Community Engagement Policy
Since 2006, the Company has been committed to a clear programme of cooperation, dialogue and support for the local community, a philosophy which is all the more important given that Navigator is in a phase of growth for new business areas.
The year 2018 marked the 12th anniversary of its Community Engagement Policy, a fundamental pillar of its Corporate Social Responsibility.
Believing that social responsibility is increasingly an important part of the Group's corporate culture and a priority for its development, in 2018 Navigator undertook a series of new social and educational initiatives in the regions where its industrial sites and forestry areas are located, supporting projects and organizations or sharing knowledge, particularly with regard to good forestry practices and environmental principles.
These initiatives are based on The Navigator Company's current strategy of bringing the Company closer to its different stakeholders, in the form of a series of projects in realms ranging from school children to forestry producers and the arts community
Also in the context of raising awareness of the reality of Navigator in all its aspects, the Company received 2,902 visitors, 81% more than in 2017, as part of the Navigator Tour programme - a programme which regularly opens the doors of its industrial sites to both internal and external audiences.
In a world where knowledge and information are propagated at the speed of the internet, Navigator has the knowledge to share, all the more so because the lack of communication is the most direct shortcut to preconceived ideas and the most fertile ground for mistakes. And there is no communication without strong, trusting ties.
GIVE THE FOREST A HAND, A PROJECT OF CONTINUITY
The Navigator Company is currently running the Give the Forest a Hand project, for a target audience aged between four and ten years old, because it believes that this is the audience where it can make a difference, creating a foundation for greater environmental awareness. By raising children’s awareness of the need to protect and enhance Portuguese forests and fostering the values of environmental awareness, sustainability, friendship, respect, solidarity and optimism, it is disseminating values in which it believes, seeking to create roots for education and awareness of sustainability.
In 2018, Give the Forest a Hand promoted far-reaching actions that resulted in multiple street activities, roadshows in schools with theatre shows and paper puppets, as well as events in commercial spaces, the Zoo and the Monsanto park in Lisbon.
In terms of communication, this project launched a monthly magazine, with a circulation of 11,000 copies distributed to Club members' homes, a blog and also Facebook and Instagram pages.
In 2018, more than 9,000 primary school children have benefited from this initiative.
A project born in 2018 that communicates The Navigator Company's sustainability values to an adult urban audience through a message of harmony with nature encompasses the objectives of the #MYPLANET objectives.
We wanted to slow down and bring the pace and reality of the countryside to the city, as well as to shape some less healthy habits.
Among the proposed activities are reading moments, yoga classes, art workshops and plant adoption. At the end of the year, #MYPLANET premiered a weekly television programme under its own name on a national channel, which tells stories of those who embraced a more balanced life. It also launched #MYPLANET magazine's first issue, published quarterly and free of charge, with articles on the importance of a more balanced life, and the website #MYPLANET (www.myplanet.pt).
In 2018, this programme had approximately 6,000 participants.
COMMUNITIES PROJECT – NAVIGATOR TOUR
The Navigator Company is highly focused on its relationship with stakeholders, interacting whenever it can on an institutional level, both nationally and locally, in particular with the local communities around the Company’s four industrial sites (Aveiro, Figueira da Foz, Vila Velha de Ródão and Setúbal).
Institutional relations are an area in which the Company has made a growing investment, taking on a commitment to provide benefits for society, in view of the impacts that industry has on local communities. The Communities project is an example of these efforts, organizing meetings with various important groups of the Company’s stakeholders.
The project entails a range of initiatives which were pursued with vigour in 2018:
- Navigator Tour – Regular open door programme, enabling internal and external groups to visit the Company’s plants. This programme has been adjusted to cater for group visits, and one the high points of 2018 was the visit by 250 Employees from Remax to the Figueira da Foz mill.
- Funding and Donations – Programme to build community ties, locally and nationally, as well as boosting Navigator’s reputation, especially in relation to sustainability issues. The aim is to support initiatives that address issues relevant to the Company’s business strategy, such as the circular economy, the bioeconomy, CO2 offsetting and the use of paper as an alternative to plastic.
- Environmental Monitoring Boards – These have been set up to build closer relations with local stakeholders, in order to share the environmental practices at Navigator’s industrial complexes and to listen to suggestions about how to improve.
In its daily operations, Navigator cares for woodlands and forest producers as the parties responsible for applying good management practices. The Outgrowers project has been created to provide more direct communication
with forest landowners and to help them manage and care for their holdings more sustainably.
An example of this is the forest certification campaign, with the slogan “More value for your Forest”. The aim is to communicate the advantages of certification, which is fundamental for a healthy return in the international market for wood-based products.
The campaign involved setting up a free telephone helpline and a website (www.produtoresflorestais.pt). In addition, the Company has organised information sessions with forestry associations and attended several events around the country – ExpoMortágua, the Dão Wine Fair (Nelas), AgroGlobal (Santarém), Harvest Fair (Arouca) and Galiforest (a major forestry trade fair in Galicia).
CONTINUE THE CRASSOSADO PROJECT
This project was created as part of the cooperation between Navigator and ICNF and set out to discover the threats and opportunities for farming oysters in the Sado Estuary.
The aim is to help conciliate profitable oyster farming with sustainable management of this important natural resource.
Special attention was paid in 2018 to building closer relations with oyster farmers, in order to help expand their operations.
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME IN MOZAMBIQUE
The Social Development Programme is the main pillar of the Company’s socio-economic engagement in its projects in the Mozambican provinces of Manica and Zambézia.
The programme has reached more than 30,000 people in 115 communities and includes a range of initiatives, such as training in farming, large-scale vaccination of hens, promotion of animal protein, through an initiative to distribute goats, drilling and repairing boreholes and construction of barns.
This programme is monitored by means of an annual survey of more than 1,200 families in the project implementation area, by an independent external consultant. The first findings point to a reduction in the poverty rate, measured using SWIFT (a World Bank methodology that measures the percentage of households living below the poverty threshold) and a rise in the SWIFT Income Estimate, between the 2015 and 2017 farming seasons.
ACCESS TO DRINKING WATER
As part of the Social Development Programme, the Company has established a plan for drilling and repairing boreholes as one of its priorities.
Since the end of 2017, a total of 20 boreholes have been drilled and a further 20 existing boreholes have been repaired in Zambézia province. With a view to their sustainable use, the Company has helped to set up “water management committees”, which will be responsible for ensuring responsible management use, maintenance, cleaning and sanitation, and has had independent laboratory analyses conducted to confirm the water is fit for human consumption.
Portucel Moçambique is committed to adopting participative methodologies in community relations, in carrying out forest projects, in order to develop a sustained relationship with communities in project areas and thereby preserve areas of significant socio-economic and cultural importance in the woodlands in question.
The Company has implemented and fine-tuned a participative approval, which involves holding several meetings, at different stages, in order to identify Areas of High Conservation Value – areas of environmental and/ or ecological value, areas more susceptible to certain erosion risks, activities and areas of economic value to communities and areas of sociocultural value. In keeping with this methodology, 36 community meetings were held in 2018.
Participative methodologies benefit from learning in the field, open the way for stakeholders to confirm that community land uses are safeguarded, help us to learn more about the area before planting and make the project more balanced on the pillars supporting sustainable management.