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Technology as a means for efficient ESG performance

Technology can and should be used as a tool to drive ESG initiatives in companies, making them economically viable and qualitatively measurable.

11/08/2023


 

Good technology management is essential for sustainable development in companies, especially when combined with the appropriate tools that allow the measurement, collection, processing and analysis of data. Crucial for the energy transition in society and corporations, it enables gains in energy efficiency through the optimization of processes and the use of energy-efficient equipment and technologies.

It is important to be aware of the risks associated with the ESG agenda, especially in technology and governance, to be compliant with laws, including the LGPD, and to invest in cybersecurity. Technology becomes one of the pillars that bring even easier measurement and application of an efficient ESG agenda, and understanding its challenges, what should be looked at carefully and what important information should be treated today can be fundamental, as they are indicators of the actions to be taken.


The business relationship with ESG goals

The relationship between the ESG agenda and companies' corporate goals can be addressed in different pillars:


Environment: Energy Transformation, Climate Change, Water Use, Biological Diversity and Natural Resources, Air Contamination, Solid, Liquid and Hazardous Waste.


Social: Health and Protection at Work, Community Interaction, Evolution of Human Capital, Labor Standards and Human Rights, Gender Equality, Race and Identity, Supply Chain Management


Governance: Privacy and Data Protection, Risk Management, Structuring and Shareholder Rights, Diversity in Leadership Positions and Board of Directors.


ESG in Brazil, our scenario of improvements

Brazil still has a lot to evolve in the implementation of a culture adhering to ESG practices. Although some companies are more aware of this process, it is known that this is influenced by societal pressure and stakeholder positioning. The growing awareness of corporate responsibility in relation to the agenda is an important social duty, but beyond that there are several other gains that make the journey worthwhile, despite the challenges it brings.


In general, the benefits linked to commitment can translate into process optimization, cost reduction, energy transition, talent attraction and retention, assertive and data-driven decisions, investment attraction, and so on.


Evaluating the progress of ESG stocks and comparing companies from different sectors is complex due to the particularities of each industry and the fact that the weight of each stock varies according to the sector of operation.


The ESG journey is an ongoing task that requires the collaboration of all parties involved to achieve success, including the direction of the company. It is important that the ESG guideline is present in the strategic plan so that everyone can work in line with the macro-objectives of the business.


Companies that stand out for their ESG performance


In Brazil, some companies that stand out in ESG performance are:


Natura: The group has a solid performance on environmental, social and governance issues. According to the 2021 IP&L report, which integrates gains and losses from the environmental and social effects of its activities, for every R$ 1 of revenue, the company generated a positive socio-environmental impact of R$ 1.50.


It is worth mentioning its commitment to reducing the carbon footprint, acting in this direction since 2007. As a result, more than 1.28 MM tons of CO2 have already been avoided by 2021. With a robust and strategic area on the ESG agenda, Marcelo Behar, the group's vice president of Sustainability, in an interview with Estadão in August 2022, highlighted some of its main commitments.


In the environmental pillar, the concern with the entire production chain, from the extraction of raw materials, waste management and decarbonization; in the social pillar, the commitment to the goals of gender equality, education and mobilization of sales consultants; and the circular economy, which aims at recycling and reusing packaging.


Ambev: The group has a strong commitment to preserving the environment, including actions to reduce carbon emissions and reuse water.


It is important to highlight its commitment to 100% of the decarbonization of its own operations by 2030 and of the entire production chain, involving scopes 1, 2 and 3 by 2040, in addition to the commitment to make, by 2025, that 100% of the energy sources used are clean and renewable.

With the investment in technological management, the company has managed to reduce water consumption by 55% in the last 18 years, reducing the average water use for the production of 1 liter of beer, which was previously from 5.36 liters to 2.4 liters, a reference today for beverage industries around the world.


Regarding social commitment, we can highlight Ambev AMA, which reverts 100% of the profit from the sale of the company's water to social causes and has already benefited more than 630 thousand people in Brazil.


Braskem: The company is recognized for its innovative approach to producing green plastics from renewable sources. Based on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, the company published in September 2021 its social, environmental and governance commitments.


Among the goals and objectives, we highlight its concern with the reduction and offsetting of the carbon footprint by 2050, the expansion of the portfolio of green products, the elimination of plastic waste and the promotion of diversity with equity and inclusion.


Braskem uses the international indicators GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) and SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board) to measure the results of its actions.


ESG's relationship with digital transformation and Industry 4.0

The combination of technologies can improve the efficiency of a company, strengthen its position in the preservation of the environment and promote social responsibility actions. The entire team must understand the company's objectives and how the information generated daily can be used to make more assertive and efficient decisions that bring value to the organization. Digitalization and Industry 4.0 technologies facilitate the implementation of ESG initiatives and expand their use in companies.


Here are some examples:

Digitization of processes: Digitization not only increases efficiency, but is also a key part of sustainability. This requires the implementation of a robust IT infrastructure, the automation and automation of processes, as well as support for the use of software.


Establishment of digital whistleblowing platforms: Companies can implement and offer digital platforms on their websites. It is a form of corporate governance that helps organizations actively engage in the fight against corruption.


Use of artificial intelligence for process improvement: AI enables the processing of a series of data to make it possible to be analyzed in an industrial operation.


Robotization of processes: the use of autonomous robots in companies makes it possible to increase operational efficiency and safety in certain processes. However, it is essential that the definition regarding the use of this type of technology is made with responsibility and commitment to the work positions that will eventually be replaced by the machines. In this sense, allocating employees to strategic positions in the operation, as well as investing in technical training regarding new technologies, can be an efficient way.


Technology can and should be used as a tool to drive ESG initiatives in companies, making them economically viable and qualitatively measurable.


Integrated and customized solutions for your operation

Having specialized partners and experiences that connect these initiatives and technology solutions is a key tip for those who want to have fewer mishaps in the journey. Customized, high-tech solutions contribute to a clearer and more objective journey.


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