Vision on Sustainability
Itaúsa orients, encourages and supports the companies in their efforts to integrate the topic of sustainability into their business development processes. This vision promotes the alignment of social, cultural and environmental practices of the companies in order to create value for society within a chain of wealth sharing.
Besides the obvious economic and financial aspects, the generation of value must also include a contribution to preserve natural resources, access to knowledge and culture and the reduction of social inequalities. The following are considered the guidelines for such operations:
- Recognition of human capital;
- Operational autonomy of the companies;
- Leadership in its sectors of operation;
- Strong brands;
- Internationalization of companies;
- Capital structure;
- Dissemination of the organizational culture.
The sustainability management at the Itaúsa Conglomerate's main companies is directly tied to the nature of each business.
|"The integration of the two banking institutions also includes the union of the respective sustainability cultures. The focus for 2011 will be to position the management of the theme in such a way that it becomes part of the bank's business agenda. We are working to obtain extensive internal engagement to grow sustainably, focusing increasingly more on our customers."
Supervisor at Itaú Unibanco
In the financial area, Itaú Unibanco Holding S.A. is among the largest banks in the world, with a market value higher than R$179.6 billion at the end of 2010 and shares traded on three markets – the São Paulo Stock Exchange (BM&FBovespa), Buenos Aires Stock Exchange (BCBA) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). For this reason, accountability is one of the priority topics of our management, backed by ethical and transparent values and principles.
The Itaú Unibanco Holding S.A. credit operations are guided by the Equator Principles for Financial Institutions, sponsored by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), an institution associated with the World Bank.
They are guidelines that orient financial institutions to include social-environmental risk analyses in their project financing operations. It is a voluntary commitment by the financial agents to incorporate these principles into the financed projects.
For the past 11 years, Itaú Unibanco has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes (DJSI) portfolio. Its inclusion dates back to its very creation in 1999. It has also participated for the past six years in the Brazilian Commodities and Futures Exchange (BM&FBovespa) Corporate Sustainability Index (ISE), which consists of 47 shares from 38 companies. Itaú Unibanco has been included on this index also since its creation.
The bank also adopts the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which are guidelines directed at a network of international investors who work together to put into practice an initiative supported by the United Nations Organization.
To further reinforce the topic, Itaú Unibanco developed "Essence of Sustainability," an initiative consolidated together with its stakeholders that represents in a clear and summarized fashion the eight challenges for bank management and those that concentrate the biggest efforts in the quest for sustainable operations.
The "Essence of Sustainability" presents eight permanent challenge items:
1. Transparency and governance;
2. Customer satisfaction;
3. Social-environmental criteria;
5. Climate change;
6. Financial education;
8. Stakeholder engagement.
Banking sector management is governed by a Sustainability Policy that establishes guidelines that permeate the strategy and management associated with all stakeholders. These policies are related to the following areas:
- Business management;
- Products and services;
- Internal public;
- Supplier relations;
Itaúsa has a structure dedicated to assisting the industrial segment in the areas of integration, management, and development of policies and best practices at companies. In 2010, the companies took further steps forward in terms of standardizing their respective environmental actions. Such work involves permanent monitoring in terms of changes in environmental and safety legislation affecting the business, in addition to a permanent agenda with the top management.
In two industrial area segments in which Duratex and Itautec operate, 2010 was a year requiring a close monitoring of the legal aspects of environmental legislation affecting the two companies, primarily the approval of the Brazilian National Solid Waste Policy. The issue of locale is a factor to consider when making decisions, since besides the federal, state and municipal aspects, there was also the development of specific laws, some of which did not follow federal legislation, generating specific obligations for each site.
Another important point was the inventory of greenhouse gas emissions based on the principles of the GHG Protocol and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for the three companies from the industrial area (Duratex S.A., Elekeiroz S.A. and Itautec S.A.). This work was undertaken by an internal team with the support of the Brazilian Foundation for Sustainable Development (FBDS), a company specialized in the topic.
With aims of improving environmental management and performance, all the industrial units and farms have indicators focused on energy and water consumption, effluent, atmospheric and waste emissions and biodiversity. In 2010, these indicators were increased and incorporated into the SAP ERP application, with Duratex and Itautec becoming the first companies in Brazil to acquire the Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) and Emissions modules. This evolution in the performance indicator management system will allow the company significant gains in quality and data security.
All of the companies from the industrial area have external communication channels for the topic of sustainability. The main channel of contact with society is via e-mail, through which those interested can request information about the practices and strategic positions of each one of the companies. Those interested should send an e-mail to email@example.com
The Intranet is designed to assist employees from the three companies of the Itaúsa Conglomerate – Duratex S.A., Elekeiroz S.A. and Itautec S.A. – with a summary of all the developed actions. There are links for Twitter, promotions, portal highlights, GRI indicators, environmental and social information, articles, interviews and news. This channel receives over 1,000 accesses per day. Every month, the employees receive e-mail messages with the highlights from the portal.
|"The GRI guidelines adopted at all the companies, together with other market references on the topic, such as the ISE and Ethos and Dow Jones Indicators, have become valuable tools for assisting with the continuous improvement of internal processes. They also present how the demands are evolving in terms of the relationship with the different stakeholders. It is a major challenge, since it involves a change of culture, and with every passing year it is possible to see the evolution in the work and results achieved in the companies' management model."
João Carlos Redondo
Executive Manager of
Industrial Area Sustainability
Duratex presents a business model that combines aspects tied to sustainability in the operations with a search for results conducted in an ethical fashion. This includes the monitoring of legislation and risks, environmental preservation and social responsibility with a focus on items such as safety. The company also invests in technology and innovation to manufacture wood panels and bathroom accessories and fixtures that are synonymous with quality and market leadership. The Duratex relationship actions are designed to promote transparent and segmented dialogue, where all the premises of this engagement are expressed in its Code of Ethics and Conduct.
Created in 2009, the Board of Directors' Sustainability Committee was created to promote and create mechanisms to integrate sustainability into the Duratex management process. The committee's coordinator is nominated by minority shareholders and must have extensive experience in the social-environmental field. Since 2010, the committee has gathered on nine occasions, and worked together with FBDS to better understand the practices developed by Duratex focused on sustainability. Within this context, it offered workshops with aims of disseminating the topic and aligning concepts among the target public – consisting of executives from all levels of the company. At the end of the year, it approved the action plan for the short, medium and long terms with aims of inserting concepts and practices designed for continuous improvement into the company's strategic plan.
Another advance was the first meeting with stakeholders for defining the material to be included in its Annual Sustainability Report.
Besides the inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, Duratex improved the methodology for measuring its fixed carbon content in the planted forests that supply the industrial plants. Of the 224,000 hectares (52% on its own lands and 48% on leased lands), 61,067.51 were considered for the evaluation and quantification of the carbon content, or in other words, the carbon fixed by the forests during their growth process.
An analysis considering the emissions and sequestration during the same period demonstrates that the Duratex operations have a higher carbon fixation than the emissions from its processes.
The company's environmental policy describes its commitments in this area. It has obtained ISO 9001 certifications, as well as the ISO 14001 at two of its units, attesting to its commitment to the Environmental Management System adopted on the farms. In addition to the management and control over the extraction processes, the wood division products bear the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) seal. In the Duratex metal production sector, the company passed the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) compliance evaluation to offer nine lines of Deca products with the Sustentax seal, featuring items that reduce water consumption by up to 80%.
In the relation of environmental commitments assumed, Duratex is the first Latin American company to have its forest areas certified with the Green Seal (FSC) and is a founding member of the Green Building Council Brasil, an organization dedicated to promoting sustainable construction activities. It is also a signatory of the UN Global Pact.
The environmental policy adopted by Elekeiroz is the result of the joint work of the Itaúsa Conglomerate companies and is aligned with the general guidelines focused on environmental preservation, rational use of natural resources, production safety and product transportation, both internally and externally. The company also monitors important elements such as atmospheric emissions, water, effluents and wastes.
By integrating the environmental and safety areas, Elekeiroz seeks to prevent environmental impacts by ensuring the safe operation of its processes, implementing permanent actions at its industrial operations, both at the Várzea Paulista and Camaçari sites.
It also takes part in the Responsible Operations Program of the International Council of Chemical Associations, coordinated nationally by the Brazilian Chemical Industry Association (ABIQUIM), which helps manage the environmental and safety aspects of sector-related activities. It also adopts the protocols of the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (REACH) which, since 2006, has regulated the circulation of products based on the chemical composition used in its manufacturing process. The company maintains a Quality Management System that was structured and implemented in compliance with the ISO 9001 Standard for all its production lines.
At Elekeiroz, the implementation of the sustainability report model using the GRI guideline was considered a top priority of the company's sustainability consolidation process, and was included in its governance policy as an important management and reporting instrument.
The Governance and Risks Committee, created to advise the Board of Directors, has the task of supporting the development of governance and sustainability policies, as well as risk control and management mechanisms. The committee also monitors the trends of global sustainability topics that may have impacts on its activities, proposing adjustment or risk reduction actions.
The founding principles of the Code of Ethics and Conduct include legality, respect for human beings and diversity, the rejection of any form of discrimination, incentive toward personal and professional development and social, environmental and cultural responsibility.
All of the companies headed by Itaúsa follow a rigorous environmental policy, with certifications to prove their commitment in this area.
Itautec dedicated the year to align the company with Brazil's National Solid Waste Policy, work that it began even before it became a legal obligation. The biggest challenge is to adapt to the specific regulations of the states in which it has operational units. One example is the state of Paraná, where the topic extends beyond what the national policy requires.
The "Conscious User's Guide to Electronic Products," launched in 2010, is a pioneering initiative developed by Itautec to help consumers make conscious decisions when purchasing and using electronic products. This consultation can be performed online at www.itautec.com.br/pt-br/sustentabilidade. The guide presents the stages of a purchase, simple tips on the use and post-use of electronic products, as well as the phases of the product lifecycle.
As part of an effort that began nearly 10 years ago, Itautec had already adopted a reverse logistics system for its products. Created in 2003, it is the first project developed by a manufacturer in Brazil with this purpose.
After the Brazilian Norm NBR ISO 14001 certification of its Environmental Management Program in 2001, the company adopted a recycling process, initiated in 2003, that over the past three years sent more than 4,500 tons of electronic waste for recycling that returned to the production chain in the form of raw material.
The entire electronic production line, located at the company's Jundiaí site in São Paulo, was adjusted to guarantee that the equipment was produced in compliance with the European directive RoHS, which restricts the use of lead and other toxic substances in equipment production.