Reservas Votorantim materializes Votorantim’s commitment to the conservation of land and water resources and to the development of communities through the management of Legado das Águas.
This company, which in 2021 gained its own brand and headquarters, specializes in land management and nature-based solutions for both traditional and new economy businesses. It manages Legado das Águas, the largest private Atlantic Forest reserve in Brazil, with with approximately 31,000 hectares in the towns of Juquiá, Miracatu, and Tapiraí in the state of São Paulo; Legado Verdes do Cerrado, a approximately 32,000-hectare private reserve for sustainable development, headquartered in Niquelândia in the state of Goiás; and Pátio Caeté, a space for the sale of native plants in the city of São Paulo.
Through its businesses, Reservas Votorantim develops activities and offers services that combine the conservation of nature and water resources with the responsible use of land and local development. It works in the areas of ecotourism, landscaping, production and commercialization of native plants, space rental, environmental studies, reforestation, and environmental compensation, among others.
Some of the highlights are the ecotourism activities conducted at Legado das Águas, which resumed in the second half of the year as the pandemic subsided. New services in 2021 included rafting and new accommodations, offered in partnership with the company Altar, in the form of a “floating house” in the middle of the Juquiá River reservoir to welcome guests looking for a peaceful refuge in contact with nature. In 2021, Legado das Águas received the Seal of Quality in Tourism, granted by the Brazilian Service of Support to Micro and Small Companies of São Paulo (SEBRAE, for its initials in Portuguese) and the Intermunicipal Development Consortium of Vale do Ribeira and Litoral Sul (CODIVAR, for its initials in Portuguese). This certification recognizes organizations in the tourism industry that help promote the Atlantic Forest region as a national tourist destination.
In the area of landscaping, Reservas tripled its production capacity of native species and signed a contract with a developer to provide landscaping services to one of its real estate projects. The deal is linked to the company’s purpose of bringing native flora back to urban centers. In this same market, Pátio Caeté, which sells native species, completed one year of operations and has been establishing itself as a space for the appreciation of Brazilian flora.
In the area of reforestation, Reservas signed contracts to plant native species in public parks in the state of São Paulo, such as the 15-hectare park Jurupará in Ibiúna, where the government develops the Nascentes (Springs) program. The area is also used for voluntary environmental compensation, a business segment divided into two platforms: Plantando o Amanhã (Sowing the Future), to assist companies in their carbon capture strategies through the planting of a variety of forest species; and the Palmito Juçara (Juçara Hearts of Palm) project, with plantations to expand the presence of this protected species in the Atlantic Forest and promote business with communities based on the production of hearts of palm.
Also related to the production chain is the legal reserve model for environmental compensation. To comply with the Brazilian Forest Code, which requires farmland owners to maintain an area of Atlantic Forest biome corresponding to 20% of their total property, they can opt to fulfill their compensation commitment by leasing an equivalent area of native forest in another property.
Also, Votorantim’s participation in the Pomar Urbano (Urban Orchard) project progressed during the year. Landscaping of native woods and playgrounds was incorporated into the proposal of the Bruno Covas Linear Park on Marginal Pinheiros in the city of São Paulo, which will be concluded in 2022.
To promote community development, Reservas Votorantim launched, in partnership with researchers from the Butantan Institute and the Santo Amaro University, the Saúde Única (Single Health) program. Through this initiative, all the knowledge acquired through research conducted at Legado das Águas will be made available to the towns of Juquiá, Miracatu, and Tapiraí to help promote training and educational activities for their healthcare professionals.
In line with Reservas’ governance in the area of social responsibility, scientific research evolved in 2021. Key projects in Legado das Águas included the study of amphibians, coordinated by the Butantan Institute, which can inform the creation of an ecotourism handbook for observing these animals, and the identification of jaguars, conducted by the organization Onçafari, which is expected to support the creation of a jaguar sighting route.