As the whole world is working to fight the coronavirus, in Brazil companies in the planted forest sector are participating in a large-scale private initiative to help the country get through this crisis. Bracell, Cenibra, CMPC (and its subsidiary Softys), Duratex, Gerdau, Ibema, International Paper, Klabin, Suzano, Veracel, and Westrock have invested at least US$20 million in activities that benefit Brazilians across the nation. The support from forest companies spans 12 states.
These resources went toward donations of hospital equipment, protective gear for health professionals, hygiene items, food, and products manufactured by these companies in 12 states: Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Ceará, Bahia, Pernambuco, Maranhão, and Pará.
A crisis on this scale demands unity and solidarity. The planted tree sector has been working to find a balance between minimizing the devastating effects of Covid-19, ensuring that the essential products made in its factories across nearly all Brazilian states reach hospitals and homes, and at the same time adopting a strong stance to protect employees. This is an industry that takes care of its employees and communities as well as all of Brazil.
“In crisis, three things are certain: there are lessons to be learned, there are opportunities, and the crisis always comes to an end. Companies are learning every day, everything from measures to protect their employees and contractors to providing aid for communities and other Brazilians. In addition, the social outreach by these companies is proving essential to alleviate the suffering of Brazilians and make Brazil a more supportive and empathetic country by the time this battle is over,” said Paulo Hartung, presisent of IBA, the Brazilian tree industry association.
Adding up all these efforts, both direct actions and partnerships, the forestry sector is responsible for the donation of at least:
- 6,800 respirators
- over 14 million surgical masks
- 15,000 liters of alcohol hand sanitizer
- 82,000 liters of 70% alcohol
- 32,000 liters of bleach
- 31,500 surgical gowns
- 50,000 pairs of gloves
- Investment and direct donation of materials for infrastructure or operations at 15 hospitals, three of which are field hospitals.
Products from this industry are essential in our everyday lives, and are serving society in the fight against Covid-19. These include 606,000 cardboard boxes donated to ship alcohol hand sanitizer and other items, and more than a million paper cups that went to institutions and the public health system.
“The planted tree sector has been working to meet urgent and essential needs. These companies have brought essential items to thousands of Brazilians as we all fight against the coronavirus. In the meantime, they have done everything possible to work safely and keep manufacturing, maintaining the income of hundreds of families and avoiding shortages of essential products,” said Hartung.
In order to better direct their donations, the companies worked together with the government and established partnerships with ministries, state and municipal governments, and other institutions such as industrial federations and philanthropic entities.