Our joint venture company Montes del Plata runs a pulp mill in Uruguay, where we aim to take full advantage from the positive impacts and to mitigate any negative impacts of the business for the local communities.
Montes del Plata, a joint venture between Stora Enso and the Chilean company Arauco, runs a state-of-the-art 1.3 million tonne eucalyptus pulp mill at Punta Pereira in southwestern Uruguay, together with associated eucalyptus plantations. The mill started production on 6 June 2014.
Major stakeholder concerns include the potential impacts of the mill’s operations, which were first assessed in detail in an extensive economic and social impact analysis conducted back in 2010. Montes del Plata's sustainability approach and programmes are designed to leverage full advantage from the positive impacts of the business, and to mitigate any negative impacts. The company is working closely with the local community, authorities and various organisations.
Promoting socio-economic development in local communities
Productive Integration Program (PIP)
Montes del Plata is one of the biggest landowners in Uruguay. The company’s Production Integration Programme (PIP) aims to make more efficient use of land and share benefits with local farmers. The programme has two main elements: local farmers will become more involved in tree planting to complement their main activity, while they will also be able to use areas owned by the company but not designated for tree-planting. At the end of 2014 a total of 160 000 hectares of land was rented out to local farmers and to honey, dairy and beef production cooperatives.
Workforce development and equal opportunities
In forestry operations Montes del Plata aims to promote the hiring, education and training of the workforce recruited from local residents. By the end of 2014 some 51% of residents in Conchillas, the closest community to the mill site, were directly employed by Montes del Plata or its contractors’ operations.
The Opportunities for Everyone programme at Montes del Plata’s tree seedling nursery aims to increase the inclusion of handicapped persons and promote equal opportunities by helping to build up the personal skills of disabled people.
Vocational orientation programmes with a longer-term perspective have also been set up to encourage young people from neighbouring municipalities. Montes del Plata is also working in a Young Entrepreneur programme set up by the NGO DESEM Junior Achievement for young people in Conchillas.
The local Community Forum community development programme is based on a permanent consultation process launched during the construction of the mill. During 2014 Montes del Plata started working with the community of Puerto Conchillas on initiatives to improve living conditions. Local residents have initiated several significant projects including a street-naming scheme, the restoration of a local beach, a new school for Puerto Conchillas, new street lightning, and improvements to a local park.
Addressing health and safety
Montes del Plata is focusing particularly on road safety and community health. The Community Health Programme aims to enhance the capacity of local public health service providers through training, awareness campaigns and acquisitions of equipment, funded by the Montes del Plata.
The Road Safety Programme aims to contribute to the sustainable and safe supply of raw materials and products while minimising the negative impacts of transportation. As part of the programme Montes del Plata’s Social Sustainability team organises activities designed to increase local communities’ awareness of issues related to the transportation of wood by road. In 2014 these activities included the identification of hot spots along transport routes, training provided for truck drivers and road safety education sessions held at local schools for both adults and children.
Montes del Plata’s M¨Bopicuá Biopark (LINK?) is a centre for the conservation and breeding of native fauna that also has a regionally renowned visitor centre visited each year by hundreds of primary school, high school and university students.