Mediation: Luciana Brandão, Semente Negócios
Speakers: Felipe Bittencourt (WayCarbon), Laura Guaitolini (Schneider Electric), Marcelo Behar (Natura & Co), Renata Van Der Weken (AMBEV)
Lesson: The private sector is leading the way in the climate crisis through inspiring examples of companies that not only want to make their own supply chain more sustainable, but also the entire ecosystem that they work in.
The panel is opened and moderated by Luciana Brandão from Porto Alegre (Brazil), she works as an Innovation Consultant and Project Manager at Semente Negócios where they have projects to drive social innovation and sustainable entrepreneurship in Brazil. Tonight we are going to meet 4 professionals, who are going to share with us their experience in the private sector, especially how these professionals have been contributing to tackle some of the most pressing challenges related to climate change. Luciana starts with explaining that the intersection between climate change and the private sector is a very challenging one, due to the multi-layered nature of the climate challenge. Luciana wants to highlight 3 aspects during this panel.
The first one is how companies and their environmental externalities in the last few centuries have been contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and what kind of mitigation options these companies have come up with. The second aspect is about innovation, especially how the private sector contributes and brings this will to change through designing and delivering new solutions to the market that are more ecological, carbon-free, and inclusive. The last aspect is about adaptation, in particular how private organisations and companies could survive and thrive in a changing world. Luciana will lead the conversation with Felipe Bittencourt, Laura Guaitolini, Marcelo Behar, and Renata van der Weken.
The first one to speak is Felipe Bittencourt, he is a Business Director and the owner of WayCarbon. He is a civil engineer with his master’s and phD in climate change and over 15 years of experience with working in the specific field of climate change. His company (WayCarbon) has been running for 14 years so far, working mainly with climate change and corporate sustainability. They have about 75-80 employees working full time, with the aim of giving additional benefits to society. Felipe explains that the company exists because they want to cut lies and change the transition to a low carbon economy. In order to do that, the company has been working with large corporations and governments at all levels (municipal, state and federal). Especially important are the innovations that WayCarbon came up with, Felipe is going to explain this through 5 different solutions that WayCarbon has come up with. The first solution is called ‘Climas’, a software to manage sustainability. This program calculates greenhouse gases for about 50 different large corporations in 13 different countries and creates all the necessary sustainability reports (e.g. sustainability index). The second solution is called ‘Move’, which is a platform to analyse the vulnerability of a specific company. Through this solution, WayCarbon is modelling the financial risks of cities and private companies related to climate change. To continue, the third solution is called ‘licenTIa’, which is a platform for environmental licensing, which combines artificial intelligence with the processes of environmental licensing. The fourth solution is called ‘Consultoria’ (consulting), WayCarbon has specific managers for mitigation, adaptation strategy, sustainability metrics, and green finance. The last solution is called ‘Amigo do Clima’, which is an offset programme that is already running for 6-7 years and tries to offset large corporations through carbon credits.
The second one to speak is Laura Guaitolini, she is an Environmental Engineer and Specialist in Marketing and Business. She is currently working at Schneider Electric, a multinational group on digital energy management solutions and automation solutions that drives energy efficiency and sustainability for all kinds of end markets, such as buildings, infrastructure, data centres, and industries. Schneider Electric is currently shifting their business towards being a carbon neutral business and is also promoting and contributing to the transition that the world needs towards a carbon neutral economy. The company is completely shifting the entire business model to provide more and more services and solutions to help fight the climate crisis. Laura explains that they even say ‘More Schneider, is a better climate’, because of the type of portfolio Schneider Electric has right now. Laura also gives a specific example of this: Schneider Electric wants to reduce 120 million metric tons of CO2 emitted by their customers through the use of their solutions. So the company doesn’t only want to decarbonize itself, but also the entire value chain and all the customers. Laura finishes her part with a call-out to all young people who want to pursue a career in sustainability or climate change: Even though we are still very few, we will be more in the future!
The third speaker is Marcelo Behar, he is the Vice President Sustainability and Group of Affairs for Nature & Co, a company that comprises 4 different brands: Natura, the Body Shop, Avon and Aesop. Together the company has over 6 million representatives and consultants, 34,000 employees, and 3,000 stores. Nature & Co is represented in over 100 countries and has committed itself to very clear and strict targets on sustainability and climate action, which will provide many opportunities for climate professionals in the future. Marcelo starts with explaining all the pillars of the company. The first pillar that Nature & Co is committing itself to is to become net zero by the year 2030, nearly 20 years ahead of the UN pledge to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees! Marcelo explains that it will be a challenge that requires the effort of the entire network, with changes in logistics, production, supply and consumption. Especially important is packaging; there is a big effort on making packages more sustainable and renewable (see pillar 3). The company also committed itself to defend human rights and to become human kind, which needs to be aligned through the entire supply chain. The last pillar is also connected to the climate sphere, which is to embrace circularity and regeneration, to become completely circular on packaging and use ingredients that are at least 95% biodegradable and renewable. This will provide a lot of opportunities in the company’s R&D department for many professionals that are connected to the mindset of changing the current production processes from a linear model to a circular model.
The last one to speak is Renata van der Weken, she is a Corporate Environment and Energy Manager at AMBEV. She already works for 13 years at the company and is currently responsible for environment, energy and utilities in South America. Renata’s story starts when she graduated as a civil engineer with a master’s in Environmental Sanitation. She started as an environmental supervisor at the shop floor of a brewery and quickly worked her way up to managing environmental projects. These projects did not only touch upon climate and energy, but also upon (waste) water treatment, production, and installations. Renata’s story continues as an environmental manager of both a brewery in Uberlândia and Paraná, followed by her current job as a Corporate Environment and Energy Manager. AMBEV has the dream to bring people together for a better world, which means preventing the adverse effects of climate change. AMBEV has different platforms with specific sustainability targets, all these pillars are related to climate action. The company has the pillar itself of climate action, with 2 medium-term targets: AMBEV aims to have 100% of their electricity sources by 2025 coming from renewable sources and 25% reduction of the company’s emissions. Until the year 2017, the objectives were related to reducing the emissions within the operations of the company (e.g. reducing consumption). Now, AMBEV wants to do this in the entire ecosystem that the company works in. The objective is to reach 25% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions throughout the entire value chain, which includes areas like agriculture and logistics. Even though this is still within the climate pillar, these objectives are also related to the other sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) of the United Nations. An example is water, AMBEV wants to have a measurable improvement of water quality in all highly stressed areas that the company works in, for example through improving water infrastructure and through reforestation plans. Another example is smart agriculture, where AMBEV wants to empower farmers to increase productivity and profitability, and at the same time improve and reduce the use of natural resources. AMBEV also also has a full pillar dedicated to circular packaging, where they have the goal of having 100% of their products with returnable packaging or recycled material. Through all these pillars, AMBEV is making an effort to work towards the reduction of emissions to help the global fight against climate change.
See the record of the talk below:
About the Day of the Climate Professional:
The Day of the Climate Professional (DCP), celebrated on November 24, is an annual date to celebrate and catalyse the professionals accelerating solutions to the climate crisis. The 2020 inaugural edition was marked by an all-day virtual summit—networking activities, workshops, keynote presentations, interactive Q&As, and more—fostering reflections and actions on the interdisciplinary of climate change, its urgency, and the importance of working to tackle it through varied professions and sectors of society. Learn More.