Franciele Albino, Production Assistant, Limeira Unit (São Paulo state). Photo: Márcio Schimming


GRI 103-1, 103-2, 103-3

People play a major role in Suzano’s achievements. In 2020, they exercised their collaborative spirit to overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The following pages will show that flexibility and commitment were the key words of the year.


When we launched our Cultural Drivers, it was impossible to imagine that this set of guidelines could be even more relevant in 2020. During times of global uncertainty, remote work, and adapting operations and routines for those who needed to stay in the units, Suzano’s organizational culture proved to be powerful and capable of expanding the dialogue, creating alternatives, and moving forward in the midst of an unprecedented and volatile scenario for everyone. In this context, we understand that flexibility is the key word. 

Our people are an essential part of what Suzano is today. Employees are a priority relationship audience with whom we share the value created by our businesses. For this reason, and despite the extra challenges that the pandemic has imposed on everyone, we enforced the collaborative spirit that unites the company, facing the moment with resilience and continuing all projects that aim to develop employees in our organization.

Beatriz David, Facilities Assistant, Limeira Unit (São Paulo state). Photo: Márcio Schimming


Total number of
employees and
third parties
2019 2020
Men Women Total Men Women Total
Employees1 11,133 1,907 13,040 12,628 2,282 14,910
Third parties 21,016 1,641 22,657 20,152 1,356 21,508
Total 32,149 3,548 35,697 32,780 3,638 36,418

1. Number includes Suzano and Instituto Ecofuturo employees.

Total number of employees
by region in 20201

North 981
Northeast 4,282
Midwest 2,061
Southeast 7,299
South 76
Abroad 211
Total 14,910

1. Number includes Suzano and Instituto Ecofuturo employees.

COVID-19 Task Force

Faced with the new and unexpected, we decided it was time to use all our ability to work together with customers, partners, and governments to make a difference in the regions where we operate. Thus, we organized two different work fronts to face the challenges of COVID-19. One of them is much more focused on practical actions on a daily basis (short term), and the other focuses on analyzing future possibilities (long term). The two complementary groups brought together representatives and several areas of the company with the purpose of finding solutions related to the impacts of the pandemic.

Short-term vision

From the start, this group discussed and structured initiatives focused on disease prevention protocols. They determined the suspension of all non-essential operational activities of company employees and contractors and the cancellation of trips, events, visits to the units, and face-to-face meetings.

Those who did not need to be in person at the units for the continuity of operations started to work from home, following the social distancing guidelines and, later, they could choose to return to the workplace, according to the schedule established by the governmental agencies.

In the case of employees whose presence is essential in operations, since our products are essential for people’s lives and for fighting the pandemic itself, the company adopted the priority action of measuring body temperature before allowing access to our operations; the distribution of individual meals and greater spacing between tables and chairs in cafeterias; the adoption of greater distance between chairs in operational control rooms, with visual signage; and the adoption of quarantine if an employee or contractor is suspected of being infected; among other actions, which continue today.

This front also reevaluated, among other issues, the use of the buildings, identifying which floors were redundant and which could be shut down. See below for other important initiatives:

  • close follow-up by the medical team of individuals and their families;
Nathalia Gracielle da Silva Cruz, Production Engineer, working from home, Mucuri (Bahia state). Photo: Márcio Schimming
  • increased sanitation of common areas;
  • application of health self-assessment forms;
  • distribution of masks;
  • provision of virtual psychological support;
  • support channels, webinars on health and quality of life, among other topics;
  • tracking of all positive and potential cases, with protocols and monitoring of quarantine;
  • lending of office chairs for the comfort of employees during remote work;
  • implementation of the Preventive Interaction Mapping (MPI) app to help prevent COVID-19;
  • implementation of “golden rules” to guarantee the quality of life of people who are working from home, such as meeting-free days and respecting lunch and work hours;
  • communication plan and protocols established with third-party service providers.

On the short-term front, we are also working to transform the situation of the communities in our area of influence. In several locations, we carried out a series of actions aimed at reducing the negative impacts of the pandemic on local society. To learn about these initiatives, click here.

Efficient communication

Daily information about the pandemic, in real time whenever possible, was sent to Suzano’s employees throughout the year to keep them up to date on the health and safety measures taken by the company, both internally and in the communities. In a survey carried out at the end of 2020 to measure the quality of communication, 98% of employees said they felt well informed about the issues related to COVID-19.

Nedes Alves de Freitas, Panel Operator - Drying, Limeira Unit (São Paulo state). Photo: Márcio Schimming

Long-term vision

This front had a group formed by professionals from different areas to discuss the cultural and behavioral changes caused by the pandemic and which will have effects over time. What are these changes and what impacts do they bring to Suzano’s way of being? To what extent will work routines be modified in the long run? How will people relate to others? What is the result of this in an extensive and complex production chain like the pulp and paper industry? These and other issues, in addition to being fundamental in the development of future scenarios, started to determine the advances experienced in people management, which were already maturing since the year before, with the launch of the HRX Program, which puts employees on center stage as agents of change.


GRI 102-16

Purpose. A strong and meaningful word. Having a purpose is knowing what moves and inspires us, what drives us and gives us courage to achieve the unimaginable. Knowing our purpose is knowing our role in the world. Suzano understands that the company’s purpose guides its operations and legacy and that an authentic purpose is not created or invented, but rather revealed, because it is an inherent part of a person or organization.

The work to reveal the company’s purpose began in 2019, and we heard from approximately 3,500 people, including employees and external audiences, through surveys, interviews, and workshops. All this resulted in reaching an authentic, true purpose that was presented to employees in December 2020 at an online gathering that also celebrated the achievements of this challenging year.

Inspired by trees, Suzano learned that life is always renewed. Trees are part of the solution to society’s challenges, such as climate change, scarcity of natural resources, loss of biodiversity, and increases in social inequality.

Therefore, the company understands that it has a duty to strengthen this movement of regeneration, oxygenation, and renewal of the world, living the everyday purpose “Renewing life inspired by trees”, the reason of being that connects the company to society and the planet.

Along with the purpose, Suzano launched its new corporate tagline, “Suzano: we plant the future”, which marks the commitment to regeneration that the company wishes to expand, influencing and contributing to building a better and more sustainable world.

Seedling Planting, Jacareí Region (São Paulo state). Photo: Márcio Schimming


The dictionary defines the word essence as the most fundamental characteristic of a being or thing. For our company, from the revelation of its purpose, it was also possible to unveil the Suzano Essence, using the Golden Circle methodology, by Simon Sinek, which connects “why,” “how,” and “what.”


In 2019, when launching the HRX Program, Suzano encouraged the exchange of ideas for the joint creation of an exceptional employee journey in the organization. The project involved 250 company professionals, from different locations, positions, and areas, and in 2020, this work resulted in a new way of operating, a new structure, and some new People and Management products (described below). The area also underwent digital transformation and incorporated into its daily routine the principles of agility (delivering projects in record time with the expected quality), experience centered on the employee (always listening to internal clients to search for solutions that make sense to them), being data-driven (seeking information and indicators for decision making), and change management and skills for the future (developing skills that allow the areas to deliver projects that will contribute to Suzano in the future).

New structure

To face this new moment, we proposed a hybrid model in the structure of the People and Management Department. We maintained service to the various areas of the company through business partners and added a network structure, which integrates professionals with agile and more collaborative methodologies for the development of People and Management processes and programs. The products coming from this new way of working are connected in four stages of the employee’s path within Suzano:

  • onboard and enchant – strategy for the evolution of the employer brand, talent attraction, and onboarding;
  • empower and guide – career, performance, development, culture and learning;
  • care and value – financial and non-financial recognition and reward;
  • debark and leave a mark – departures, Alumni (groups of former employees who identify with Suzano’s purpose and culture) and preparation for continuing a second career or retirement.

Suzano Leader Profile

As part of this movement, we expanded our view on leadership and defined the attributes of the Suzano Leader Profile, which are connected to our Cultural Drivers:

  • inspires – has purpose, mobilizes, engages, is a role model (walk the talk), is humble and authentic, generates trust and is reliable;
  • communicates – shares and positions, guarantees understanding, aligns expectations, is transparent and straightforward, sustains difficult conversations;
  • connects – has a systemic and long-term vision, understands the whole and the parts, knows how to negotiate, promotes collaboration, mobilizes for the best sustainable result of the company;
  • transforms – is curious and agile, innovates, stimulates new ideas, values diversity, deals constructively with mistakes, has the courage to change themselves and to adapt to changes;
  • delivers – sets challenging goals, is passionate about high performance, works together with the team to promote excellence, is meritocratic, recognizes and celebrates everyone’s success;
  • forms people – shows empathy, knows and cares about people, aspires to continuous growth of each individual and the team, forms and develops leaders better than themselves.

360º vision

In 2020, for the first time, Suzano carried out a 360º assessment, which considers, in addition to the direct manager’s vision, the opinions of peers, partners, leaders, and direct reports regarding the employee’s performance (valid for all administrative employees and leaders). The company believes that this is one of the fundamental tools for employees and leaders to build an even more assertive development plan. The first assessment cycle had the participation of 78% of the company’s professionals. It should be noted that the 360º vision, the performance forums (that verify the results and potentialities of the employee’s performance), and other people-development forums at Suzano now explore, in their analyses, the six attributes that make up the leader profile and the Cultural Drivers for non-leaders.

Vithor Lucas Dionísio, Production Assistant, and Raphael dos Santos Caffeu, Panel Operator - Wood Preparation, Mucuri Unit (Bahia state).


Suzano believes that a work environment that values diversity and where people feel truly embraced, are treated with respect and ethics, is much more likely to develop the potential of professionals and, therefore, of the company as a whole. It is through the plurality of our team that we can better understand the various demands of the market and society.

This belief has become stronger within the company since the creation of Plural, an organic and voluntary movement that started in 2016 and institutionalized in 2019. The group looks to encourage the internal audience to create and participate in debates on diversity and inclusion, identify opportunities for action, and support senior leadership to keep important issues on these topics on the organization’s radar.

Some of the main issues on the agenda regarding diversity and inclusion are part of the business strategy and are also expressed in the company’s Long-Term Goals, as well as in Short-Term Goals and in the remuneration criteria of our leaders at the supervisory level and above. Suzano has advanced in its journey of diversity and inclusion in recent years, but is aware that there is still a long way to go to reach a satisfactory level in terms of equal opportunities in its work environment and to achieve its goal, which is to ensure a 100% inclusive environment.

Our commitments
Goals for 2021

  • Increase the share of Blacks in leadership positions (supervision and above) by 3 p.p.
  • Increase. the share of women in leadership positions (supervision and above) by 3 p.p.
  • Increase the share of people with disabilities in the organization by 1 p.p.
  • Increase the perception of an inclusive environment for LGBTI+ by 1.4 p.p.

Awareness-raising process

To achieve our goals, we structured, among other initiatives, four awareness-raising areas for our professionals, implemented in 2020.

  • Training on unconscious biases – mandatory course for 100% of the organization. This course teaches how to identify unconscious aspects related to prejudice and discrimination.
  • Training for executives – all senior management and other executives of great influence in the company are prepared to learn how to properly address topics of diversity and inclusion.
  • Affinity groups – leaders and other employees with a high capacity to influence are invited to actively participate in one or more of the company’s five affinity groups, organized in all units, and each group has one or more sponsors who are Executive Board members. The groups are:
  • Women (gender inclusion)
  • LGBTI+ (LGBTI+ inclusion)
  • Blacks (ethnic-racial inclusion)
  • Generations (inclusion and synergy between different age groups)
  • PWD (inclusion of people with disabilities).
  • Diversity and inclusion for the People and Management team – since 2020, Suzano has offered training on this topic to People and Management professionals, with the support of a specialized consulting firm.

Percentage of employees by race1

IN 2019

51% BLACK2
(42% “Pardos” and 9% Black)
46% white

IN 2020

54% BLACK2
(42% “Pardos” and 9% Black)
43% white

Percentage of employees by gender1

IN 2019

85% MEN

IN 2020

85% MEN

Percentage of employees

IN 2019

2% LGBT+

IN 2020

2% LGBT+


MEN 1.0
WOMEN 1.15
MEN 0.92
WOMEN 0.96


22% Under 30
66% Between 30 and 50
12% Over 50

1. Numbers for 2019 include Suzano and Instituto Ecofuturo employees. In 2020, Facepa was fully incorporated by Suzano, so that as of this year, its data began to be included in the company’s numbers.
2. Terminology used by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), including Blacks and “Pardos”. In Brazil, “Pardo” is an ethnic and skin color category used by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) in the Brazilian censuses.
3. Calculated by dividing the total number of employees who actually returned from parental leave in the reporting period (or who are expected to return next year, after the reporting cycle) by the total number of employees who took their leave.
4. Calculated by dividing the total number of employees who were still working at the company 12 months after returning from parental leave by the total number of employees who returned from leave.
5. At Suzano, we chose to use the acronym LGBTI+, which includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender intersex, and “+” symbolizing all other sexual orientations, identities and gender expressions.

Diversity in the hiring processes

Suzano’s selection processes underwent several changes in 2020. In addition to developing new positioning for employer branding to communicate our commitment to diversity and inclusion to the market, we have established partnerships and have the support of consultants specializing in this area to attract a more diverse audience. From there, we built a talent pool for each affinity group and, in order to encourage the hiring of people who are part of these groups, we have raised awareness among the company’s managers on diversity and inclusion.

The Internship Program has also changed: an assessment of positions has been carried out, we have reviewed the selection criteria, such as easing the requirement for English as a second language, and we have expanded the list of colleges considered in our dissemination plan. As a result of these changes, we hired 60% women and 38% Blacks—2% more than in the previous edition of the program. We know that it is possible to reach even higher levels and, therefore, we will continue to invest in the work of attracting an increasingly diverse audience.

The Young Engineers Program was also reformulated and was named Trainee Suzano. We expanded our opportunities to attract more diverse profiles, from different backgrounds and universities, and to recognize the existing talent in the company. The selection process was 100% online, without the need for fluent English, and was also open to our employees who matched the requirements.

Some of the results:

  • we received applications from 205 people with disabilities —almost four times more than in the previous year
  • 32% increase in women’s applications and 43% increase in Black applications compared with 2019
  • among the 30 employees hired, 53% are women and 43% are Black.

LGBTI+ Survey

At the end of 2019, a survey in our units revealed that 60% of the company’s LGBTI+ group considers Suzano to be an inclusive company. Our goal is to reach 100% by 2025 and, based on that, our short-term goal in 2020 was to increase this index by 10 percentage points, from 60% to 70%. In January 2021, a new survey revealed that not only did we achieve our goal, but we exceeded it, reaching a 77% positive perception regarding the inclusive environment for people in the LGBTI+ group. However, after the survey, we reformulated the methodology used to measure inclusive environment with the support of a supplier specializing in the subject. Based on this reformulation, we began to survey not only the perception of the LGBTI+ audience, but also of all Suzano employees in relation to this topic, and to measure the degree of inclusive environment for all affinity groups with which we work. Learn more in Long-Term Goals.


GRI 103-1, 103-2, 103-3 (Human Capital)

The safety of our employees has always been a priority at Suzano. In 2020, even in the midst of a terrible pandemic, we achieved significant results in reducing accidents (see the table on the side). These results are due to a proactive and coordinated team effort. The company has a Health, Safety, and Quality of Life team of 275 professionals. Each of Suzano’s ten mills has Safety Committees structured and divided into subcommittees. In these groups, employees participate in discussions and evaluate and implement initiatives related to the topic.

In addition, since 2019, the company has been investing in the development of actions that lead to safe behavior through Programa Cuidar (Care Program), which is considered to be the backbone of the transformation plan for Suzano’s safety culture. Aimed at all Suzano professionals, the program’s strategy was adapted to include preventive measures against the coronavirus, and it adopted remote training and distance education approaches. More than 550 actions were carried out for audiences at industrial and forestry units, ports, distribution centers, and offices, which impacted Suzano’s nearly 15,000 employees and most of the contractors. In 2021, we want to expand the scope of this group. This is possible thanks to our safety tools that are part of day-to-day operations, such as the Daily Safety Dialogue (DDS), Behavioral Approach, Positive Activity Observation (OPA), and the Eye on the Area (DNA, a system that records deviations in the area and that can be easily accessed by a mobile app), among many others.

Paulo Vidigal, Paper Production Manager, and David Pereira de Souza, Paper Machine Assistant, Limeira Unit (São Paulo state). Photo: Márcio Schimming

Programa Cuidar follows the Hearts & Minds methodology, developed by the Energy Institute, which indicates 18 dimensions in the aspects of work safety and action formats. Following this methodology, we performed diagnostics to assess the company’s maturity in terms of the safety culture in all operations and established a baseline. Since the beginning of this work, we have managed to improve our safety culture by 17%. We are at a point where the organization has a strict control system to manage risks in the workplace, with actions aimed at quantifying risks and generating monitoring metrics. Now we must move toward a systemic health and safety vision. With this diagnosis, we are designing more assertive action plans to act directly on the points that require greater attention in order to achieve the desired culture of excellence in safety.

Numbers for 2020 (compared with 2019)

General indexes

  • 68% Reduction in the severity rate of incidents
  • 17% Reduction n the frequency rate with and without lost time
  • 25% Reduction in total accidents

Forestry operations INDEXES

  • 79% Reduction in the severity rate of incidents
  • 41% Reduction in the frequency rate with and without lost time
  • 46% Reduction in total accidents

Pulp operations INDEXES

  • 38% Reduction in the severity rate of incidents
  • 41% Reduction in the frequency rate with and without lost time
  • 21% Reduction in total accidents

Paper operation INDEXES

  • 57% Reduction in the severity rate of incidents
  • 8% Reduction in the frequency rate with and without lost time
  • 11% Reduction in total accidents
Health and safety rates for company employees and service providers 2019 2020 2021
Results Results Baseline Goal Baseline Goal
Severity rate1 104 33 24 29
Lost time injury rate2 0.49 0.52 0.44 0.47
Cumulative frequency rate/accident rate3 2.18 1.80 1.96 1.62

1. Rate calculation: (lost days) x 1000000 / (number of hours worked).
2. Rate calculation: (lost time cases) x 1000000 / (number of hours worked).
3. Rate calculation: (lost time + no lost time cases) x 1000000 / (number of hours worked).


The physical and mental well-being of our employees contributes to healthier and happier working conditions. In a year when people needed to be more attentive to emotional balance, given the feeling of fragility and anxiety caused by the pandemic, this topic gained even more prominence at Suzano. Among the proposed initiatives in 2020, several online events were held, with programs and special guests to explore the matter, including Dr. Drauzio Varella, Leandro Karnal, and Mário Sérgio Cortella. In 2021, the company plans to intensify this agenda. Visit the Indicator Center for more information.


Throughout Suzano and in the mills, the priority in 2020 was to keep the largest number of employees possible apart, maintaining physically present only those who were essential in the units, and establishing a series of protocols to protect them from COVID-19. In this regard, dozens of measures were taken to keep people healthy, noting that some roles in the industry are extremely specialized and, therefore, performed by few professionals. We had to guarantee the safety of the teams in an environment where most of our products, mainly pulp, were considered essential by the World Health Organization (WHO). Implementing major changes in our routine, with new practices and procedures and keeping production at a normal pace, was our biggest challenge this year.

In order to prioritize the health of our employees, service providers, and the local community, Suzano completely changed the general shutdown schedule of the plants in order to reduce the number of people in operations during the critical period of the pandemic. The decision was to postpone events that were to take place in March and April and resume them from August onward. This gave us the time and confidence to perform maintenance without risk of contagion and to ensure proper planning of protocols for handling general shutdown activities.

General shutdowns are mill maintenance events, governed by specific legislation and technical standards. Shutting down activities for ten days a year means putting an extra 3,000 people in each unit, dedicated to risk monitoring, equipment and personnel safety and, consequently, to the excellence of our operation. Therefore, it is imperative that the shutdowns are enforced.

We reorganized tasks in order to have a smaller number of professionals during shutdowns and created special protocols for that period. We established, for example, individual accommodations and meals in apartments for technicians from other cities, preventing the circulation of people as much as possible. Maintenance activities take place every 15 months in the production units.


Launched at the end of July, the new collaborative online platform Workplace Suzano connected all of the company’s professionals wherever they were—at home, in the office, in the mills, in forestry operations, in laboratories, at logistics distribution centers, or airport terminals—in Brazil and around the world. The new tool has become a work instrument that provides more fluid communication, greater integration between employees and units, and greater autonomy and dissemination of content through the network, in addition to enabling widespread communication. All professionals can now access the content and post activities and comments on the platform via cell phone or computer. Adherence to the platform was voluntary.

Workplace Results

One month after the implementation, 58% of the direct employees were already on the platform, a significant result according to market benchmarks. Adherence to the platform was voluntary. One month after implementation, 58% of the direct employees were already on the platform, a significant result according to the industry benchmark. In January 2021, active users of the platform totaled more than 74%. This number rises to 95% among leadership. For 2021, the goal is to make Suzano even more connected, with an increasingly constant presence of leadership on the platform through posts in texts, video, and live streaming.

Vanessa Nascimento, Communication Analyst, and Bruna Letícia de Souza Vieira, Participant in the Cerâmica Vargem do Tanque Project, Cunha (São Paulo state). Photo: Márcio Schimming


Voluntariar was created more than 20 years ago to bring the company closer to neighboring communities through the mobilization of employees, service providers, family members, and partners in voluntary actions that strengthen social empowerment and promote positive changes in society.

In a year of pandemic, the big challenge was to continue with the volunteering initiatives online, thus protecting the health of volunteers and beneficiaries of the actions. Consequently, the results were less robust compared to previous years. This, however, did not impact the quality of volunteer engagement.

Voluntariar in numbers in 2020



hours contributed

Locations covered
(including industrial and forestry units, distribution centers, and offices)


(from Functional and Executive Management to the Executive Board)