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Carbon balance (CO₂): the difference between anthropogenic emissions and removals of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere in a determined time interval. 

Removals: carbon dioxide removals (CDR). Refers to the process of removing CO₂ from the atmosphere according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)¹.

Being the opposite of emissions, practices or technologies that remove CO₂ are often described as achieving 'negative emissions'. There are two main types of CDR: from improving existing natural processes that remove carbon from the atmosphere (for example, by increasing its uptake by trees, soil, or other 'carbon sinks') or from chemical processes to, for example, capture CO₂ directly from ambient air and store it elsewhere².

Afforestation (planting new trees in areas where there was no forest) and reforestation (replanting trees in areas where there was a forest but was converted) are also considered forms of CDR because they increase the natural "sinks" of CO₂³. 

The IPCC warned in its report on climate change mitigation⁴ that keeping temperature increase within the 1.5°C limit will be impossible without carbon dioxide removals. The removals can offset greenhouse gas emissions from sectors that cannot fully decarbonize their activities or may take a long time. 

Carbon Stock: according to the IPCC, is the amount of carbon held within a pool at a specific time. Oceans, soils, and forests are examples of carbon stocks.

The carbon stock in a reservoir or pool can change as a function of the difference between carbon additions and losses. When losses are higher than additions, the carbon stock becomes lower and thus the reservoir acts as a source of emission to the atmosphere; when losses are lower than additions, the reservoir acts as a sink.

 

Balance (removals and emissions), Removals and Carbon Stocks at Suzano

Suzano's carbon balance is calculated from the difference between Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions and the balance between direct emissions and removals from land use. 

Carbon removals occur when forest biomass grows, for example, when even a single tree is planted in a pasture area or when an already planted area is increased from 500 hectares to 600 hectares. 

Thus, when there is an increase in the volume of biomass in a given Suzano area, its equivalent increment in carbon is considered as "Direct removal due to land use change". On the other hand, when there is a volume reduction of biomass (as in the harvest period), the equivalent loss in carbon is considered a "Direct Emission from Land Use Change". 

Suzano's carbon stock is the balance between all direct emissions and removals from land use in forest areas that occurred in a given year (or an annual "snapshot" of all the carbon stored in its natural reservoirs). 

As a company that carries out responsible forest stewardship, Suzano has eucalyptus cultivation areas where the process of planting, harvesting, and native forest conservation are in the form of a mosaic. Thus, the company maintains a constant carbon stock, with the conservation areas stabilized or growing and removing carbon from the atmosphere, and the eucalyptus cultivation areas, mostly with growing seedlings. The CO₂ removal value linked to the environmental restoration process and the High Conservation Value areas is included in the removal values of native vegetation areas. 

Regarding the planted forest areas, since Suzano has a cultivation cycle of approximately 7 years, only one-seventh (1/7) of planted forest areas are under constant harvest. The other six-sevenths (6/7) of planted forest areas are, at different intensities, storing carbon over time and guaranteeing the permanence of this stock in the field.

The following information is available in the tables below:

  • Carbon balance (removals and emissions);
  • Carbon Removals;
  • Carbon Stock.

Calculation Methodology

The method currently used to estimate carbon removal in eucalyptus plantations is in line with international methodologies, based on IPCC guidelines. The calculation of carbon removals was performed according to the "stock change method" according to the IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories; Volume 4: Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use; Chapter 4: Forest Lands.5

Primary data from the Forest Inventory are used to calculate wood volume, and standard IPCC factors to convert wood volume into carbon stocks.

For the calculation of removals, Cadastral Inventory data from plantations as of 2 years of age are used. Thus, the 2022 carbon removals reflect the biomass increment from plantations that occurred until 2020 and the biomass loss from harvests that occurred in 2022. Plantings that took place in 2021 and 2022 will have their removals accounted for in the Inventory of Carbon Stock and Removals only as of 2023 and 2024, respectively.

Thus, the GHG removals by planted forests are calculated using the "stock change" method by the IPCC Guidelines. To calculate the carbon stock (which increases with the growth of the vegetation and reduces when harvesting occurs), Suzano uses data from its forestry registration base that includes information on areas, in hectares, separated by age and clone, density, and biomass volume for each one of these ages. Based on this information, the IPCC-recognized conversion factors (C to CO₂), above and below-ground biomass ratio factor, and biomass expansion factors (BEF) are applied, and thus the carbon stocks are calculated.

For areas intended for conservation and restoration, the "gain-loss" method is used to calculate the volume of carbon removals. Methodology also recommended by the IPCC Guidelines. This calculation uses information and data from the company's forest registry combined with carbon stock factors by phytophysionomy and biome, and by successional stage (level of forest maturity).

All these factors come from the most consolidated and recognized bibliographic references in Brazil and from the IPCC itself.

GHG Protocol Land Sector and Removals Guidance

The GHG Protocol is an initiative of the World Resource Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) that establishes standards and guidelines for measuring and managing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from public and private sector operations, value chains, and mitigation actions.

Since 2020, the GHG Protocol has developed Land Sector and Removals Guidance6 to assist companies in accounting and reporting their GHG emissions and removals about land management, land use change, biogenic products, carbon dioxide removal technologies, and related activities in GHG inventories, based on the Corporate Standard and Standard for Scope 3

Based on its vast experience in forest inventories and inventories of emissions and carbon removals, Suzano has collaborated in the development of this new Guidance as a member of the Advisory Committee and through sectoral technical discussions and participation in public consultations promoted by the GHG Protocol.

In 2022, Suzano also agreed to participate in the pilot test phase of the Guidance and evaluate its preliminary guidance and new calculation methods using the company's data. The pilot testing phase is underway and the deadline for feedback is February 28, 2023. 

After the publication of the final version of the Guidance, Suzano will evaluate its internal procedures for the inventory of emissions and carbon removals against the new GHG Protocol guidelines and will update them if necessary. Suzano is also awaiting the Guidance's final version as it will be used by the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) to update its own Forest, Land Use and Agriculture (FLAG) guidance7 so that companies in land-use intensive sectors can set science-based targets that include emissions reductions and carbon removals. The SBTi's FLAG guide, when updated from the final version of the GHG Protocol Land Sector and Removals Guidance, will be used by Suzano to validate its own with the SBTi.

Notes

1. Reference is available here

2. Reference is available here.

3. Reference is available here.

4. Reference is available here.

5. Reference is available here.

6. Reference is available here

7. Reference is available here

Carbon balance (removals and emissions) ¹

202020212022
tCO₂e tCO₂e tCO₂e

Emissions Scope 1

2.155.102,69

2.328.335,53

2.378.304,09

Emissions Scope 2

59.531,90

137.822,64

49.216,75

Emissions Scope 3

1.568.893,44

1.842.093,64

1.737.960,57

Total de emissões

3.783.528,03

4.308.251,81

4.165.481,41

Balance between emissions and removals from land use

-18.983.839,64

-13.204.509,36

-2.080.751,67

Total balance (emissions - removals)

-15.200.311,61

-8.896.257,55

2.084.729,74

  1. The indicator accounts for Suzano's emissions. For further details, see specific indicators for each type of emission: Direct greenhouse gas emissions (scope 1); Indirect greenhouse gas emissions (scope 2); Other indirect greenhouse gas emissions (scope 3); Carbon removals.

Carbon Removals

202020212022
Suzano S.A. - planted forestsSuzano S.A. - native vegetationSuzano - totalSuzano S.A. - planted forestsSuzano S.A. - native vegetationSuzano - totalSuzano S.A. - planted forestsSuzano S.A. - native vegetationSuzano S.A. - total
tCO₂e tCO₂e tCO₂e tCO₂e tCO₂e tCO₂e

Biogenic emissions by land use

33.063.426,44

n/a

33.063.426,44

35.504.588,97

n/a

35.504.588,97

44.887.590,43

n/a

44.887.590,43

Biogenic removals by land use

-48.231.510,96

-3.815.755,12

-52.047.266,08

-44.824.539,53

-3.884.558,80

-48.709.098,33

-43.067.325,76

-3.901.016,34

-46.968.342,10

Balance between emissions and removals of land use

-15.205.266,10

-3.815.755,12

-18.983.839,64

-9.319.950,57

-3.884.558,80

-13.204.509,37

1.820.264,67

-3.901.016,34

-2.080.751,67

Carbon stocks¹

202020212022
tCO₂e tCO₂e tCO₂e

Suzano S.A. - planted forests

164.799.325,93

170.785.672,50

160.351.112,79

Suzano S.A. - native vegetation

150.992.295,12

165.973.008,90

158.149.838,43

Suzano S.A. - total

315.791.621,05

336.758.681,41

318.502.973,22

  1.  The indicator accounts for Suzano's emissions. For further details, see specific indicators for each type of emission: Direct greenhouse gas emissions (scope 1); Indirect greenhouse gas emissions (scope 2); Other indirect greenhouse gas emissions (scope 3); Carbon removals.

Informações complementares

Carbon Balance

The carbon balance considers the emissions and removals in Suzano's operations. The details of greenhouse gas emissions can be checked in the indicator “Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs) and methodology”. In 2022, despite the reduction in emissions, there was a drop in the absolute value of removals, which made the balance positive.

 

Carbon Removals

In 2022, we had total (anthropogenic biogenic) removals of -46 million tons of CO₂ from the atmosphere and total (anthropogenic biogenic) emissions of +44 million tons of CO₂, resulting in a balance of -2 million tons of CO₂ removed from the atmosphere in 2022.

In 2022 Suzano carried out a significant planting that will have its removals reported in the 2024 inventory, 2 years after planting, according to the methodology premise. The balance sheet considers plantations (with age equal to or greater than 2 years), forest growth, harvesting, and management of the forest base for the current year. Thus, the 2022 variation is in line with the strategy of harvesting and supplying wood to meet production demand, in parallel with a movement to expand the forest base that will provide the company with greater resilience and supply of wood in the long term, in line with its business strategy.

Carbon Stock

Regarding carbon stock, in 2022, we had a decrease in the carbon stock of the eligible areas in the calculation methodology. Influenced, as mentioned above, in line with the strategy of harvesting and supplying wood to meet production demand, in parallel with a movement to expand the forest base.

Native vegetation, on the other hand, had an increase in area in 2022 and a lower carbon stock about the previous year. However, this reduction was due to a refinement/improvement in the classification process of native areas with a more granular update of phytophysiognomies in subclasses according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE in Portuguese acronym). Thus, the calculation of carbon stocks in these areas was also updated, and some areas showed lower stocks according to their new subclasses.

For 2022, both emissions and removals were verified by a third party.

Suzano will continue with its forestry-based expansions in line with its positioning strategy for the pulp and bioproducts market, as well as its conservation and ecological restoration program, which will result in increased removals over the years, contributing to the path to achieving its commitment to renew life.