In addition to nurseries in Brazil, Dexco keeps a nursery in the city of Barbosa, Colombia, whose purpose is to boost productivity and improve the quality of the wood used in our production process.
We develop several tree clones that are better adapted to climate changes, in addition to being more productive and resistant to pests and diseases.
Our Plant Breeding Program, created in 1969, focuses on researching and developing materials that can make our eucalyptus forests more resistant to pests and diseases, and adapt more easily to climate and rainfall conditions.
In addition to improvements intended for the production of wooden panels, we also evaluate more suitable materials to meet the demand of our Minas Gerais-based water-soluble cellulose plant in partnership with Lenzing AG, LD Celulose.
Leaves and branches from previous forests are kept in the soil, providing protection, moisture retention and nutrients for the next crop.
Studies on soil conditions and the trees’ nutritional situation define the best manure formulas and application methods to ensure top productivity.
Wildfire prevention and firefighting actions to protect tree-growing and conservation areas, and the company’s employees, machinery, and facilities.
The presence of wild animals in conservation areas within Dexco’s farms contribute to the biological control of forest pests. If necessary, pesticides are applied to these areas, according to the best people and environmental safety practices.
Dexco maintains over 140,000 hectares of planted forests, predominantly with eucalyptus and pine, as well as conservation areas with native vegetation formations, on owned and leased farms in the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, and the departments of Antioquia, Caldas, Tolima, and Santander in Colombia. These forests provide wood, the main raw material used in our panel factories.
Since the 1970s, we have partnered with universities and research institutes to monitor and record the biodiversity found in our forests, contributing to the development of scientific knowledge about the environment.
With the aim of strengthening the relationship between forest companies and civil society, since 2021, we have joined the São Paulo Forest Forum, where discussions and work are organized on relevant topics such as the relationship between planted forests and water, and participatory planning of sustainable landscapes using the methodology of land-use dialogues. More information about this landscape approach project can be found here.
To assess and mitigate the social impacts related to the management activities of our planted forests, we have adopted procedures that aim to improve our relationship with the communities where we operate. In addition to maintaining areas of native vegetation, we are committed to conserving springs and watercourses in our management units, maintaining protected areas in their surroundings. We employ good soil conservation practices in the management units, avoid planting in peat areas of any depth, and do not use fire in our forest management operations. Through dialogue and awareness campaigns, we encourage our neighbors to be partners in the conservation of natural resources and the prevention of forest fires.
Recognition of our excellence in forest asset management occurred in 1995 when we became the first company in the Southern Hemisphere and the fifth in the world to obtain responsible forest management certification. Our wood panel factories in Brazil have chain of custody certification, ensuring the traceability of all the wood used in our production process, guaranteeing the use of wood from certified sources or other controlled sources in the production processes.
Monitoring carbon, water, and nutrient flows of our planted forests over the years has ensured the sustainable development and environmental balance of areas we operate in. That is why since 2008 we have supported the cooperative program Torre de Fluxo (Flow Tower)*, run by the Forest Studies and Research Institute (IIEF, “Instituto de Pesquisas e Estudos Florestais” in Portuguese), the French Center for Agricultural Research (CIRAD), and the University of São Paulo’s Luiz de Queiroz School of Agriculture (ESALQ/USP).
It collects input for research on the best practices for responsible management, combining productivity and sustainability. In 2019, we renewed our participation it the program for another seven years.
At Dexco, we continually improve our operations to strike the right social-environmental balance across the value chain. We see it as our commitment and duty to use natural resources and raw materials rationally and sustainably, adopting principles that enable their reduction, optimization, and reuse.
As part of our Forest Management Plan, we classify as Valuable Conservation Areas (AAVCs) places whose environmental or social values are deemed exceptional or critically important.
In these areas, we take measures to protect the identified values, such as banning hunting and fishing, property security, preventing and fighting wildfires, speed limits on roads, and controlling invasive species, as well as monitoring attributes found there. These actions contribute to preserving native vegetation and rare or endangered animal and plant species that are critically relevant to local communities and their traditions.
In 2021, we reassessed all of our certified areas based on AAVC identification criteria (categories 1 and 4), encompassing 132,774.58 hectares that span 152 farms in the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Rio Grande do Sul. The methodology and results were made available for consultation to some of our stakeholders, like universities, government agencies, researchers, and NGOs.
According to the assessment criteria and points brought up during our public consultation, the presence of an endemic amphibian species (Bokermannohyla sazimai) in the Triângulo Mineiro region, found in the Nova Ponte farm, Minas Gerais, led to that place being classified as a category 1 AAVC, spanning 32.5 hectares.
Our wood panel factories in Brazil are supplied only with certified wood or wood from other controlled sources, and in our Colombian units, the supply is made with certified wood or wood registered with the ICA (Colombian Agricultural Institute). In 2022, 82% of the total wood used by Dexco as raw material had third-party forest certification.
The forests managed by Dexco provided 72.2% of the wood used as raw material by our panel factories in 2022 (74.6% in Brazil and 41.8% in Colombia).
Certification is designed to provide credible assurance that the raw material originates from well-managed forests, controlled sources, recovered materials, or a mixture of it. Certification, therefore, facilitates the transparent flow of products manufactured from such materials through the supply chain.
In 2022, we acquired wood from 137 third-party suppliers in Brazil and Colombia, both in log or chip form as well as by-products from sawmills (6 sawmills in Brazil and 102 in Colombia). These suppliers (tier 1) and subcontractors (tier 2) are located in the states of Rio Grande do Sul, São Paulo, and Minas Gerais in Brazil, and the departments of Antioquia, Tolima, Caldas, and Santander in Colombia, regions near our factories. We ensure traceability of the wood to the origin forest for 99.1% of the wood consumed in our factories, reaching 100% if we consider only the units in Brazil.
For the wood acquired from third parties (controlled) in Brazil, we have a due diligence system that assesses environmental, land, labor, tax, and social issues both from the suppliers and the supply areas. All suppliers undergo a documentary approval audit before wood acquisition, followed by field audits conducted by Dexco technicians at each supply unit in all links of the chain, until reaching the original forest of the wood. This allows us to ensure complete traceability of the raw material for our forest-based products. With these processes, we guarantee that the wood used by Dexco does not involve:
When deviations are identified in the audits, the supplier, together with Dexco, develops an action plan to correct these points.
Suspension and Exclusion Criteria
When we identify a serious deviation (e.g., absence of environmental license) or multiple minor accumulated deviations, the supplier is immediately suspended until the situation is regularized. There is no specified deadline for correcting the deviations; however, until compliance with our requirements and the fulfillment of action plans is demonstrated, wood from this supplier cannot enter our factories.
If any critical deviation (e.g., forced or child labor) or numerous minor deviations are identified, the supplier is immediately excluded and cannot supply wood to Dexco for a minimum period of 6 months. At the end of the exclusion period, the supplier needs to undergo a new approval process before being able to sell wood to Dexco again.
In 2022, we conducted 157 documentary and field audits, involving 35 suppliers (tier 1) and subcontractors (tier 2). As a result of these audits, 1 subcontractor was excluded due to deviations related to labor documentation, use of personal protective equipment, and local impacts on conservation areas (without characterizing the conversion of natural ecosystems). In collaboration with our supplier, we implemented segregation measures to ensure that there was no mixing of wood from this supplier with the material acquired by Dexco.
The Forest Management Plan (FMP) contains guidelines and procedures for managing certified forest areas, following international standards. It constitutes an important instrument of management and dissemination, through the public summary, and can also be used for guidance, registration and training of people.
To supply our Taquari unit in Rio Grande do Sul, we use wood sourced from our own forest areas and maintain a forest development program where local farmers can rely on our support for planting forests. In this program, we provide seedlings and technical guidance to our partners for the proper establishment of the forest, and at the end of the cycle, we have the first right to purchase the wood. By the end of 2022, we had partnerships with 224 producers through 626 development contracts.
In line with our Sustainability Strategy, since 2019, we have been encouraging and supporting responsible forest management certification for our partner producers. We provide technical support to comply with certification standards and offer higher prices for certified wood. In 2020, the first group achieved the recommendation for certification, and by the end of 2022, 52.4% of our development areas were already certified.
Our goal is to reach 80% certification of the development areas by 2025. With this incentive, we enhance engagement with suppliers to minimize the risks of deforestation and adverse impacts on people and biodiversity in our value chain.
We aim to carry out our forest management activities responsibly and transparently, taking care of biodiversity and respecting the people living in the vicinity of our areas. We have been recognized as a global leader in corporate transparency and performance, being included in the 2022 A-List of the CDP Forests questionnaire and ranking 4th among companies in the wood and forest sector in the 2022 SPOTT (Zoological Society of London) assessment, which evaluates the level of transparency in environmental, social, and governance practices and commitments.
Click here to access our responses to the 2023 CDP Forests questionnaire.
*Documents available only in Portuguese