Working in Networks

Joining Efforts with Different Partners Leverages Knowledge, Broadens the Reach of Social Initiatives and Improves Results

In 2018, the Votorantim Institute entered into a partnership with the Banco do Brasil Foundation to develop a food security and income generation project in Curral Novo do Piauí, a town located 600 kilometers south of Teresina, where Votorantim Energia installed the Ventos do Piauí Wind Complex. The complex is made up of seven wind farms and was inaugurated in early 2018 with investments of R$ 1.1 billion. It currently produces 206 MW of energy—enough to supply a city of 820,000 people—and has an installed capacity of 2,604 MW (almost 13 times more).

The same boldness that the Complex shows from a business standpoint applies to its social approach. Curral Novo do Piauí has a little more than 5,000 inhabitants, an average income per capita less than the minimum wage and significant infrastructure deficiencies. The challenges of the location were identified by Votorantim Energia during the planning phase and guided a series of interventions aimed at reducing negative impacts and leveraging positive ones starting with the construction stage. A few examples include a structured initiative to prevent the violation of the rights of children and adolescents—a risk that usually accompanies large infrastructure projects—structuring public management programs and the creation of channels for dialogue with the community.

The Institute’s partnership with the Banco do Brasil Foundation was established at the beginning of the operation, in 2018. By 2020, the two organizations will have invested a total of R$ 1 million in initiatives aimed at improving living conditions, reducing social inequality, and developing the autonomy and citizenship of the 26 vulnerable families living in the vicinity of the Complex.

The initiative is an example of the effort by the Votorantim Institute to establish a network of partners that translates into greater effectiveness in the search for increased synergy between business and social objectives in the priority areas for Votorantim companies. Whether seeking cooperation or opening up to cooperate with other initiatives that are aligned with its ideals, the Institute lends its social technologies and its support and results monitoring structures and is available to participate in initiatives that add value, whether by sharing its technical skills or by adding a different approach to the projects.

Co-financing is another area that has been expanding in the Institute, which understands that this search for partners that can contribute resources to projects enables higher impact and a broader scope of work. “We only work in towns where Votorantim companies are present precisely to ensure that we can monitor the projects, but we seek partners without this territorial restriction, who believe and share some of our premises of social performance and local development,” said Rafael Gioielli, Votorantim Institute’s Institutional general manager.

International Impact

In 2018, the Institute also entered into a partnership with The Resource Foundations, a US-based institution that works to raise funds in the United States to invest in social projects in regions of vulnerability in Latin America. In addition to raising capital to invest in Institute projects, such as Support to Public Management (AGP)Votorantim Partnership for Education (PVE)ReDes program, Votorantim for Childhood and Adolescence (VIA) and Empowerment of Organizations, the partnership enables broader international exposure of the social initiatives supported by participating companies. Fundraising campaigns are due to start in 2019. “We have already selected some of our social technologies that are eligible to receive these resources,” said Rafael.

Education

Another example of a network effort is the participation in Conviva Educação, an initiative of the National Union of Municipal Education Leaders (UNDIME) coordinated by the Natura Institute, which contributes to public school management by preparing and empowering the work of managers and municipal offices of education. In 2018, the initiative supported more than 90% of the Brazilian towns. The Votorantim Institute participates in management forums, provides financial support to the initiative and contributed to the strategic discussions on the use and improvement of the virtual platform, which enables Conviva Educação to expand the knowledge of education managers. All 104 municipalities served by the PVE in 2018 were registered on the platform and able to take advantage of its various functions, such as free courses and Municipal Education Plan monitoring.