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Forestry operations

The forest area of Bracell totals about 234,000 hectares (ha), of which approximately 144,000 ha are used for eucalyptus plantations and almost 83,000 ha are set aside for environmental preservation. The rest of the land mainly comprises infrastructure areas and roads. The company devotes special attention to the environment. Its forest activities are certified nationally and internationally and respect native forest, ensuring the survival of various species of wild fauna and flora. Bracell’s protection areas form one of the largest private conservation areas in Brazil, reaching about 35 per cent of the company’s total land area.

Eucalyptus production

Through intensive research, Bracell selects the most appropriate seedlings to form its eucalyptus plantations, the only raw material used in its industrial process. Before receiving the seedlings, the soil undergoes a special preparation process that aims to offer the plants the ideal conditions of development. Plantations are managed in order to maintain the environmental quality, with attention to the control of weeds, pests and diseases. At about six to seven years of age, the trees reach maturity and can be harvested. From the field, the wood goes to the factory, where it will be used as raw material to produce cellulose. The techniques of forest cultivation, together with the conservation of thousands of hectares of native forests, allow wood to be supplied in a sustainable manner. As a result of this care, even after more than two decades of commercial cultivation of eucalyptus in the region, the soils of the company’s properties maintain their original levels of fertility, with high productivity rates.

Technology

Genetic material of eucalyptus with desirable characteristics for the manufacture of dissolving pulp is produced and selected. This material is tested under field conditions for six years, after which the best performing samples are released for commercial planting.

Production of seedlings

From the genetic material selected we grow shoots, which will be used to produce new seedlings. In this 90-day period, future trees receive special care such as temperature, humidity, lighting and fertilization until they are ready for field planting.

Soil preparation

The care of the new home of the eucalyptus seedlings begins with the mapping of the soil to enable separation of the production areas and reserve areas. When necessary, it is decompressed with subsoiling. The nutritional status of the soil is improved with balanced fertilization.

Planting

The planting of eucalyptus seedlings can be done in two ways: manual or mechanical. The seedlings are arranged respecting technical and environmental criteria that ensure their perfect development and the maintenance of environmental quality in the areas where they are planted.

Maintenance

The seedlings are fertilized soon after planting. The company carries out permanent monitoring of the plantations to control weeds, pests and diseases.

Harvesting

After around six years the trees are harvested, with the bark, branches and leaves left in the field, where they aid in nutrition, physical structuring and soil protection.

Transport

The eucalyptus logs are shipped and transported in special trucks to be processed.

Sustainable forest management

Proper planning enables natural resources to be used in a sustainable manner, meeting economic and social needs while ensuring resources are renewed.

Forestry operations are planned and implemented, considering the need to protect biodiversity, natural resources, fauna and flora. This includes the use of mosaic plantations to protect native wildlife, as well as careful management of waste products.

Environmental care forms a key part of the company’s quality system policies, and compliance with these instructions is actively monitored.

More details on Bracell’s sustainable forest management policy are available here.