MASISA has reduced its environmental footprint.
At MASISA we recognize the importance of environmental responsibility and promote operative practices to minimize the environmental footprint of our operations. That means the careful use of resources, the incorporation of ecoefficiency and management of the environmental risk in decision-making.
MASISA’s environmental stewardship system is focused on complying with applicable environmental legislation and requirements voluntarily embraced, driving operations to undertake more demanding obligations than current legislation.
By means of good production practice, cutting-edge technology and innovation, MASISA has thereby managed to control and mitigate the main environmental impacts of its operations and commit to continuous improvement targets, particularly those concerning energy, water and waste.
In 2012, we achieved the environmental targets, except for fossil energy and electricity consumption with 98.4% compliance, due to higher energy consumption at Cabrero and variations of the productive targets in Venezuela.
Action plans were also assessed and designed based on the good practice programs of the Manual of Health, Environmental and Safety Excellence, which defines the corporates standards and guidelines. In 2013, we will perform a follow-up assessment at each industrial and forestry operation to verify it is in place.
It should be highlighted that MASISA’s industrial operations have an environmental management system certified in accordance with the ISO 14001 standard. In October 2012, the Montenegro mill suspended this certification until April 2013 due to the regrettable accident.
Improvement teams were also put in place at operations in all countries, generating innovation on environmental, health and safety issues.
We recognize the importance of environmental responsibility and promote operating practices to reduce the environmental footprint of our activities. That means careful usage of unlimited resources, incorporating eco-efficiency and environmental risk management in decision-making.
Our environmental management system focuses action and decisions on complying with applicable environmental legislation and other requirements voluntarily embraced, but the Company also drives operations to exceed legislation.
By means of good production practice, cutting-edge technology and innovation, Masisa has managed to control and mitigate the main environmental impacts of its operations, particularly those concerning efficient energy and water consumption, waste disposal and airborne emissions.
All our units have an environmental management system certified in accordance with the ISO 14.001 standard.
The water sources used to supply Masisa’s plants mainly come from well points in Chile, and well water in Mexico, Venezuela and Argentina. In the case of Brazil, water comes from an artificial lagoon that accumulates rainwater to supply the plant and a closed water circuit that re-uses all the water.
Masisa Argentina continued to work on reverse osmosis equipment for the MDF lines, modifying the permeated ratio. This yielded a lower consumption of well water and achieved the targets set. It also continued with the recycled water re-usage program.
Likewise, Cabrero Maderas has reduced the fresh water consumption by re-using the water rejected by reverse osmosis and that from the cooling tower of the co-generation plant. This water was used to wet logs and for the wood heating and conditioning process in the drying chambers. The Chillán plant re-used the water treated in the wastewater treatment plant to irrigate green areas.
Our plants continue to operate without discharging industrial waste, except the plants of Cabrero Tableros (Chile) and the plant in Venezuela. The former has a treatment plant, which every month monitors the limits to be met and discharges water within the limits of local legislation. The plant in Venezuela treats the industrial waste with sanitary waste and discharges this into a water channel directly in the ground. The treated water meets the limits of local legislation.
En Brasil los efluentes sanitarios se tratan en una planta de tratamiento y se reutilizan en el proceso. En México también se tratan en una planta y se reutiliza el efluente en riego. Los efluentes sanitarios en Argentina y en la mayoría de las plantas de Chile se entregan a la empresa sanitaria local para su tratamiento, con excepción de las plantas de Ranco y Chillán en Chile. Estas plantas tratan sus aguas servidas y luego se utilizan para riego de jardines con la debida autorización de la autoridad sanitaria.
Samples are periodically taken to analyze surface water and groundwater and monitor water on lands.
In Chile, Masisa monitors watersheds to study the effect of forest harvesting operations and road and yard construction on the quantity and quality of water produced.
Regarding this, a project is underway to study the effect of forest harvesting operations and road and yard construction on the quantity and quality of water produced by three micro-watersheds on the Huamaqui land, province of Cautín, La Araucanía region.
As of 2007 and after the forest harvest, the effect of waste management with a power shovel is also being analyzed. The results are shown based on water flows, suspended solids and loss of nutrients.
The objectives of the study are to determine the water production and its annual flow rate, the levels of erosion and leaching of nutrients through streams due to road construction, forest harvesting and waste management, using the watershed as a geographical data unit.
The continuous results of the study will allow technical recommendations to be implemented to minimize contributions and reduce the silting up of watercourses with minor operating modifications. Likewise, the continuation of measurements in 2010 showed the performance of suspended solids in watercourses after reforestation and the subsequent covering of the major vegetable layer on the soil harvested.
As of 2008, the Huamaqui land included a study of the effects on natural water at four watersheds of the Nueva Etruria land in the district of Pitrufquén, province of Cautín, La Araucanía region. Two of the micro-watersheds are in areas with natural vegetation, one with undisturbed native forest and the other in a secondary forest subject to management. The rest are in micro-watersheds that will be subject to harvesting and forest management of plantations.
The main interest of this new study is that this land has conservation value related to the habitat of the southern river otter (Lontra provocax), a species in danger of extinction and whose development zones could be influenced by the effects of forestry operations on the water quality. On both lands the Company also expects to determine the effect of forestry operations on the main watercourse measured in terms of suspended solids.
In Venezuela the forest equity has no natural watercourses. Nevertheless, we are participating in the recovery of about 250 hectares with the Environmental Ministry at the head of the River Yabo in the state of Anzoátegui and flow and sediment measurement studies will be undertaken.
Based on our energy efficiency program, in 2010 own or third-party biomass used as a fuel accounted for 63% of the energy consumption, electric power accounted for 21% and the use of fossil fuels accounted for 16%. That led to an estimated saving of US$1,069,166, which was allocated to gathering the best practice of each plant and implementing this in the other plants.
Each country has its own legislation on the hazardousness of waste, which we treat and dispose of pursuant to current local legislation.
Most waste is non-hazardous, and largely comprises slag and ash from burning the biomass and own biomass, industrial waste that cannot be used (melamine paper, settled resin sludge), waste that can be incorporated to domestic waste (from the plant employee cafeteria and the contractors’ dining room).
Masisa’s waste management gives priority to reducing waste generation, reusing and recycling it whenever possible, thereby helping to conserve the environment. When none of these options are applicable, the waste is dispatched for final disposal in accordance with the legislation of each country.
Hazardous waste, like that from maintenance impregnated with oil, and batteries, is classified, managed and disposed of in accordance with environmental legislation. Specialized and authorized service companies transport and dispose of the waste, guaranteeing a minimal impact on the environment.
In 2011, Masisa Venezuela recycled 160,000 kilos of scrap, minimizing disposing of waste in the environment and reducing the industrial waste removal expense.
About 4,000 m³ of by-products (ash, sludge, sawdust) was used to improve forest soil.
We have a positive carbon dioxide balance. However, by entering the voluntary carbon market, the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), we are committed to reducing our direct emissions and we achieved a 7.6% accumulated reduction in regard to the baseline.
Direct CO2 emissions arise from the use of fossil fuels at industrial plants. Direct emissions and CO2 capture are submitted for external verification by the CCX-authorized bodies, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Rainforest Alliance, respectively.
As in the previous year, in 2011 Masisa calculated the carbon footprint compared to 2010 based on that laid down in the GHG Protocol. The organizational framework considered in the study included all Masisa’s operations in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico, according to the following activities: forestry (tree nursery, establishment/maintenance, management and harvesting), industrial (sawmill and plant), logistical activities (distribution) and administrative activities throughout the value chain. The following three scopes were also considered:
Scope 1: direct emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by operations, such as vehicles or boilers.
Scope 2: indirect emissions from activities of the operation, which are generated at sources owned or controlled by another organization. They are related to the consumption of energy supplies and the electricity purchased.
Scope 3: other indirect emissions, such as those from the transport of personnel, business trips, external supply, shipment of products, etc. Specifically regarding the emissions from the contractor activity of each company, like fuel consumption, they were logged separately, and were considered to be Scope 3 emissions, when the consumption data could be obtained.
That study enabled us to raise knowledge on the impacts on the different scopes.
Masisa mostly uses wood from pine and eucalyptus plantations to make its products.
Operations in Brazil and Venezuela have FSC Chain-of-Custody certification, which means that 100% of the wood entering these operations is certified or controlled according to FSC criteria. In Chile, 90.6% of the wood is certified or controlled, in Argentina it is 75.8% and 86.2% in Mexico.
In 2011, there was a total of 91.6% of fiber from a known origin, giving 105.3% achievement of the target.
Masisa has systematically worked with wood suppliers to have thorough knowledge of the fiber entering the Company’s plants, using methodology to segregate our suppliers that we have classified as follows:
The former supplier category has no difficulty to rate its fiber as non-controversial as their policies are similar to those of Masisa, and they fully meet our standards.
The latter category requires more thorough work, entailing fiber origin surveys and how it is obtained and subsequent audits. Small suppliers are the hardest, as they are mostly intermediaries and from whom it is difficult to get traceability to reach the fiber origin.
We strive for forestry operations not to endanger the integrity of the systems required to support forestry management (water, soil and biodiversity).
Forestry management in each country, under the management of the business unit manager, is responsible for assuring environmental, industrial safety and community relations issues are covered.
To achieve this, Masisa has management policies and systems that aim to:
All Masisa’s plantations have FSC certification. They are also certified according to the ISO 14001 standard (except Forestal Argentina) to manage major environmental aspects and comply with applicable legal requirements.The forestry management objectives are part of the sustainable development concept included in Masisa’s management policy, which establishes adherence to the FSC principles and criteria which, along with Masisa’s performance model and the objectives of the Forestry Business Unit, set out the following areas of action:Social and environmental management at all Masisa’s forestry operations will be effective in 2012 according to a new control panel, which has indicators for the following areas: education and promotion of sustainable management, biodiversity maintenance and environmental sustainability, carbon capture and surrounding community management.
The Company bases its intensive and site-specific forestry management strategy on two lines: intensive management and structural management.
In both cases the aim is to boost forest growth based on the quality of the stand of tree site, combining pruning and thinning schemes according to age and site. The extensive management concept is not used.
(*) Considers the identification of high conservation value forests, monitoring of flora and fauna and conservation action.
In regard to interaction with various sectors and institutions in the research and technology areas, Forestal Argentina signed an institutional collaboration agreement called “Sustainable use of sewage to irrigate forest plantations at Colonia Ayuí, Entre Ríos,” whose objective is to design and transfer an environmentally sustainable alternative for the discharge of sewage from the Colonia Ayuí treatment plant; reduce the nitrogen and phosphorus in the water of the Salto Grande Lake without having a negative impact on the characteristics of the soil and groundwater of the plot implanted; and assess the adaptation and growth of Eucalyptus grandis (flooded gum) under conditions of irrigation with sewage.
This project will be financed as part of the “Municipal Technology Development Projects” of the Federal Council of Science and Technology for its contribution to improving the quality of life of inhabitants and the environmental health conditions in the region, increasing the productivity of the forestry industry in the area and the subsequent projection for other communities with similar issues.
The conservation and monitoring plan for Gomortega Kueule on the equity of Masisa Forestal S.A., Tregualemu sector (Maule region), started to be carried out as of 2011. Such program is headed by researchers from the University of Talca.
Masisa is also participating in the National Science and Technology Research Fund (FONDECYT) project called “Clearcut size and the conservation of animal biodiversity in pine plantations,” being undertaken by the Faculty of Forestry Sciences of the University of Chile and headed by Dr. Cristián Estades Marfán, an academic of the forestry resource management department of that university.
The Company is participating with FSC Chile in the native forest restoration study and identification and definition methodology for forests with high conservation value in the FSC certification scheme.
It is also working on the following projects underway with public funding from INNOVA:
Demand for forestry products increases as the earth base continues to diminish globally, which has focused intensive management of forestry plantations on replacing the extensive use of natural forests.
In this scenario, plantation management has also been changing substantially with acknowledgement that the potential to produce wood and forest value is much greater than that currently obtained.
For Masisa, the integrated management of site resources (water and nutrients) and its use with highly enhanced genetic matter is essential to raise productivity and the value of forest plantations and produce wood in an efficient and environmentally sustainable way.
Forest lands are thereby undergoing a dynamic change of ownership, area and management intensity in response to wood demand and price in the market.
Masisa recognizes soil as an essential resource for forestry, and it is the natural element that sustains wood production. Its interaction with other natural elements allows plantations to exist and for there to be life in different levels, forms and expressions.
Its deterioration and loss leads to lower production, higher costs in the new rotations, loss of the natural habitat for other species and the negative influence in distant areas due to silting.
This issue is more important for Masisa in Chile, where we have plantations in areas with different slopes of land. The plantations must be harvested seeking the optimal felling time, which makes it necessary to build roads and logging yards to take advantage of them, bearing in mind the control of erosion and environmental and social impacts on the surrounding communities.
Action is taken in all the countries where Masisa has forestry operations to control the presence of plagues and keep destructive agents at tolerable levels by means of the planned use of preventive, suppressing or regulating tactics and strategies, which do not cause a major environmental impact and are economically viable and socially acceptable.
Masisa has permanent forest fire prevention and fighting programs, which are intensified in critical periods, for which the Company has a forest fire prevention and control system to minimize the damage caused by fires. A territorial organization was established for this to efficiently access the greatest quantity of resources to prevent forest fires.
Masisa has entered into arrangements, agreements and commitments to preserve and protect its native forest equity in Latin America.
We have 8,891 hectares of natural reserves in Argentina in agreement with Fundación Hábitat y Desarrollo, of which 4,700 are part of the Loma Alta Natural Reserve established in 2011.
In 2011, an inventory was made of birds in the Arroyo Ayuí Grande, Yuquerí and El Talar Natural Reserves. The Escuelas Nature Program was also continued with over 400 students and teachers visiting the Arroyo Ayuí Grande and Tres Cerros Natural Reserves. The “trees in my province” competition was held with the participation of more than 500 pupils at primary schools, an environmental interpretation course for teachers at Concordia and Paso de los Libres and a seminar on Nature Conservation in Concordia, which was attended by about 150 people.
The book “Nature Reserve, Voluntary Conservation Action on Forestry Lands” was published, which shows the efforts made over a decade with Fundación Hábitat y Desarrollo. The book was presented in Buenos Aires and Concordia, and environmental NGOs, government authorities, trade associations, and other stakeholders were invited.
Masisa has 9,511 hectares under conservation in Brazil. A study was conducted in 2011 by the Idea Ambiental Institute on the Caratuva e Santo Antonio lands.
In Chile, Masisa Forestal has a native forest surface area of 18,605 hectares, comprising native species of the Nothofagus (southern beech) genus, with oak, evergreen beech and coigüe (Nothofagus dombeyi) prevailing, along with a set of latifoliated species like lingue, laurel, tepa (Laureliopsis philippiana), hazel tree, and other species characteristic of the native forest of Valdivia.
The vision of incorporating the native forest resource to economic activity in an innovative modality and meeting its sustainability requirements led to the secondary forest management project. This sets limits on the maximum slopes for work and establishes safeguards for watercourses to minimize soil erosion and/or disturbance of water resources. Based on this, there is a surface area of 25,962 hectares classified as under permanent protection and that will not be disturbed.
The purpose is to form buffer areas on the banks of watercourses or in sectors of ravines where the slopes are over 100%. This will protect soil from erosion and water from possible alteration.
Venezuela has an equity of around 2,065 hectares with the soil used for conservation, whose aim is to conserve areas covered with native vegetation, zones protected by legislation and/or areas the company has allocated for protection of flora, fauna, the soil or water.
High conservation value forests are those considered to be of notable and critical importance due to their large environmental and socio-economic value, their contribution to the biodiversity and the natural surroundings (FSC terminology).
After gathering information on the preliminary determination of high conservation value (HCV) attributes in Chile, an assessment was made of the characteristics and attributes of the forests on Masisa Chile’s equity, which resulted in their preliminary definition as being in or outside the high conservation value forest (HCVF) category.