We value our relationships with local communities and recognize that our shared responsibility as stakeholders in our local communities is essential to maintaining a sustainable business.
We are actively involved in the long-term development of the areas where our mills operate. Creating direct and indirect jobs for the local communities, we work with local governments and non-government organizations to achieve shared success and a lasting impact.
From time to time, we also provide financial support to disaster relief initiatives, and are working with NGOs to conduct community surveys to provide a better understanding of the communities where we run our operations.
Community Planting Program (Social Tree Farming)
The Social Tree Farming project includes local farmers in our production chain, allowing them to diversify and add an extra income stream by planting eucalyptus trees on their own land. The Program not only increases their income but enables them to support more people through their farms. We have already planted 6,400 hectares, directly benefitting 64 families. That will continue to grow and our target is to reach 15,000 hectares of farm trees over the next six years.
Our forestry operations have entered into cooperation contracts with beekeepers to extract honey under the Beekeeper Program. This program supports and sponsors hundreds of families working in apiculture. We offer bee pastures around our eucalyptus plantation, allowing beekeepers to set up beehives to operate freely in our areas to produce honey from eucalyptus flowers.
The project - a partnership with the Beekeepers' Associations operating in the North Forest District of Bahia - involves 400 people; beekeepers and students from local public schools.
Piassava is a water resistant fiber derived from local palms. The fiber is long, strong, smooth and flexible and is widely used by artisans to produce household utensils and ornaments.
We developed a Sustainable Piassava Management Plan that benefits 320 families (through seven piassava associations) by allowing them to grow the palms on a re-growth basis between our plantation trees.
Our Piassava Project supports sustainable local piassava production and has been developed through cooperation with the Government of Bahia, Brazilian Support Service to Micro and Small Companies (SEBRAE), regional artisans associations and the Bank of Brazil.
SESI Worker Education Program
Working with SESI, a local organization in Brazil focused on social services for the industry, the Group has established the SESI Worker Education Program to provide basic education specially designed for workers who previously have not had the chance to complete their studies. The program conducts two-hour long classes five days a week, giving participants personal development opportunities and broaden their career prospects. There are classes for two different grades of elementary school levels and secondary education or high school. Launched in September 2011, this program covers a period of 24 months and is currently benefitting many of our nursery employees from BSC.
As part of our community relations program, we invite community leaders, teachers and students to visit our forest areas, learn about eucalyptus production and how to do business in a sustainable manner.