ibá) together with the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, with technical advice from Plantar Carbon Consultants. The protocol, which was expected to come to an end in December 2016, was still operational at the time of writing this report. [G4-EN16]

At Veracel, management of atmospheric emissions also includes initiatives for landscape management, sustainable forest handling and the quest for ways to reduce the use of chemicals. Learn more about these and other initiatives in the chapter on Landscape and Biodiversity. [G4-DMA Emissions]



Emission of substances that damage the ozone layer, by weight (tons/year)




The variation in annual consumption of refrigeration gases is due to the maintenance needs of the company’s cooling system.

Emissions of NOx, SOx and other significant emissions into the atmosphere



Atmospheric emissionsUnitLegal limitReference201420152016
Particulate materialt/year318.3468.3505.7
TRSkgS/adt0.05 – 0.20.0090.0080.007
NOx Recovery BoilerkgNO2/adt (6% O2)1.0 – 1.70.7670.8600.992
NOx Lime KilnkgNO2/adt (6% O2)0.1 – 0.350.2440.2610.238
S Recovery BoilerkgS/adt (6% O2)0.030 – 0.1300.0090.0060.021
S Lime KilnkgS/adt (6% O2)0.055 – 0.1200.0100.0100.010
MP Recovery BoilerkgMP/adt (6% O2)0.020 – 0.3000.1300.3180.322
MP Lime KilnkgMP/adt (6% O2)0.005 – 0.030.0500.0450.063
NOx Recovery BoilermgNO2/Nm³ (8% O2)470138.1148.9166.9
NOx Power BoilermgNO2/Nm³ (8% O2)65037.143.743.7
NOx Lime KilnmgNO2/Nm³ (8% O2)470367.2380.5333.7
SOx Recovery BoilermgSO2/Nm³ (8% O2)1001.990.386.10
TRS Recovery BoilermgS/Nm³ (8% O2)151.391.581.03
TRS Lime KilnmgS/Nm³ (8% O2)3018.815.214.3
MP Recovery BoilermgMP/Nm³ (8% O2)10035.458.355.2
MP Power BoilermgMP/Nm³ (8% O2)10037.242.985.0
MP Lime KilnmgMP/Nm³ (8% O2)10067.058.178.5

At the time of writing this report, analysis of the increase of NOx and SOx emissions in 2016 was still underway. With regard to the increase in MP emissions observed in the last three years, we have implemented a plan of action for corrective maintenance of the electrostatic precipitators in the 2017 general shutdown. Even so, it is important to stress that the values of emissions mentioned are within legal limits.


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