The companies' sustainability strategy must go beyond the work environment, seeking to expand the message to society, thus contributing to a systemic change in people's thinking and actions. Hydro Paragominas has done this through the “Sustainability Ambassadors” project, where it motivates workers to carry out good practices related to the topic. In 2022, more than 2,000 people were reached by the project's actions within the Environmental Education Program.
Representing the new air that the beginning of a year always brings, the last action carried out by the initiative in 2022 was the planting of seedlings in the mine's reforestation areas, taking messages about the company's initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint and the plantings contribute to reinforce Hydro's 1:1 rehabilitation target. That is, for each mined hectare, this same hectare is reforested, within two years after mining. In addition, the company is focused on decarbonization, with the strategy of fulfilling the global commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.
Senior engineer Roberto Lopes says it was a very emotional moment for him: “When I joined the company, in 2019, we were working exactly in this region, where vegetation removal was first carried out. Now, as an ambassador, I am planting a seedling to return it to its original state. It is interesting because it stimulates in us this concern with recovery, I reflected a lot on our role in this cycle”.
Reflection and multiplication of this learning are part of the objectives of the “Sustainability Ambassadors”, which reached more than 3,800 people in 2022, including public and private schools in the municipality of Paragominas. “Through environmental education, we seek to go beyond meeting legal requirements. The objective is to encourage protagonism through example, by doing, influencing, multiplying, disseminating what is done at Hydro and cultivating pride in working for an environmentally responsible company in its operations”, says Dalila Fauaze, environmental analyst at Hydro Paragominas.
Connection and learning
The team's planning involves a variety of commemorative dates such as Environment Week in June, World Water Day, Amazon Day, Arbor Day and more to resonate with these conservation messages. To demonstrate its environmental control programs and create a greater connection with visitors, Hydro Paragominas also has a space for the development of the Environmental Education Program: an ecological trail of 114 meters, which houses orchids, bromeliads, native forest species of great commercial relevance and vulnerable species. When walking along the trail, visitors get to know and see in loco the importance of the main biodiversity monitoring and conservation programs in the region. It is also possible to observe at the end of the trail a model with the methodologies applied in forest recovery. At the support kiosk, visitors receive information about the initiatives and can check the company's historical planting area.
The trail has already received public authorities, educational institutions, environmental departments and journalists, in addition to direct employees and their families and contractors. Also as an important space for environmental education, Hydro Paragominas has an Environmental Reference Center (CRA), which presents an overview of the company's environmental management initiatives, highlights the company's history and maintains illustrative models of operations.
“Paragominas went through many challenges until it was considered one of the Amazonian cities that is a model of sustainable development. It is a source of satisfaction to see how the city has become a green municipality and we know that this commitment to sustainability needs to continue. Having the population back in areas undergoing rehabilitation such as Hydro's ecological trail is giving them the opportunity to witness something very positive generated by mining”, comments Cícero Viana, Senior Manager of Health, Safety and Environment at Hydro Paragominas.