Gisele Fidelis from Suzano guested our first Fridays with Ignite

Building a culture for open innovation and their collaborations with startups with innovative solutions based on planted trees were some of the topics of this first session.

Gisele Fidelis, New Business Executive Manager at the Brazilian corporation Suzano, was the first special guest of our new series Fridays with Ignite, which aims to share knowledge, tools and methods on how corporations implement innovation together with startups.

During the session, Gisele talked about how the pulp and paper corporation is building a culture for open innovation, their collaborations with startups and the company’s ambition of playing a leading role in sustainability.

These are four takeaways from this interesting talk:

Building an Open Innovation Culture

The company is building a culture for open innovation with the corporate’s business areas as the protagonists. For that, they are training ambassadors in each area that will lead projects in open innovation with new methodologies.
“We help each business area understand what their challenges are. Each area has its own decentralized budget in order to make it physical. We prioritize according to their goals and deliverables from a matrix such as increasing performance or revenue. The idea is to build governance that encourages the adoption of new technologies with autonomy and with that disseminate the culture of open innovation,” explains Gisele.

New Opportunities

Suzano is searching for new opportunities based on planted trees.
“The forest segment is looking for new opportunities and I think this is the perfect moment since the society and the market are now actually trying to find new alternatives to fossil components and chemicals. We have been trying to transform trees into other things since a long time ago,” says Gisele
If your startup is working with new or better use of lignin in different applications, Suzano could be a potential partner.

Their collaboration with the Finnish startup Spinnova

Suzano has been working together with the Finnish startup Spinnova since 2017 to produce a textile fiber with the microfiber cellulose that Suzano produces by using Spinnova’s disruptive process.
They conducted a successful pilot in 2019 and they have recently announced a joint venture to open a commercial scale factory in 2022 in Finland (the first one for Suzano outside Brazil).

Their Sustainable Goals for 2030

Suzano has the ambition of playing a leading role in sustainability. Their strategic visions include being a transformational agent in the expansion into new markets for their biomass and a reference in sustainable and innovative solutions for the bioeconomy and environmental services, based on planted trees.
Among their sustainability goals for 2030 are:

  • Be even more climate positive by net removing 40 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere – Offer 10+ million tons of products from renewable sources that can replace plastic and other petroleum-based products
  • Mitigate the problem of income distribution by lifting 200,000 people from poverty in their areas of operation
  • Connect half a million hectares of priority areas for diversity conservation in Brazil

Watch the full session

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