Creating environmental value and mitigating environmental risks associated with our operations
This pillar focuses on how FFC is committed to mitigating any negative impact on the region’s environment due to operations and how we can have a positive impact through stewardship, education, rehabilitation, and climate change mitigation.
Climate Change Mitigation
Carbon Sequestration, and Clean Energy
FFC is deeply committed to climate action and is working with local and international partners to integrate the highest standards and best practices to ensure it is a meaningful part of the solution.
Land Stewardship and Conservation
Sustainable Forest Management, Sustainable Water Resource Use, and Improving Soil Quality
According to the World Bank, land in this area is primarily degraded grasslands, exacerbated by the local practice of uncontrolled burning of thousands of hectares several times per year.
The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) FFC undertook revealed an opportunity to play a meaningful role in protecting and preserving the biodiversity in the region. The Bita River catchment in the region has recently been proclaimed a RAMSAR Site. FFC will cooperate with the management authorities of this important catchment area regarding all operational activities it undertakes in the area. All known HCVA and other conservation areas are now protected by FFC. Our operations are limited to plantation forestry and no indigenous forest tree harvesting takes place; thus, no protected species are exploited in our operations.
Indigenous species such as birds, antelope and predators are moving into the plantation forest as it provides a suitable refuge for these species. Numbers of each species are increasing including antelope, puma, birdlife and other fauna in our plantation areas due to the elimination of hunting.
Environmental Education and Incentive Programs
Prevention of Uncontrolled Burning Practices Incentive Program, and Water Quality Education
FFC developed an uncontrolled burning education and incentive program for the community. This program encourages local communities to engage us on their burning activities, so that we can better prevent the spread of uncontrolled fires.
STRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE
FFC has developed or is in the process of developing best practices in the following operational areas:
- An environmental and wetland policy. This policy serves as the foundation for all our management practices. It proactively identifies sensitive areas prior to land purchase and protects land parcels from operational impacts.
- A plantation management plan. This plan is the outline for the business and deals with all associated operational, social and environmental aspects.
- An IFC nutrient management plan and pesticide management plan. The intent of this plan is to limit the application and type of chemicals used near waterways and surrounding soils. All chemicals used are in strict FSC compliance. The chemicals are all sourced from world class reputable companies.
- A hazardous chemical management plan, to be compliant with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Recommended Classification of Pesticides and IFC’s Groups 3 and 4 restricted Biological agents. This plan will integrate biological pest and weed control to limit the use of chemicals.
- A sustainable agrochemical use policy FFC has committed to recycling of all chemical packaging to prevent contamination, and to ensure minimal waste. More recently we have switched to bulk loads of our necessary chemicals to reduce the amount of packaging overall.
Commensurate with the 2017 investment by FinnFund, FFC developed an Environmental and Social Action Plan and instituted a stewardship process with detailed annual reporting against seven key development areas: Compliance with Laws and Regulations; Environmental and Social Competencies and Management; Communication and Training; Human Rights (including equal opportunity employment, gender diversity, and labour rights); Health and Safety; Environment and Climate Change; Anti-Corruption; and Community Development and Society Aspects.
In addition to the ESAP from 2017, an Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) is being developed in line with the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Principles and Standards, with the help of a local Colombian consultancy. FFC is also in the process of finalizing an IFC Compliant Water Management Plan.