Sustainable Company Awards 2023

Large enterprise of the year, global: Suzano

The world's largest pulp producer, Suzano has taken several steps to earn it the accolade of Large enterprise of the year in Environmental Finance's Sustainable Company Awards.

In the last year, it reports that its renewable energy sources, which are used at 88% of its production units, export an additional 183MWh to the Brazilian grid, recorded more than 4,000 species of fauna and flora protected in its areas of restoration and benefitted 276,000 people through its BRL52 million ($10.5 million) investment in social initiatives.

The Brazilian company outlined its sustainability mission in 2020 when it introduced its Commitments to Renewing Life, a set of long-term goals aligned with the Paris Agreement and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Targets include the reduction of Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 15% per ton of production, reduction of industrial solid waste sent to landfills by 70%, boosting renewable energy exports from its industrial facilities to Brazil's electricity grid by 50%, uplifting 200,000 people from poverty in its operational areas and removing 40 million tonnes of carbon equivalent from the atmosphere by 2025.

"Nature is intrinsic to our business, so we know that sustainability needs to be integral to all our business decisions," said Walter Schalka, CEO of Suzano. "We have put in place long-term environmental and social goals that guide our strategy and future growth plans, ensuring that we safeguard the environment locally and globally and maintain a strong relationship with local communities across all the areas in which we operate."

Since adopting these plans, Suzano says it has removed 22 million cumulative tonnes of COfrom the atmosphere since 2020 through tree planting and effective wood harvesting. It reports that 4,000 local people have been employed to build a new pulp plant and made progress towards connecting 500,000 hectares of habitat fractures through the creation of ecological corridors by 2030.

One Environmental Finance Sustainable Company Awards judge described it as "a well thought out sustainability mission, considering social and environmental with clear targets and outcomes".

While another appreciated "the use of quantitative impact measures and the emphasis on nature and biodiversity as a component of the strategy," adding that "the practices undertaken to date are admirable and the company is certainly positioning itself as a future leader".