SAO PAULO, May 14, 2015 (Press Release) -Fibria, a Brazilian forest-based company and the global leader in eucalyptus pulp production, was selected this year to receive the Sustainable Standard-Setter Award from Rainforest Alliance, a non-governmental organization that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, and founder of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), one of the most important certifications for forest products worldwide.
The award was presented to the company on Wednesday (5/13) night during a gala dinner at the American Museum of Natural History. Attending the ceremony, Fibria's CEO, Marcelo Castelli, shared this achievement with all of the company's teams. "Fibria believes that healthy business development depends on both economic and financial, as well as social and environmental objectives. As such, we seek to innovate by promoting the efficient use of natural resources, research and development and social engagement, supported by FSC® certification of all operations. Concern with society and the environment is part of our DNA and this Rainforest Alliance award is a recognition of the effectiveness of our actions," said Mr. Castelli.
A world leader in eucalyptus pulp production, Fibria is a company that strives to meet the growing global demand for forestry products in a sustainable manner. With annual pulp production capacity of 5.3 million tons, the company has industrial units in the cities of Aracruz (Espírito Santo), Jacareí (São Paulo) and Três Lagoas (Mato Grosso do Sul), and in Eunápolis (Bahia), where it operates the Veracel plant through a joint venture with Stora Enso.
With its stock listed on the Novo Mercado segment of BM&FBovespa and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Fibria reported net revenue of R$ 1.997 billion in the first quarter of 2015 and R$ 7.4 billion in the last 12 months. Between January and March, the company's pulp sales totaled 1.2 million tons. The period was also marked by the lowest net debt in Fibria's history, of US$ 2.803 billion at the end of March.
Supported by its solid financial management strategy, the company has been assigned an investment grade rating by two risk rating agencies: Standard & Poor's, which upgraded Fibria's rating in the beginning of May from "BB+" to "BBB-", with a stable outlook; and Fitch, which reaffirmed Fibria's rating at "BBB-" in its January review, also with a stable outlook.
The commitment to the efficient use of natural resources and social engagement are inherent to the strategy devised by Fibria, which was created with the mission to develop the renewable forestry business as a sustainable source of life and to create wealth in a responsible, shared and inclusive manner. Fibria is aware that its operations depend not only on economic and financial aspects but also on social and environmental factors and hence operates in harmony with society at every stage of its production chain, mitigating the impacts of its operations and promoting the social inclusion of neighboring communities. To support and guide its actions on this front, the company has a Sustainability Committee, presided over by the chairman of its board of directors and consists of five independent external members and three executive officers of the company. The Committee has been monitoring the trends in sustainability that could impact the company's strategy, focusing on two fronts: climate change and valuation of ecosystem services.
The alignment between maximization of value, respect to social and environmental issues and the focus on disciplined growth has earned Fibria wide recognition from the press in Brazil. Fibria was elected the most sustainable company of 2014 by the Exame Guide on Sustainability, was named the best company in the pulp and paper industry in the Época Negócios 360º yearbook (for the second consecutive year), and won the "The Best of Dinheiro" award. In 2013, it was elected the best company in the pulp and paper sector and as the "Empresa de Valor" by the Valor 1000 yearbook of the newspaper Valor Econômico.
At the international level, Fibria was, in 2013, the only Brazilian company selected by RobecoSAM, which provides assessment services for the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), to be featured in a magazine covering ten companies that are ahead of their industries in environmental, social and governance issues. Targeted at investors who consider sustainability aspects when taking investment decisions, the magazine "The 10 Game Changers - Changing the industry through sustainability" brings together companies from Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United States, the Philippines and Australia. Fibria was featured for its broad commitment to the efficient use of natural resources, R&D and social engagement.
For the second consecutive year, Fibria was included in the 2014-2015 portfolio of the DJSI World Index and the DJSI Emerging Markets Index, the key benchmark index for capital markets on sustainability in publicly held corporations. In the Brazilian stock exchange, the company's securities are listed in the Corporate Sustainability Index (ISE), which measures the total return on a theoretical portfolio consisting of shares of companies with recognized commitment to social responsibility and corporate sustainability. All of Fibria's units are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) and the Cerflor/ Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) - each of these systems has its own principles and criteria.
The NGO World Wildlife Fund (WWF) launched the New Generation Plantation (NGP) project in 2007. The NGP platform is a place to learn about better plantation management through real world experiences and influence others to follow good examples. NGP brings together leading plantation companies and some government agencies that manage and regulate plantations. Events such as study tours, workshops and conferences play a key role in NGP's work towards better plantations. They are moments to share knowledge about good plantation practices and learn from others' good examples. The platform seeks to influence other companies and governments to make environmentally and socially responsible decisions regarding their plantation management.