2021 Integrated Report highlights investments and shares of SLC Agrícola to reduce emissions and protect biodiversity
Investment in research and equipment, adoption of best practices and technological innovations, initiatives to preserve biodiversity and actions of positive social impact are part of SLC Agrícola´s agenda, with regard to responsibility with people and the environment.
Investment in research and the adoption of best practices in the cultivation of agricultural commodities provided optimization in the consumption of natural resources, minimizing the environmental footprint of the business. In the 2020/2021 harvest, the use of precision agriculture techniques prevented the consumption of 24.8 million liters of water and 96 tons of inputs such as fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides and 34.3 tons of plastic packaging. Of the 23 farms operated by SLC Agrícola (one of which is leased to a third party), only three use water as a direct resource to produce soy, corn and cotton. In 98% of the crops cultivated in the 2020/2021 harvest, SLC adopts rainfed agriculture, in which only rainwater is used. These actions of rational use of natural resources are essential to achieve the commitment made in 2019 to reduce its carbon footprint by 25% by 2030.
The evolution of precision agriculture follows investments to automate crop equipment. The installation of 4G signal antennas, which by 2021 reached 16 farms, expands the coverage with internet signal accelerating the adoption of new technologies that improve productivity, capacity to remotely monitor crops and the sustainable use of resources. Currently, 515 thousand hectares of crops (considering the first and second harvest plantations) are covered with 4G internet signal.
Actions to mitigate environmental impacts also include projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by keeping carbon in the soil and its conservation. The Forest Enrichment project, which aims to intensify carbon sequestration by planting native trees in vegetation areas maintained by the farms, such as the Legal Reserve and permanent preservation, made it possible to reforest 53 hectares on 12 farms in 2021, with another 80 hectares being reforested this year. The goal is to restore 320 hectares in the coming years, contributing to the sequestration of approximately 6% of the company's total greenhouse gas emissions.
Another important advance in 2021 was approval of the Zero Deforestation Policy, which formalizes SLC Agrícola´s commitment not to convert areas with native vegetation for agricultural use, even those eligible in the respective environmental licensing processes. The document establishes rules for the rational use of soil, aiming to maintain the integrity of natural systems. This strategic definition marks an important moment in the company's trajectory. "One of the main points of attention in relation to environmental management are the impacts caused by climate change. Extreme weather events have great potential to impact our business, our response is on two fronts. In the consolidation of a diversified land portfolio in different regions and the use of regional potential and the mitigation of impacts, with investment in actions to reduce emissions and maintain carbon in the soil", explains Aurélio Pavinato, CEO of SLC Agrícola.
Investment in innovation and record revenue
SLC Agrícola´s pioneering role in the incorporation of innovations, new technologies and processes resulted in its entry into the "100 Open Startups" ranking, which selects the leading companies in open innovation with startups. In addition to entering the ranking, the company was elected one of the top five in the agribusiness sector.
The business acceleration and innovative solutions strategy to challenges faced by agribusiness includes the connection program with startups, AgroX, Ideas and Results and SLC Ventures. Through SLC Ventures, in 2021 the company made its first contribution to a startup, participating in Aegro's third round of fundraising. Created in 2014, the company developed an agricultural management system already used at over 4 thousand farms in 20 different states around the country.
Within the framework of people and positive social impact, SLC continually invests in training and professional qualification. In 2021, there were over 146 thousand hours of training for collaborators, resulting in an average of 52.4 hours per professional. Use of the 16 Digital Inclusion Spaces, installed on the farms to expand access to technology, exceeded 2,400 hours in 2021. The classrooms for Youth and Adult Education, which offer Elementary School and High School in person and online, served 251 students. In 2021, the company created the Agricultural Technical Improvement School, with the objective of promoting continuing education for collaborators. The quality of the company's human capital management processes has been continuously recognized in recent years, with awards and certifications that positively impact its brand and reputation, such as the Awesome Places to Work awards, Great Place To Work RS and GPTW Agro, 100 Most Inspiring HRs, South American Human Resources Summit and Top Human Being.
Details of the actions, challenges and results throughout 2021 and strategic plans to achieve the goals are in the 2021 Integrated Report, which is part of SLC Agrícola's commitment to transparency and accountability to all audiences with which it relates. Prepared in accordance with the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the document follows the structure and principles of the Integrated Report (IR), a framework used in over 75 countries to disseminate ESG information and economic-financial management. This edition includes a new materiality matrix and is the first to be subjected to independent external verification.
The Integrated Report also includes the financial results that reached a new record in 2021, with net revenue of BRL 4.4 billion. Driven by a scenario of increased demand and quotations for agricultural commodities, the result also reflects the strategy of investing in technology and innovation to increase productivity and efficiency in the operation.v
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