Social and environmental sustainability continues to be at high level
Precious Woods Amazon passed the recertification audits for FSC and PEFC in 2021 with excellent results.
Both the PEFC and FSC audits were carried out completely online, which meant additional difficulties for our team and the auditors. We continue to work on several scientific projects to obtain information on forest ecology and to optimize and document our resource-preserving forestry operations. We are also in close and intensive contact with the regional communities, allowing us to undertake useful joint projects. Supporting the local population and businesses through a wide range of development projects continues to be a focus of our social engagement.
In the reporting year we conducted the following activities:
- Also, in Brazil, we welcomed a film team that produced a feature for PRO7 on the fight against illegal logging and trade, portraying MIL Madeiras as the benchmark for best practice. The feature was completed very successfully and is available online.
- Together with the military police of Itacoatiara, several operations were again carried out against poaching and illegal logging. This also includes raising awareness in the communities and the training of local scouts who recognize violations and report them directly. 200 scouts have already been trained in nine communities since the beginning of the programme.
- In 2021, areas near us were affected by severe flooding. To restore destroyed infrastructure and homes, MIL Madeiras donated more than 220 m3 of timber.
- We support various research projects in the field of environment and sustainability in collaboration with four local universities and research institutions. A major project on fauna inventory before and after timber use will investigate the influence of management on fauna. The goal of such projects is not only to obtain scientific data, but also to gain insights into how we could apply our techniques with even lower impact. Another project collects wood samples to study wood DNA, with the long-term goal of being able to identify wood geographically so as to prevent illegal logging.
- It continues to be a major priority and endeavour to support and promote the agricultural production of the communities in our region. In 2020, we were able to establish a two-hectare coffee plantation, maintained by the local population with our support. 2021 saw initial successes, and an expansion of the area is being considered. Furthermore, we were able to advance a land regularization process. This has allowed several communities to legally secure their land ownership, which is often an enormous obstacle to development.
- In the three largest cities in our catchment area, we have helped the public authorities to clean up landfills and build new, safe landfills. This engagement is important not only from an environmental standpoint, but also from a social perspective, given that uncontrolled landfills pose a major health risk.
- Also, in Brazil, many training courses had to be postponed due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, thanks to our own trainers and external assistance, we were able to conduct various safety training sessions in the sawmills and in the forest. To protect our employees to the greatest possible extent, our focus was on enforcing the protection measures and organizing an internal vaccination campaign together with the health authorities. This enabled all interested employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus directly at the workplace. At the end of 2021, we were able to resume training activities with an Occupational Safety Action Week.
- Not only MIL Madeiras as a company shows social commitment, however. As part of the Occupational Safety Action Week, our employees also conducted a “Reach Out” campaign, in which they collected over two tonnes of food donations for needy population groups.