The 20 Most Responsible Brazilian Companies

(Picture: Roberto Civita and the cover of the 2007 Exame guide. Credit: Exame.) A few days ago, Brazilian magazine Exame presented its annual guide of responsible companies and awarded the best sustainability practices in Brazilian businesses. Selected companies were Accor, Acesita, Amanco, Aracruz, Arcelor, Basf, Braskem, Caterpillar, CPFL, Elektro, IBM, Itaú Bank, Mapfre, Natura cosmetics, Philips, Promon, Real Bank, Serasa, Suzano Paper, and Unilever (see which were the best practices by each in the extended).

During the awards ceremony, Roberto Civita, president of Abril Group publishers (owner of the magazine and the most important publisher in the country), highlighted how much environmental interest is growing in the corporate sector. "Among the companies we analyzed, 63% of them have a sustainability committee, 83% have corporate politics regarding the environment, and 81% use social criteria to choose their providers. One-third of these companies also links the variable part of the salary of its employees to environmental and social goals. These are notable figures, there's no question about it," he said.

Keep reading for the list of awarded companies and their practices.

Via Exame magazine.The initial numbers of companies competing for the award were 206. The selection was made in two stages: first, companies had to complete a form and then, the ones that had the highest scores were analyzed by a group of experts.

The 20 awarded companies and their "achievements" are listed below, in alphabetical order. Some of the explanations don't seem like impressive actions, but we thought it is always positive to highlight big companies that are at least trying to go in a different direction. Draw your own conclusions:

Accor (voucher and employment incentives): During the first day at work, employees learn actions related to sustainability that are incorporated to their everyday activity.

Acesita (steel producer): Invests in a junior program for students in high school to improve the quality of its labour force.

Amanco (fluid conduction supplies for construction): Water consume reduction is an obligation and affects executives salaries.

Aracruz (cellulose): It is the only forestal company in the world to be listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability index in the New York stock market.

Arcelor (steel producer): Invests 270 million Reals (about 159 million dollars) in environmental programs and in reducing the use of non renewable materials in steel production.

Basf (chemicals): The company redesigned its production structure and became pioneer in its sector.

Braskem (petrochemicals): The company put sustainability in the center of its business expansion strategy.

Caterpillar (construction and mining equipment): Installed in the city of Piracicaba (Sao Paulo) for thirty years, the company has led the creation of a sustainable development agenda for the city.

CPFL (energy): By increasing the productivity of its power stations, the company is accumulating carbon credits to finance its environmental projects.

Elektro (electricity): With the project Community Energy the company collaborates in the re-urbanization of poor areas and improves the life quality of thousands of people in the cities where it is present.

IBM (computers): Promotes the use of its idle computers in investigations for health and environment.

Itau Bank: Launched the first investment fund that allows the investor to contribute to offset its carbon emissions.

Mapfre (insurance): The company's Road Safety program involves 2,5 million students in Sao Paulo and is a referent in transit education.

Natura (cosmetics): Pioneer in sustainability in Brazil, the company has one of the most efficient programs of carbon offsetting.

Philips (electronics): To gain market share, the Brazilian subsidiary of this brand is betting on energy saving equipments.

Promon (construction): The company spreads the word on green building and demands its providers to adopt sustainable practices in business.

Real Bank: It has transformed its employees in agents that multiply sustainable practices. The executives' salaries are linked to the company's performance and that includes the results in the social and environmental areas.

Serasa (information analysis): Encourages the involvement of employees and instead of donating certain cervices for charity institutions, it offers them a complete consultancy service.

Suzano (cellulose): By adopting the concept of sustainability, Suzano has managed to expand its production and add value to its stocks in Bovespa (stock market in Sao Paulo).

Unilever: After changing the format of some of its products' packaging, the Brazilian subsidiary of this major corporation has reduced in 305% its use of paper.

Apart from having this ranking, this special edition of Exame magazine has several interviews and articles about these institutions and their models. It also includes trends in Brazil and the world related to environmental issues.

The publication is in news stands in Brazil since November 29th and can be seen online here (in Portuguese). ::Exame

Tags: Brazil | Corporate Responsibility | Latin America