On CSR in Brazil
About CSR in BrazilCSR in Brazil is a monthly newsletter published by Instituto Ethos—Companies and Social Responsibility—that is directed to the international community interested in the CSR issue, and specifically to the Institute’s international partners. It brings information on the most important facts related to corporate social responsibility in Brazil. The newsletter is published in the beginning of each month and sent by e-mail. It is also available at the Instituto Ethos website (www.ethos.org.br), in printer-friendly versions.
In addition to a summary of the most important CSR-related facts that took place in Brazil in the previous month, this newsletter brings a schedule of the main events to be held in the month. It also focuses on a corporate case under the CSR perspective and introduces articles and analyses on strategic themes involving socially responsible corporate management in Brazil.
Instituto Ethos is committed to search for relevant consistent information so as to portray all diversity and plurality in the movement of Brazilian companies and organizations towards social responsibility. With this, it expects to contribute to enrich dialogue and strengthen relations with the international community interested in the topic.
Inter-American Conference discusses CSR from theory to actionFrom September 26 to 28, 2004, "Del Dicho al Hecho – II Corporate Social Responsibility Inter-American Conference" will be held in Mexico City. Organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (BID) and by the Mexican Philanthropy Center (Cemefi), the event aims to address the possibilities of going from theory of corporate social responsibility to its practical application, reviewing all reasons why companies take up such management model. Strategic aspects such as communication and personnel qualification will be discussed. Ricardo Young, President of UniEthos will take part in the closing ceremony. The event will have the contribution of Instituto Ethos. Further information can be found in the website http://www.csramericas.org or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avina Foundation to organize seminar on social responsibility and communication in BarcelonaFrom September 27th to October 1st, 2004, Avina Foundation will hold in Barcelona, Spain, a Seminar on Social Responsibility and Communication. The event is addressed to business and politics journalists, corporate communication professionals and NGO representatives. One of the speakers is Leno F. Silva, communication manager of Instituto Ethos, who will present action strategies developed by the Instituto together with journalists and communication media, on the subject of corporate social responsibility.
The 3rd Social Balance Award will take place at Bovespa
The ceremony of the 3rd Social Balance Award will take place on September 30th, on the floor of Sao Paulo Stock Exchange (BOVESPA), in São Paulo/SP, Brazil. This year, the Award beat its record of enrolled social balances. 167 companies took part, representing several industries, sizes and types, which published their Social Balances in 2004. The effort to award companies that published their Social Balance Sheets is a joint initiative of Brazilian Association of Corporate Communication (ABERJE), Association of Stock Exchange Analysts and Investment Professionals (APIMEC), Corporate and Social Development Foundation (FIDES), Brazilian Institute of Social and Economical Analysis (IBASE) and Instituto Ethos for Corporate and Social Responsibilities. For further information, please access the website http://www.premiobalancosocial.org.br.
Instituto Ethos launches manual "Corporate Commitment with Women Valorization"Instituto Ethos of Corporate and Social Responsibilities launched on September 1st, 2004, the manual "Corporate Commitment with Women Valorization". This issue discusses the relationship between women valorization and the eradication of poverty in Brazil, showing the connection between corporate social responsibility efforts, the Millennium Goals, and the principles of the Global Pact. The event had the participation of Nilcéa Freire, Head Minister of the Special Department for Women Policies; José Carlos Ferreira, adjunct director of the International Labor Organization (ILO); Deise Recuaro, National Secretary for Working Women at the Workers’ General Center – (Central Única dos Trabalhadores – CUT – the largest Brazilian union); Neusa Barbosa de Lima, National Department of Women Policies in the Union Force (Força Sindical – second largest union in the country); Jorgete Leite Lemos, Vice-President for Social Responsibility of the Brazilian Association of Human Resources (ABRH); and Oded Grajew, president of Instituto Ethos. The whole content of the manual is available for download in Portuguese at the website www.ethos.org.br.
NGOs affiliated to the UN try to establish common agenda during event in New York.From September 8 to 10, the United Nations (UN) in New York (US), received the “57th Annual DPI/NGO Conference ‘Millennium Development Goals: Civil Society Takes Action’”. The conference tried to establish a common agenda of commitments between UN and its over 3 thousand affiliated NGOs. The purpose is to implement the priority themes of the Millennium Goals in all of them. Eveline Herfkens - executive coordinator of the Campaign for the Development of the Millennium Goals together with the United Nations - and Oded Grajew - president of Instituto Ethos - were among the participants.
Seminar in Colombia discusses Latin American Social Development.From September 15th to 16th, the "International Seminar: Development, Equality and Integration" took place in Medellin, Colombia with the aim to discuss social development levels in Latin American, Caribbean, and surrounding countries. The event is part of the commitment of the Colombian Government with the Millennium Goals and is the result of a joint call from the Country’s President, the Antiquia Government, and Medellin City Hall, together with UNESCO and Comfama. The Public Policies Aide of Instituto Ethos, Caio Magri, took part in one of the debates about Social Responsibility and the Millennium Goals, on the 15th.
Metallurgical Companies from North Brazil sign commitment letter for the end to slave work in vegetal coal production.On August 13th, the companies affiliated to the Metallurgical Association of Carajás (ASICA) – in North Brazil – signed a commitment letter for the end to slave work in the production chain of vegetal coal. The event took place at the Supreme Labor Court in Brasilia / DF. Besides ASICA, the agreement was signed by the Iron Union from the State of Maranhão (SIFEMA), Instituto Ethos, the Social Observatory Institute, the National Confederation of Metallurgical Workers / CUT, the Coal Institute, the Federation of Industries of States of Sao Paulo (FIESP), Rio de Janeiro (FIRJAN), Paraná (FIEP), and Bahia (FIEB). During the event some proposals of joint action were presented to improve work conditions in the metallurgical industry.
Bolivia organizes the first meeting to discuss "CSR: Cost or Benefit"
The Inter-American Development Bank, along with the Santa Cruz Chamber of Industry, Commerce, Services and Tourism (CAINCO), promoted in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, on August 24th, a seminar about Corporate Social Responsibility. The meeting: "CSR: Cost or Benefit" - the first of this type in the Country – gathered approximately 100 participants, among company representatives, civil society organizations and government to listen to accounts of good practices in CSR of companies that operate in Bolivia and organizations that work with this theme in other Latin American countries. Instituto Ethos, represented by Marcelo Linguitte - institutional affairs manager - was invited to talk about the evolution of the movement in Brazil.
Unilever creates community laundry integrating favela community in Sao PauloA space where the inhabitants of Heliopolis Favela, the largest low income community in the city of São Paulo (120,000 people with average family income lower than US$ 100 per month) can meet, share experiences and wash and dry laundry for free, with state-of-the-art equipment and assistance from a skilled team. This is the proposal of the Omo Community Laundry, an effort for establishing direct contact of the brand with low-income population.
Opened by Unilever, owner of Omo brand, on March 10, 2004, the laundry has 1300 registered families, with an expectation of reaching 2,000. This effort is a partnership with Brastemp, which has donated the washing machines, and "Nucleus Union", Association and Society of Heliopolis and São João Communities (UNAS), responsible for this implementation. The land was donated by the Administration of Sao Paulo.
Maria Diva Souza Silva, resident in Heliópolis for 17 years and mother of eight, is the laundry coordinator. She was invited by UNAS and was trained before taking up her new duties. "The Project has improved my life in all means", she said. "I have a job and on Mondays I do all my family's laundry in two hours".
" The Project saves water and electricity for users and serves as a community center, contributing to promote the integration among dwellers", says the Unilever's Omo brand Manager, Paula Costa. According to her, Heliópolis was chosen because it gathers a significant share of the population in South São Paulo. The capacity of the Omo Community Laundry is 144 daily washings – approximately 4 thousands per month, or 47 thousands per year, without mentioning hand washings. The infrastructure includes an area of 108 square meters, with 36 washing machines, 8 driers, 20 sinks, and an integrated entertainment area for kids.
The laundry is open from Tuesday through Sunday, from 9:00AM to 7:00 PM. The period per consumer is two hours, which may be scheduled by phone or personally up to one day earlier. The families were registered by UNAS, upon presentation of personal documents and evidence of residence.
According to Paula Costa, this year Unilever will invest US$ 4.3 million in social actions of their brands in Brazil, almost three times more than last year’s investments. "The Omo Community Laundry is a pilot project in Brazil and does not exist in other countries", she says. "It works as a foundation for the creation and validation of new social efforts".
Company Name: Unilever
Contact Name: Paula Costa
Position: Omo Brand Manager
Number of Employees: 234,000 around the world, 13,450 in Brazil (4,900 in Hygiene and Beauty)
Manual tries to reinforce ethical behavior among business community during elections.
IInstituto Ethos, Fiesp/Ciesp and Yázigi Internexus launched in August the updated issue of the manual "Corporate Social Responsibility in the Electoral Process" (20p). This is an updated issue of similar guides published in for 2000 and 2002 elections. The manual talks about the economic impact of elections and brings some suggestions for the behavior of socially responsible companies within this process. "An essential subject Brazilian society must address is campaign funding. This is the origin of many irregularities" says Oded Grajew, president of Instituto Ethos. For this reason, the manual brings updated national and international references so that businesspeople can think how to have an ethical behavior and prevent the abuse of economic power, how to choose candidates to support, which measures to adopt to avoid corruption and embezzlement. The manual is even a guide for companies interested in the promotion of citizen rights and consolidation of democracy, as their participation requires complete transparence in the relationships between private businessmen and politicians, mainly during electoral campaigns.
Ethos in action
"Brazilian Sustainability Evidence Matrix" proves the success of companies that invested in CSRThe correlation between socially responsible management practices and business success is a challenge for all companies. Showing this correlation is the proposal of the "Brazilian Sustainability Evidence Matrix", launched by Instituto Ethos of Companies and Social Responsibilities and by UniEthos, on August 4, 2004, at Itau Cultural Auditorium, in São Paulo/SP.
The objective of the Matrix is to highlight the evidences showing that social and environmental responsibility is a business strategy that yields positive results – even more profitability – and helps internalize CSR in companies, that is, in the management process and activities those who work there.
Available at the site of Instituto Ethos (http://www.ethos.org.br), at UniEthos, the Matrix is a colorful chart where business and sustainability indexes are presented. Companies interested in taking part should identify in the Matrix, the cell their case fits in, click there, and register the case, which will be sent to Instituto Ethos and go through a Committee in charge of approving the publication.
The 17 cases already accepted include the pulp and paper company, Aracruz, which, because of its forestation incentive programs received an environmental license with fewer bureaucratic requirements because was able to show the connection between indexes of local economy growth and community development, and management of risk and credibility". Another example is the organic sugar company, Native, whose investment in responsible environmental production resulted in greater productivity than average sugar farmers in the region of Sertãozinho, in the State of Sao Paulo, where it is located, and a premium price of 60%, as it is organic, showing the relationship between "environmental products" and "income growth and market access", and between "environmental process" and "cost saving and productivity".
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