Fibria : Encouraging complaints

Promotion of an ombudsman service reinforces the commitment to it.

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The feature

Fibria, Brazil-based producer of eucalyptus pulp for paper, provides a prominent and easy to use contact channel for anyone wanting to question its conduct. Fibria has a universal set of quick links in the left-hand column of its dual-language (English/Portuguese) corporate site, under the heading You and Fibria _(Fibria e Vocé)_. The second of the seven links is Ombudsman _(Ouvidoria)_ that leads to an information page detailing the nature, scope and integrity of the company’s complaints channel for internal and external audiences who wish to question its ethical conduct or report suspected breeches of it. The page is also included in the left-hand section navigation for the about us section, Institutional _(Institucional)_. The page is not accessible from or signposted in Investors, which is housed on a separate site that has a different template. The Ombudsman page includes among its contact details a link to a standalone reporting site that has buttons to Make a Report, Ask a Question or Follow Up. Each button has a rollover summary of its purpose. The site is Fibria branded but hosted by a third-party, EthicsPoint, and states clearly that it is ‘not part of the Fibria website or intranet’.

The takeaway

Fibria is a leader in an industry and country that make its conduct likely to come under greater scrutiny than most. So the statement in its Sustainability content of an aspiration to ‘social and environmental responsibility’ is to be expected. What is eye-catching, literally, is its commitment to providing a high-profile channel for anyone who wants to question how it goes about being responsible or complain that it is falling short of the codified standards it sets itself. Most companies hide this kind of service away in a back alley of their corporate governance section, if they promote it at all. The credibility of the undertaking is carried through to the arms-length reporting site. While the supportive features there are not directly attributable to Fibria they and the strong Fibria branding reinforce the message that the company is serious about its commitment. The exclusion of Investors from the system is presumably a construction-linked oversight, rather than a sign that they are considered not yet ready for such a concept.
First published 30 April, 2013
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