Suzano and Sofidel have joined forces in a landmark pilot programme that aims to advance ecological conservation and restoration whilst supporting socio-economic development in the Amazon rainforest.
The three-year project – “Together we plant the future – developing biodiversity corridors towards a more sustainable future” – aims to demonstrate the value of collaboration across the supply chain.
It will see the pulp producer and Italian tissue giant work together on habitat restoration and agroforestry projects, with the aim of contributing to the creation of a biodiversity corridor to enhance the connectivity of a 2,210 square kms area of rainforest.
The project will also aim to help lift local communities out of poverty by scaling sustainable business models, including the cultivation and commercialisation of Brazilian native plant species such as açaí and babassu.
This will be delivered with support and on-the-ground implementation by the Brazilian Institute for Development and Sustainability (IABS) and Amazônia Onlus, an Italian non-profit.
Through the partnership, Sofidel’s investment will scale up sustainable business models that can be adopted by communities living alongside the rainforest, at the same time as improving their food security and nutritional quality.
The project will also fund the creation of a biodiversity corridor to promote connectivity within a 2,210 square kms area of high ecological value rainforest.
This will be achieved through a combination of natural habitat restoration and sustainable agroforestry systems.
The biodiversity corridor will benefit a range of native species in the region that are impacted by the fragmentation of habitats.
Andrea Piazzolla, Chief Purchasing Officer at Sofidel, said: “Today a company committed to building a sustainable future and creating value for all its stakeholders has to ensure that its suppliers share the same vision and way of operating.
“We are pleased to partner with Suzano, one of our biggest suppliers, to make a difference.”
Paulo Jose de Souza Chaer Borges, Managing Director at Suzano EMEA office, added: “Businesses can change the world for the better, but we can’t do it alone.
“If we work together, we can magnify our impact. Therefore, we are excited to partner with one of our biggest customers, Sofidel, to accelerate the promising early impact that we have seen in our social and environmental sustainability programmes.
“By financially empowering communities living in proximity to high ecological value areas, we can tackle poverty as a root cause of deforestation, at the same time as incentivising them to protect and restore ecosystems.
“We hope that this collaboration can prove the power of working together across the supply chain, to create positive changes.”