Local communities living near our mills and forestry operations are one of our most important stakeholder groups. We aim to promote economic, environmental, and social development in these communities.
Opportunities and challenges
In many locations, Stora Enso is a major employer, tax-payer, and partner for local entrepreneurs. To ensure that our production, raw material sourcing, and labour supply remain both sustainable and competitive, the communities which we depend on must be able to thrive economically, socially, and environmentally.
Stora Enso's mills are heavily dependent on energy and raw materials, and they generate emissions that may impact neighbouring communities. Our tree plantations in China, Brazil, and Uruguay influence local land use, livelihoods, and ecosystems. Our socio-environmental impacts must be managed responsibly to maximise their positive influence, maintain cooperative community relations, and ensure our long-term license to operate.
Our joint operations have each developed formal procedures for their respective community investment work.
How we work
Stora Enso proactively works to mitigate the potential environmental and social impacts our activities may have on neighbouring communities. These include:
- Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) for all new projects that could negatively impact local communities.
- Due diligence assessments as part of Stora Enso's acquisition and investment processes, including environmental, social, and business practice issues.
- Environmental Management Systems, such as ISO 14001 for production units.
- Sustainable forest management certification of Stora Enso's own forestry operations and suppliers.
- Restructuring processes planned in cooperation with local authorities.
Contributing to the vitality of neighbouring communities is high on Stora Enso's agenda. Actions include investments in capacity building, local nature conservation, agroforestry programmes and socio-economic development projects.
In 2016, we implemented a new group-level community investment framework, which monitors our local activities. The implementation will continue during 2017.
During 2016 we engaged with neighbouring communities in various ways. For an introduction into our progress in community involvement in the locations that have most interested our stakeholders, click to open the below locations.
Stora Enso's operations in Guangxi, Southern China, consist of tree plantations and a consumer board mill in the municipality of Beihai. At year-end 2016, we employed over 1 000 people at the mill and in forestry operations.
Stora Enso's field staff and social engagement officers speak regularly with local people impacted by Stora Enso's plantations and mill, and along transportation routes, to inform them about Stora Enso's operations and enable them to discuss their concerns. Our aim is to understand social risks in advance, so we can properly mitigate them.
Stora Enso strives to promote gender inclusivity, and consult vulnerable groups and less vocal villagers. During 2016, we conducted socioeconomic profiling of local villages in order to better understand and address their gender and ethnic structures, opportunities for development, and other characteristics that can help us to optimise the positive impacts of our operations, and mitigate any negative impacts.
During 2016, we also advanced Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) processes in land leasing.
, our 50/50 joint operation with Fibria, runs a pulp mill and eucalyptus plantations in southern Bahia, Brazil. Veracel's community engagement focuses on local economic development and sustainable land use.
Veracel engages with the Government of the State of Bahia, the National Institute of Colonisation and Agrarian Reform (INCRA), and representatives of six officially recognised social landless movements. Through the Sustainable Settlement Initiative, these movements have pledged to leave areas occupied since July 2011, while Veracel has agreed not to seek to repossess areas occupied before this date. The initiative relates to a total of 16 500 hectares of Veracel land designated for the settlements. At the end of 2016, an additional 3 499 hectares of Veracel land was occupied by landless people movements not involved in the Sustainable Settlement Initiative.
Veracel and the state government have continued the Pact for the Development of the Discovery Coast. By the end of 2016, this pact had resulted in local community investments of EUR 660 000.
Montes del Plata, our 50/50 joint operation with Arauco, runs a pulp mill at Punta Pereira in southwestern Uruguay, together with associated eucalyptus plantations.
Alianzas is a Montes del Plata initiative that provides additional income for local farmers by enabling them to use part of their land for timber and food production in exchange for financial compensation. By the end of 2016, 350 farmers with lands totalling 54 939 hectares, including 43 857 eucalyptus plantations, had joined the programme.
Alianzas also promotes the diverse use of Montes del Plata's lands. By the end of the year, 170 farmers were keeping cattle on Montes del Plata's lands while 31 farmers produced honey.
Montes del Plata also finances local projects targeting increased cohesion, social participation, and local development in neighbouring communities. During 2016, Montes del Plata supported 22 projects focusing on heritage conservation, sports, social integration, health, and education.
In 2016, Montes del Plata also continued its long-term strategy for the sustainable transportation of wood, including initiatives involving truck drivers, transport companies, and local communities.
Stora Enso has a 35% shareholding in Bulleh Shah Packaging (Private) Limited (BSP), together with the Pakistani company Packages Limited. BSP is Pakistan's largest fibre-based packaging producer, and the country's only liquid packaging board producer.
Stora Enso supports six local schools in cooperation with the Pakistani non-governmental organisation Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi. Since 2015, these schools have provided education for children previously identified as child workers in BSP's supply chain. The schools have the capacity to educate up to 640 children, who also receive free school uniforms and medical checks. BSP additionally provides vocational training for the children's parents, to improve their life skills and ability to find work.
BSP runs a maternity and child healthcare clinic near its mill in Kasur and pilots with a mobile medical healthcare clinic together with the Yunus Center of the Asian Institute of Technology and Shalamar Hospital that provides basic services to neighbouring communities linked to the supply of agricultural by-products used by BSP.
In Laos, Stora Enso is developing 3 900 hectares of trial plantations, including 2 995 hectares planted with eucalyptus.
We have also established a village development fund to support local development and livelihoods. Most of the funding allocated during 2016 was used for infrastructure projects, such as electricity and water supply, road improvements, and the purchase of livestock to enhance food security. These projects have been designed together with local people according to their needs and requirements.