The Navigator Company (formerly known as Portucel Soporcel Group) is an integrated forest producer, whose end products are pulp and paper, tissue and energy. Navigator is Portugal’s largest national added value generator, accounting for approximately 1% of GDP, and third largest exporter.
The Navigator Company has a productive capacity of 1.6 million tonnes of paper and 1.6 million tonnes of pulp, with 108.000ha of forest, and an annual turnover of over €1.6 billion (US$1.97 billion). The company uses eucalyptus as the prime raw material for the production of pulp and fine printing and writing paper. The company has also developed a long track-record of working with smallholders and promoting good forest management practices, both in Portugal and in its project in Mozambique.
Portucel Moçambique - of which The Navigator Company is a major shareholder - is a forest-based value creating project located in Mozambique, built through a solid engagement with its stakeholders, namely local communities, and sound environmental stewardship. It is a long-term investment with field operations in the provinces of Manica and Zambezia. The company is committed to build an impactful climate and nature positive project, aiming at contributing to foster resilient landscapes, capable of producing timber while countering deforestation and forest degradation, benefiting ecosystem services and sustainably improving the livelihoods of local communities.
Participatory processes and transparent communication with local and central government, civil society and the communities – a major stakeholder – are absolutely key features of the project. Envisaging to effectively create and share value with communities and to improve their livelihoods, Portucel strives to have an effective communication and to respect cultural traits and local languages, namely by bridging with the communities through a series of community appointed liaison agents. Also, a stakeholder engagement plan and a grievance mechanism ensure open communication of complaints, suggestions or other information. These procedures are implemented in the areas where the Company has land use rights (DUAT) approved by the Government of Mozambique, to also ensure that those who cede land give their free, prior and informed consent. When areas of ecological or socio-economic and cultural value are identified, the company demarcates and protects these areas that, together with areas for agricultural use, coexist with the planted forest in the so-called mosaic model.
The Portucel Community Development Program is the Company's integrated answer to the purpose of strengthening communities’ socio-economic context, as a key pre-requisite to building up resilient landscapes and a sustainable forest project. PCDP reaches 7,000 families and is focused on three objectives: food security, support for income generation and improved well-being. These priorities follow the findings of the extensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessment conducted in both provinces in 2013-2014. Since 2015, the accumulated investment in the Program amounts to USD 6 million.
Portucel’s investment in Mozambique is estimated at USD 2.5 billion, to be carried out in two phases, the first of which – from 2024/2025 – will proceed with the plantation of up to 40,000 hectares (13.5 thousand hectares already completed) and the installation of a woodchip mill.