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 source||Unit||Legal limit||Reference||2014||2015||2016|
|Catchment||Surface water: Jequitinhonha River|
Total water taken by source – Forestry
|Total water taken per source||Unit||Legal limit||2014||2015||2016|
|Catchment||Dam on a tributary of Pedra Branca river and a pipe well in the Forestry Nursery|
|Catchment||235 registered points throughout the company’s entire area|
|Harvesting and roads||Outflow||m³/year||–||96,392||139,137||121,393|
|Catchment||235 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.
TOTAL WATER DISCHARGE BY QUALITY AND DESTINATION
Effluent treatment results at Veracel’s Mill
|Characteristics of effluents discharged||Unit||Legal limit||Reference||2014||2015||2016|
|(m3/adt)||–||25 – 50||21.43||20.90||20.79|
|COD||kg/adt||–||7 – 20||4,78||5,00||4,76|
|kg/tsa||–||0.3 – 1.5*||0.18||0.23||0.20|
|TSS||kg/adt||–||0.3 – 1.5||0.33||0.29||0.25|
|Phosphorus||kg/adt||–||0.01 – 0.03||0.020||0,016||0.023|
|Method of treatment||Prolonged aeration activated sludge|
|Reused by another organization?||No|
|*DBO5 (kg/adt) reference BAT/IPPC 2001/Dec, other parameters reference BAT/IPPC 2014/Sept.|
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]|
|2016||Pesticides (tons)||Fertilizer (tons)||Corrective for soil acidity – ash (tons)|
Waste generated in the production process
|Total weight of waste||Unit||2014||2015||2016|
|Solid industrial waste generated||t/year||71,094||39,214||35,271|
|Solid industrial waste generated||kg/adt||64||25||32|
|Generation of dangerous waste||t/year||151||156||103|
|Waste recycling index||%||92%||94%||89%|
Industrial waste for recycling (tons/year)
|Type of waste||Destination||2014||2015||2016|
|Dregs and Grits||Recycling – Soil corrective||20,499||19,022||16,760|
|Bark contaminated with sand||Recycling – Substrate for plants||1,740||1,194||458|
|Sand from log yard||Recycling – Recuperation of quarries||1,285||950||1,606|
|Bottom ash (CF sand)||Recycling – Recuperation of quarries||3,311||2,805||1,730|
|Sludge from Water Treatment Station (ETA)*||Recycling –Landfill covering||1,132||727||1,441|
|Eucalyptus biomass||Recycling – Substrate for plants||161||98||129|
|Lime sludge||Recycling – Soil corrective||22,802||0||0|
|Secondary sludge||Recycling – Fertilizer||5,578||5,525||4,552|
|Primary sludge||Recycling – Paper mills||5,624||1,707||1,615|
|Light ash||Recycling – Soil corrective||3,456||2,842||2,850|
|Recycling – Soil corrective||0||0||261|
* 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 landfill||814||445||232|
|Bark contaminated with sand||Industrial landfill||0||0||0|
|Sand from log yard||Industrial landfill||0||0||0|
|Bottom ash (CF sand)||Industrial landfill||0||0||0|
|Sludge from Water Treatment Station (ETA)**||Industrial landfill||0||0||866|
|Eucalyptus biomass||Industrial landfill||0||0||34|
|Digester refuse||Industrial landfill||30||76||52|
|Calcined lime***||Industrial landfill||3,345||1,020||1,442|
|Sand tailings||Industrial landfill||18||30||22|
|Purge from lime furnace electrostatic precipitator||Industrial landfill||–||61||414|
*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.
|Refectory waste||t/year||Industrial landfill||130||114||111|
|Non-recyclable waste||t/year||Industrial landfill||956||805||1,553|
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 fuel||2014||2015||2016|
*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)
|Produced at the mill||3,360,493||3,457,180||3,453,923|
|Sold to grid||376,859||423,041||419,658|
|Purchased from grid||71,687||52,692||51,620|
|Sent to Eka||899,095||920,159||930,528|
|Consumption of Forest Nucleus||541||487||515|
Consumption of fuel by other areas (GJ/year)
|Forest machinery (harvesters, forwarders and trucks for hauling wood)*||Diesel||585,443||530,709||525,400|
|Pulp barge**||Marine diesel||245,894||226,077||231,859|
* 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
|Produced at the mill||839||855||871|
|Sold to grid||94||105||106|
|Purchased from grid||18||13||13|
|Sent to Eka||225||228||235|
*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 emissions||Unit||Legal limit||Reference||2014||2015||2016|
|TRS||kgS/adt||–||0.05 – 0.2||0.009||0.008||0.007|
|NOx Recovery Boiler||kgNO2/adt (6% O2)||–||1.0 – 1.7||0.767||0.860||0.992|
|NOx Lime Kiln||kgNO2/adt (6% O2)||–||0.1 – 0.35||0.244||0.261||0.238|
|S Recovery Boiler||kgS/adt (6% O2)||–||0.030 – 0.130||0.009||0.006||0.021|
|S Lime Kiln||kgS/adt (6% O2)||–||0.055 – 0.120||0.010||0.010||0.010|
|MP Recovery Boiler||kgMP/adt (6% O2)||–||0.020 – 0.300||0.130||0.318||0.322|
|MP Lime Kiln||kgMP/adt (6% O2)||–||0.005 – 0.03||0.050||0.045||0.063|
|NOx Recovery Boiler||mgNO2/Nm³ (8% O2)||470||–||138.1||148.9||166.9|
|NOx Power Boiler||mgNO2/Nm³ (8% O2)||650||–||37.1||43.7||43.7|
|NOx Lime Kiln||mgNO2/Nm³ (8% O2)||470||–||367.2||380.5||333.7|
|SOx Recovery Boiler||mgSO2/Nm³ (8% O2)||100||–||1.99||0.38||6.10|
|TRS Recovery Boiler||mgS/Nm³ (8% O2)||15||–||1.39||1.58||1.03|
|TRS Lime Kiln||mgS/Nm³ (8% O2)||30||–||18.8||15.2||14.3|
|MP Recovery Boiler||mgMP/Nm³ (8% O2)||100||–||35.4||58.3||55.2|
|MP Power Boiler||mgMP/Nm³ (8% O2)||100||–||37.2||42.9||85.0|
|MP Lime Kiln||mgMP/Nm³ (8% O2)||100||–||67.0||58.1||78.5|
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.