Sustainability / Published September 8, 2022

ARAUCO takes on the challenge of becoming a zero-waste company by 2030

The world’s first carbon-neutral forestry company has defined a clear path towards circular economy. With the help of its Bioforest research center and in collaboration with the academia, the subsidiary has set itself the goal of stop generating waste in less than a decade. This will be achieved through actions such as the valorization or recovery of waste for reuse or recycling.

The main materials that ARAUCO currently works with in the pulp area are bark, sand, ash and other impurities, which last year reached 55.6% of valorization. Likewise, in the lumber area, it reached 34%, a figure that the company expects to increase to 44% in 2022.

Marianne Hermanns, Assistant Manager of Environmental Compliance and Auditing of ARAUCO, explains that the challenge is being addressed in a systemic manner and by a multidisciplinary team, which has even managed to generate new products such as layers of seals or nutrients needed for the growth of trees.

One of the most developed initiatives is the implementation of Waste Recovery Centers (WRC). A good example is the Licancel pulp mill, where an innovative irrigation initiative using treated effluents is also being developed. “This project opens up an enormous possibility to make a sustainable use of the limited water resources available in the area to be reused for irrigation and, thus, give greater productivity to the forestry and/or agricultural soils of the area,” says Hermanns.