Orsa Group:

the Challenge of Sustainable Development in the Amazon 


Decio Zylbersztajs

Joao Teixeira Pires

Luciana Rocha Mendonça

Rosa María Fischer


FEA-USP Sao Paulo

Published in


In 2002, Orsa Group consisted of several business units spanning the cellulose, paper and packaging industries, with nearly US$ 250 million in annual sales that year. The Group encompassed: Orsa Celulose, Papel e Embalagens, with production plants in São Paulo, Goiás and Amazonia; Jarí Celulose and Orsa Florestal, both based in the Jarí region, at very heart of the Amazonian rain forest. In addition, its social and environmental responsibility principles led the Group to create a nonprofit, Orsa Foundation, supporting it with 1% of its yearly gross revenues. More than the Group’s philanthropic branch, the Foundation became a priority for company operations as a result of two key drivers: a) Orsa was a family-owned business headed by its controlling shareholder and chairman, Sérgio Amoroso, a businessman devoted to social issues, and b) a strategic alignment, especially at Jarí Celulose, between business objectives and local sustainable development.

Taking into account the specific challenges facing cellulose companies in particular and international markets in general, Orsa Group’s board and senior managers needed to assess the impact of Orsa Foundation’s social strategy in Jarí’s operations.

This may prove particularly useful in courses on social corporate responsibility and strategy, or sustainable development. It may also be used in entrepreneurship programs dealing with corporate social ventures.