Being a pulp and paper producer, planted forests represent the primary source of raw material for The Navigator Company. We manage approximately 120,000 hectares of woodlands in Portugal comprised mostly of eucalyptus plantations (around 72%), but also cork oak, pines, other conifers and broad-leaved species, as well as patches of natural and semi-natural habitats.
The significant surface, dispersed over a wide area and containing important natural assets and sometimes located within sensitive or classified areas, created the need to set up a process to assess and support the notion that well-managed forests and plantations can positively contribute to environmental and social externalities. The knowledge of dependencies from natural capital and the perception of potential impacts and risks existed, but the company had to define a structured way to characterize and address them.
The assessment results contribute to our forest certification objectives, to sustainability reporting (GRI), to communication and to overall value.
Our natural capital assessment approach was built on a detailed mapping of activities against impacts and risks. It was also based on on-the-ground assessments of the presence of natural values (number, type, area occupied), their importance and statute according to legal or regulatory information.
Results obtained include that more than 30% of our company’s area lays on the EU-Natura 2000 and on the National Network of Protected Areas. In addition, 41 classified Natura 2000 habitats, including eight priority habitats, were found and 97 fauna species classified in Natura2000 (out of 236 observed) and well as 71 of flora with important conservation statute (out of 700 0bserved).
The assessment is applied to forest management projects and has a corporate focus. The results affect upstream (land acquisition and pre-project site analysis) and direct operations (project layout and operational practices) boundaries, and new assessments being made on a yearly basis.