Francisco Ruiz Tagle: “We are aligned with the sense of urgency and the COP 25 is a great opportunity for changing”

In the framework of the Climate Action of the United Nations meeting in New York – where, from the Chilean perspective, President Piñera´s openness to sign the Escazú Agreement with some observations was highlighted; and the attendance of President Emmanuel Macron to the COP 25 in Santiago was confirmed.  At the meeting, one of the most active actors from the international entrepreneurial standpoint was the forestry industry; their representatives, grouped in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, ratified the road map to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

“In our participation, focused on the World Economic Forum, the main topic discussed among many private organizations and others linked to the political world, was how to work through the circular economy model, and participate in the value chain in order to do it through collaboration and innovation”, CMPC’ CEO Francisco Ruiz-Tagle said  to the Diario Financiero  in New York.

The company attended the summit with an environmental plan focused on reducing 50% of its absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, a 25% reduction of industrial water use per ton produced by 2025, becoming a zero residues company in no more than six years, and conserve as well as reforest an additional 100,000 hectares in addition to the current ​​325,000 hectares it currently has.  All these actions will be implemented in the processes of 47 mills in eight countries in the next ten years.

One of the conclusions of the summit was to verify the seriousness of climate change, What requirement does it impose on companies and governments?

I think there is a sense of urgency, with which we are aligned, and I agree with Mr. President that the COP 25 is a great opportunity for change and progress.

Many countries have already committed to being carbon neutral by 2050 and that places urgency; for this reason our goals point out in the same course.

In this scenario, should CMPC accelerate its road map? 

Everything can be improved, but the objectives are setforward with the pressure of urgency in the next ten years, where most of the definitions of States, companies and organizations should take place in contributing to reducing global warming. Our industry is long term commited, with long rotations, between 15 and 20 years to adapt production, and our commitments are much shorter because they are aligned  with the sense of global urgency.

How will you achieve the goals, which you have promised? 

They are being reviewed in several scopes, rather than starting at a specific mill. In restoration and conservation we are very active in Chile and with good prospects in Brazil. Regarding zero waste, we have made important progress in the pulp mills of both countries, and regarding zero waste, the Laja Pulp mill will probably be the next zero waste plant.

Given the worsening drought, are you available for an additional effort in water saving? 

Maybe; we are open to make a greater contribution.

How do you compare CMPC with regards to the progress of other companies?

An important aspect is metrics and how to standardize global commitments with companies and governments. We are truly committed to that since a clear metric will allow us to report our progress accurately.

Arauco will be carbon neutral in 2020. How do you see that goal?

It seems very good, as it is a very important company. In the case of CMPC, it emits about one third of what it captures: our emissions reach 7 million tons, while the capture of our plantations and native forests is in the order of 25 million tons. Along those lines, we are a surplus company, we emit less than what we capture, but to be carbon neutral we require certification and one has to be rigorous in the way in which we communicate it.

Check the article published in the Diario Financiero