Industrial growth doesn’t have to come at the xpense of the environment. Celulose Riogran- dense’s new wood pulp facility in the city of
Guaiba, Brazil, is a case in point.
The US$2.4 billion project launched in December
2012 and nearly quadrupled the production capacity of the facility while dramatically decreasing its
impact on the environment. To make the factory
as self-sufficient as possible, Celulose Riograndense
designed a system that would generate 80 percent
of its own energy through its production processes.
The project also reduced the factory’s water consumption by 60 percent, cut emissions and bolstered its recycling efforts.
“We recycle 99.8 percent of the factory’s solid
industrial waste,” says Alejandro Millan, PMP, proj-
ect control specialist, Celulose Riograndense. “We
have no waste.”
The project team reached these goals by pri-
oritizing social and environmental responsibility. In
addition to preserving natural resources, this meant
respecting the factory’s neighbors, offering new
economic opportunities for locals and meeting high
health and safety standards.
The project spent BRL50 million on local roads
and infrastructure, created more than 9,400 jobs
and procured as many goods locally as possible,
injecting BRL2.3 billion into the local economy. But
Celulose Riograndense needed to go even further to
develop the talent required to successfully deliver
its new facility, which produces the raw materials
used to make paper products, like notebooks and
newspapers. So the organization offered more than
230,000 hours of training courses to allow local
residents to develop specialized skills.
“That’s a legacy for the whole state and the whole
country,” Mr. Millan says. “We qualified people
who are now available to work in projects around
The project team also prioritized workforce
safety. The company collaborated closely with the
workers’ union to identify and address any safety
concerns before they caused problems. As a result,
the project closed with the lowest accident rate for
industrial projects in Brazil’s paper and pulp sector.
“Safety comes first,” says Mr. Millan. “That’s the
The project ended without a single workers’
strike, making it the only project of its type in Brazil
to avoid a labor dispute. That helped the project
close on time.
Mr. Millan attributes the project’s success, in
part, to regular alignment meetings that allowed
stakeholders—including customers, main contrac-
tors and subcontractors, shareholders and non-
governmental organizations—to identify potential
issues, assess risks and solve problems in a collab-
“That interaction creates a climate of transpar-
ency,” he says. “So every time you have a problem,
you can discuss the problem and solve the problem.
We did this systematically.”
Guaiba 2 Pulp Mill
Project: Guaiba 2
Budget: US$2.4 billion
Location: Guaiba, Brazil
Key player: Celulose
Highlight: The Guaiba
2 project set a new
benchmark for lost-time accidents on pulp
and paper industry
projects in Brazil.
Celulose Riograndense’s wood pulp
facility in Guaiba, Brazil