Preservation of biodiversity is on BRK's agenda

14% of the company’s structures are in environmental preservation areas, which increases the company’s commitment to preserving the environment

Brazil among the 17 countries with the greatest biodiversity in the world. The extensive territorial area, the multiplicity of biomes, in addition to climatic and geological conditions favorable to the diversification of species of fauna and flora, form a rare combination on the planet.

Preserving this natural wealth, with actions to avoid the extinction of species, is essential to guarantee ecosystem balance and the availability of essential natural resources for society – including water, which is at the base of BRK's business model.

One of the main initiatives that the so-called mega-diverse countries must adopt is the consolidation of boundaries (topographic demarcation and perimeter signage) of conservation units in the continental and marine areas. In Brazil, approximately 17% of the national territory is classified as a protected area, among federal, state and private units. There are almost 150 million fully or partially protected hectares.

In its operations, BRK seeks to contribute to the preservation of this biodiversity through the efficient management of its assets. The company has approximately 14% of its infrastructure located in Environmental Preservation Areas (APPs). There are almost 420 resources, including reservoirs and catchment areas, pumping and treatment stations, operated in conjunction with the protection of native species from different Brazilian biomes.

Of the six existing biomes in Brazil, BRK has business units in five of them. From North to South of the country, the company coexists with the diversity of animals and plants that characterize the largest country in South America.

Commitment to biodiversity

The company, through its CEO, Teresa Vernaglia, is committed to the nine goals of the Brazilian Business Biodiversity Commitment, an initiative promoted by the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development (CEBDS). The first objective of this pact is to include the “biodiversity” theme in the companies’ business strategy (access the commitment website here)

BRK is also a signatory to the Call to Action initiative, a commitment that aims to bring together companies from all over the world around attitudes aimed at reversing biodiversity-related losses by 2030, through economic and financial transformations. The initiative is organized by Business for Nature, a coalition focused on business integration and environmental preservation – in Brazil, the Call to Action is headed by CEBDS, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), WWF and the International Chamber of Commerce in Brazil (ICC Brasil).

In 2019, the company sponsored a virtual reality experience at Green Nation, a traveling event for sustainability education. In order to provide visitors with interactive and sensory experiences, the Nave BRK project addressed the importance of preserving biodiversity using virtual reality technologies.

To expand knowledge about environmental education, the company has the Portas Abertas Program, aimed at educational institutions, communities and other representatives of society. Participants can closely follow the stages of the water treatment processes on visits to the units. BRK employees also organize educational lectures on the need for changes in human behavior in relation to the environment and the correct disposal of effluents, for the preservation of terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity.

Recovery of degraded areas

Among the activities developed by BRK with a focus on preserving biodiversity are the planting of tree species from Brazil in environmental preservation areas. These actions, demanded by environmental licensing processes, contribute to increasing water availability.

BRK has a partnership with the Pacotuba National Forest (Flona) in the Sementes de Pacotuba Program, a supply bank of forest seeds of native species, which aims to recover degraded areas and supply recharge areas for aquifers in the Itapemirim River Basin.

In 2020, the company's business units carried out several maintenance activities on plantations from previous years, in addition to new compensatory plantations:

• Goiás | Maintenance of existing plantations.

• Limeira | 3,104 seedlings planted as part of the Terms of Commitment for Environmental Recovery (TCRA) in different areas of the municipality of Limeira, comprising an area of 6.9 hectares. Maintenance of 60 thousand seedlings in the Permanent Preservation Area (APP) of Represa Paraíso in an area of 324 hectares, which are part of the Conduct Adjustment Agreement (TAC) signed in 2007. Moreover, another 9,066 seedlings from previous plantations and those carried out in 2020 were maintained.

• Porto Ferreira | Maintenance of existing plantations and completion of three TCRAs that total 1,921 seedlings in an area of 1.15 hectares.

• Mairinque | Maintenance of 1,687 seedlings in an area of 1.42 hectares within the scope of a TCRA. Another 80 seedlings were planted in an area of 530 square meters as TCRA.

• Rio Claro | About 100 seedlings planted in order to expand the vegetation cover in the limits of the ETEs' areas. Maintenance and replacement of 8,853 seedlings in areas of compensatory plantations from TCRA, totaling 5.31 hectares.

• Grajaú | Monthly maintenance of UVR Grajaú and URS Paineiras on the plantations completed in 2019 and replanting of 480 seedlings in these areas.

• Uruguaiana | Planting of 90 seedlings for Mandatory Forest Replacement at the ETE, in an area of 619 square meters.

• Sumaré | Maintenance of existing TCRAs in 2,880 square meters, corresponding to 480 seedlings.

• Itapemirim Waterfall | Planting of around 500 seedlings within the scope of a program developed in an area of 2 hectares of the National Forest of Pacotuba.

See too