While it created challenges in the human, sanitary, economic and social fields, the first year of coping with the pandemic offered a number of lessons for Klabin and strengthened the company’s management model.



Coping with the pandemic

Klabin used its drivers to navigate an unknown scenario in early 2020 and take assertive, safe, and quick action. 

We continued our manufacturing and forestry activities, reaffirming our position as a manufacturer of paper and packaging essential to important economic chains by packaging and protecting products and providing secure transport. Processed and fresh food, hygiene and cleaning items, medicines, hospital supplies, and goods sold by e-commerce needed our packaging.

In March 2020, the expansion of the Puma II Project , however, was put on hold, with activities resuming gradually after adaptations had been made. The same procedural rigor was applied in the general maintenance shutdowns at the mills.

Protocols and committees

To prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, we have adopted the safety protocols recommended by health authorities, especially the World Health Organization (WHO). One example was the immediate establishment of work from home for employees considered to be at more risk to the virus, such as those with heart disease, lung conditions, weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and the over 60s.

Medical and monitoring committees made up of people from different areas, under the guidance of a corporate infectologist, helped draw up health protocols and safe, quick responses to issues related to the pandemic and its impact on the day-to-day life of the company and its employees. In addition, employees and third parties who were suspected of having the virus were telemonitored according to the protocol recommended by the physicians.

We share health protocols and other procedures developed internally under specialized guidance with employees, third parties, logistics suppliers and customers, extending care to our entire chain of partners.

The role of leaders

To put these guidelines into practice – ranging from changes in shifts, to new protocols for employee transport and meals and guidelines for flexible routines, remote work and interaction with the community – our leaders quickly took a position to adopt new procedures, to enter into dialogue with teams, and guide employees and third parties in an unknown scenario that raised a lot of questions. We also provided clear and effective information on our communication channels, contributing to everyone’s health and safety.

The pandemic required faster responses, more creativity to deal with the situation and innovation to overcome obstacles. This was only possible thanks to cultural evolution and strong management, which Klabin has been exercising in recent years.

 We prioritize life and employee health and safety, without forgetting performance and quality in deliveries.


The adoption of a hybrid work environment, brought about by the pandemic, led to the need for training to adapt to these new circumstances. In March 2020, we launched Lessons in the Pandemic – a series of webinars and content to improve productivity and mental health care, made available on the company’s online training platform.

With a maximum duration of two hours, the courses addressed 20 useful topics for the context, such as Office 365 (Planner, OneDrive, and Teams), emotional intelligence, remote work, and self-management.

Information technology

The advanced information systems, which were being updated, were essential in the new work model adopted in the pandemic. The Office 365 collaborative platform, consolidated in February 2020, enabled rapid adaptation to remote work and activities, with virtual meetings or information storage and sharing in the cloud. 

In the effort to cope with the pandemic, other solutions were also quickly developed, such as the Klabin Health app, which allows employees to provide information about their symptoms, generating alerts for the company’s medical team. This means physicians can act immediately and produce reports for analysis of the Covid-19 scenario in the company. Another measure was the implementation of a facial reading system at the entrances to the mills, taking temperatures and contributing to control and screening of access to the company’s facilities.

Mental health

The company’s mental health initiatives were strengthened, starting with the Health and People & Management teams (medical care, nursing, social assistance, and personnel managers). The group received special training to identify and refer cases of psychological disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, among employees resulting from the difficulties of adapting to the new scenario.

Another work front included the preparation of employees for self-care, and managers to ensure the well-being and comfort of their teams. The Living Well Program, which already offered support in this area, was stepped up. This is how we acted preventively regarding employee health, further strengthening Klabin’s characteristic human touch.

Another initiative launched in 2020 was Living Psychology, a portal where employees and their families can schedule free therapy sessions. The company also invested in conversation groups, motivational activities, and relaxation exercises redesigned for social isolation. The year-end online party, for example, had more than 16,000 views and about 12,000 messages during the chat. 

Care and information:

  • To prepare employees and managers for the hybrid work model, Klabin created the Lessons in the Pandemic program in 2020.
  • In all, 21 webinars focused on the use of tools for remote work and related topics, such as self-management and emotional intelligence.
  • Online training averaged 483 participants and a total of 6,282 views.
  • More than 2,600 people registered for the Klabin Health app for information about Covid-19.
  •  #EveryAttitudeCounts, #DoNotLetYourGuardDown, and #MySocialAttitude were used in awareness campaigns to combat the pandemic for employees, family members, and communities.

Credit support for suppliers and extended terms for customers

Due to the economic difficulties faced by different sectors and companies, we have supported our regional suppliers, offering advice, protocols, and resources, in addition to guaranteeing payment for the provision of services, regardless of completion. From March to August, we paid 46 suppliers R$ 2.069 million. We also offered to extend payment terms for more than 200 customers, amounting to R$ 101 million. For suppliers to the Puma II Project, even with the partial suspension of operations during the pandemic, we continued to pay salaries and when the gradual return began, we paid for all the measures required to maintain social distancing and Covid-19 testing at work. We also advanced payments to suppliers affected by the shutdown. This package of measures totaled R$ 100 million.

Every Attitude Counts

This was the theme of the campaign to raise awareness of the guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19, focusing on individual responsibility and collective care in the pandemic, and listed the company’s initiatives to help communities where it operates.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have strengthened our position as a model corporate citizen and worked with Covid-19 committees made up of local authorities and healthcare entities, helping municipalities to prepare. 

The commitments taken on by the company range from investment in infrastructure and medical equipment, to the provision of health professionals to serve the community, as in the 21st Region in Parana, which covers Telemaco Borba and the region. 

We also prioritized social assistance and income generation for people who make a living from recycling. From March 2020 to April 2021 (when this report closed), we allocated more than R$ 26 million to tackling the pandemic, with an emphasis on the following actions:


 Field hospitals

Investment in infrastructure, beds, hospital and personal protection equipment in Telemaco Borba (Parana state) and Goiana (Pernambuco state).

PPE, respirators, and other equipment 

Production and donation of 6,500 respirators in partnership with the Respira Brasil Project. We also donated boxes to transport respirators produced by Magnamed. The equipment was delivered to the Ministry of Health for distribution in public hospitals.

Delivery of supplies and equipment for the treatment of patients with Covid-19 in an initiative coordinated by Brazil’s state-owned development bank, BNDES, for Santa Casa and Philanthropic Hospitals throughout Brazil.

Donation of respirators, PPE for healthcare professionals, ICU equipment for patients with Covid-19 at the Tereza Ramos Hospital in Lages (Santa Catarina state), and the Delfina Azis Hospital, in Manaus state. By the closing of this report (April 2021), more than 100 respirators had been allocated to hospitals across Brazil, plus more than a million items of hospital and personal protective equipment.

Partnership with large companies to give 3.4 million intubation drugs to the Ministry of Health, enough for the maintenance of 500 beds for one and a half months.

Hand sanitizer made from cellulose

Four tons of hand sanitizer made from microfibrillated cellulose (CFM), replacing fossil-based carbomer, used in the manufacture of conventional hand sanitizer. Developed at Klabin’s Technology Center, in partnership with the Senai Institute of Innovation in Biosynthetics and Fibers, and Apoteka, the product was delivered to health professionals in the regions the company operates in. The sanitizer containers are made from Klabin kraft paper by Gualapack, a global leader in stand-up pouches nozzles.

Social assistance

Food parcels, hygiene and cleaning products

In Goiana (Pernambuco state), more than 1,400 food parcels were donated to communities in need. Some parcels were prepared by volunteers from the Living Earth Association, made up of Klabin employees.

In the Amazon, 1,860 food parcels were donated to indigenous communities by the Living Amazon Project, a civil society initiative offering healthcare and support to these communities.

In Rio de Janeiro, 2,502 food and hygiene product parcels were donated to families in communities, supported by the Rio Unison Movement. 

In Sao Paulo, a partnership with the State Department of Agriculture donated 160,000 corrugated cardboard packages for seasonal products and food produced by small farmers, to be delivered to families of students in the public school system. Three hundred thousand corrugated cardboard packages were donated to transport personal hygiene and cleaning items to families in Sao Paulo who do not have access to basic sanitation.

Income generation

Support to the waste pickers at the Pimp my Wagon organization, in Pernambuco state. Photo: Klabin’s archive.

Recycling professionals

To help 50 people who make a living collecting recyclable material in Parana and who were impacted by the lockdown, we donated 294 tons of scrap paper to the Recycled Material Waste Pickers Association (Parana state), which participates in the Solid Waste Program. Klabin also donated masks, gloves and goggles to the association, as well as food and hygiene product parcels.

In another initiative, we supported the Minimum Income for Waste Pickers Campaign, which assists 115 waste pickers at the Pimp my Wagon organization, for three months from April to July 2020. In addition to direct support for the campaign, we participated in Goodwill Chain in partnership with Tetra Pak to promote the minimum wage project on the Ribon app. One thousand reusable masks were also delivered to Pimp’s partner waste pickers in Pernambuco and Sao Paulo states.

Mask +Income

In partnership with Asta network, the project supported income generation for nine tailors in Telemaco Borba (Parana state) and Goiana (Pernambuco state). The initiative lasted three months and each participant received R$ 2,700 to make reusable masks. In total, 13,500 masks were produced and donated to social entities in these municipalities.

Sustainable Amazonas Foundation 

Fostering local development and support for families in communities in Manaus. Food and toiletry parcels were donated to 200 families and 75 people who collect recyclable material received income support. The project also involved groups of local tailors and artisans producing 15,000 fabric masks for community use. To boost these groups’ professional and economic development, entrepreneurship training was given by the Impact Hub consultancy.