As part of our International Women’s Day celebrations, we’re pleased to introduce Sabrina de Branco, Vice President of Global Sustainability.
How did you come to work at Paper Excellence?
I have been working in the pulp and paper sector for nine years and within sustainability for 14 years. In 2021, Paper Excellence Group invited me to contribute to the development of its global sustainability strategy, so that the Group’s companies are prepared for the challenges that are emerging and can guarantee the continuity of their operations with quality and responsibility in the long term.
What drew you to sustainability work and why do you like it?
I am a journalist and my work has always been very focused on people. In 2008, I started working with community development projects and saw the important role that companies can play in supporting the communities where they operate. I fell in love with the work and started to study it more. My work in sustainability has also helped me to understand corporate governance. Today, sustainability is a strategic and fundamental area for companies that care about their future, and I have the pleasure of being a part of that.
Why do you like your job and what are you responsible for?
I am responsible for making sustainability a strategic part of the business. For that, I need to work with different teams to analyze potential risks to the business and develop projects that can support operational success in the long term. Why do I like this? Because it gives me the opportunity to get to know the operations as a whole and work with different people from across the company.
What challenges do you face in your work because you’re a woman?
The pulp and paper sector still has mostly men, especially in its leadership. But rather than seeing that as a problem, I prefer to treat it as a driver. Women look up to other women. So it’s important to be a good role model and focus on our strengths. For example, I was the first woman to lead a pulp and paper industry union in Brazil and I did so while pregnant. We—women—are not victims of society. We are extremely capable and have unique abilities.
What would you tell girls who are thinking about a career similar to yours?
The area of sustainability has never been so relevant for companies globally. In addition to being an extremely dynamic area where I’m always learning, it is an area that requires professionals to be passionate about what they do. Today, there are many courses available and it is still possible to specialize in certain topics within this great universe of sustainability.