SETUBAL, Portugal, Oct. 8, 2019 (Press Release) -The Navigator Company is the first Portuguese company – and one of the first worldwide – to take on the commitment of achieving carbon neutrality 15 years early, by giving all of its industrial complexes a net zero carbon footprint by 2035. In order to achieve this mission, Navigator announced today at its Sustainability Forum that it will be investing a total of €158 million.
“It is with great pleasure that I address this Sustainability Forum and commend your dedication to the issue of climate change,” António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, wrote in a letter addressed to the event participants.
“In fact, climate change is a threat to our existence. Therefore, it is the issue that defines the times in which we live. The challenge is great, and requires much more ambition, but we know there are answers”, Mr Guterres added.
In view of the European Union’s goal for Europe to have net zero CO2 emissions by 2050 and given Portugal’s commitment to achieve this target by this same date, The Navigator Company has decided to be even more ambitious by meeting these goals 15 years earlier.
Given that the challenge of climate change is a priority, the Navigator Company has created its own carbon neutrality roadmap, with an ambitious set of investments in renewable energies and new technologies to reduce CO2 emissions and plant forests in a way that offsets those emissions which cannot be fully eliminated.
The Secretary-General also stated that “the participation of the business sector is essential. I am counting on your leadership and your support.”
The forests managed by the Navigator Company in Portugal have a carbon stock – not including carbon in the soil – equivalent to 5.4 million tonnes of CO2. This is the same as the emissions that would be generated by 1.5 million cars travelling around the perimeter of the planet.
The Navigator Company, in its protected nature areas (around 11,000 hectares, more than 10% of the total area) protects a total of 235 species of fauna and 740 species of flora, numbers which have been growing, contrary to world trends where the number of protected species is dropping.
At the start of this year, The Navigator Company was the only Portuguese company to be ranked a global leader in the fight against climate change by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), achieving a prominent position on this international organization’s “A” list. The company was recognized for its efforts in 2018 to reduce emissions, decrease climate risks and develop an economy with a low carbon footprint.
The Sustainability Forum, by The Navigator Company, is an initiative that seeks to leverage the cooperation between Navigator and several other bodies and personalities that are within its sphere of action, from civil society organizations, through clients, suppliers, and Universities.
The Sustainability Forum meets twice each year, with one session for Permanent Members and another open to various stakeholders. The open sessions have a central theme, which is debated and explored. This contributes to formulating corporate and strategic policy on social and environmental responsibility issues, strengthening the platforms of understanding and cooperation between Navigator and its main stakeholders.
In total, eight sessions have been held, hosting over 600 participants.
About The Navigator Company
The Navigator Company is an integrated producer of forests, pulp and paper, tissue and energy, whose activity is carried out in modern, large-scale factories, with cutting-edge technology, and which is a benchmark of quality in the sector.
The Navigator Company produces pulp and paper using forests planted exclusively for this purpose. Each year, our nurseries give life to more than 12 million trees. These nurseries – the biggest in Europe – produce 135 different species of trees and shrubs. Many of these have no economic utility, but are financed by Navigator to sustain diversity and guarantee the continuity of the species.
For example, in 2017, the forests managed by The Navigator Company in Portugal had a carbon stock – not including carbon in the soil – equivalent to 5.4 million tonnes of CO². This is the same as the emissions that would be generated by 1.5 million cars travelling around the perimeter of planet Earth.
The Navigator Company has taken on the formal commitment of achieving carbon neutrality by 2035, by reaching the targets laid out by the European Union and Portugal 15 years early. As such, it became the first Portuguese company, and one of the first worldwide, to set this ambitious goal.
This commitment is the culmination of a sustainability strategy already distinguished, at the start of 2019, with the ranking of global leader in the fight against climate change by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), achieving a prominent position on this organization’s “A” list. In 2018, The Navigator Company was recognized for its efforts to reduce emissions, decrease climate risks and develop an economy with a low carbon footprint, and was the only Portuguese company to obtain the highest score in an elite group of five companies from the global pulp, paper and forest sector to receive this distinction.
The company is the third-largest Portuguese exporter, representing approximately 1% of the national GDP and 2.4% of national goods exported, and generates the greatest National Value Added. In 2018, The Navigator Company’s turnover was around €1.6 billion, with 91% of the Group’s products sold outside of Portugal in approximately 130 different countries.
The Group has vertically integrated forest activity with its own Forest Research Institute, which is a global reference in the genetic improvement of the Eucalyptus globulus. It creates a vast forest area in Portugal, 100% certified by the FSC® (FSC C010852) and PEFC™ (PEFC/13-23-001) international systems. It also has the installed capacity of 1.6 million tonnes of paper, 1.6 million tonnes of pulp (80% integrated into paper), 120 thousand tonnes of tissue converting, producing around 2.5 TWh of electricity each year. It is responsible for approximately 4% of the energy production in Portugal and 52% of the energy produced from biomass.