Brookfield operates its businesses with a long-term view. This approach influences the company’s investment strategy and its commitment to environmental, social and governance practices.
Brookfield believes that the creation of value and sustainable development are objectives that go hand in hand. As such, the company is committed to ensuring its practices have a positive impact in the communities in which it operates.
With the objective of complementing economic objectives with good corporate CITIZENSHIP, Brookfield’s approach is based on the following set of principles and practices:
Ensure the Well-Being and Safety of Employees
Meet or exceed all applicable labor laws and standards in jurisdictions where we operate, which includes respecting human rights, offering competitive wages and implementing nondiscriminatory, fully inclusive hiring practices.
Health & Safety
Aim to have zero serious safety incidents within our businesses by working towards implementing consistent health and safety principles across the organization.
Be Good Stewards in the Communities in Which We Operate
Engage with community groups that might be affected by our actions to ensure that their interests, safety and well-being are appropriately integrated into our decision-making.
Empower our employees to participate in — and use our resources to give back to — the communities in which we operate.
Conduct Business According to the Highest Ethical and Legal/Regulatory Standards
Governance, Ethics and Fairness
Operate with high ethical standards by conducting business activities in compliance with applicable legal and regulatory requirements, and our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
Be accessible to our investors and stakeholders by being responsive to requests for information and timely in our communication.
Mitigate the Impact of Our Operations on the Environment
Strive to minimize the environmental impact of our operations and improve our efficient use of resources over time.
ACTIVITIES IN BRAZIL
Highly conscious of the importance and impact of its operations, Brookfield and its portfolio companies strive to always operate with social and environmental responsibility top of mind. To support that goal, it is involved in a range of projects and programs that contribute to local communities.
This approach includes encouraging and supporting organizations and initiatives that support and promote education, culture, healthcare, sports, and the environment.
Brookfield supports programs that foster improvements in public services
Since 2017, Brookfield has supported the Together for Sustainable Development Program (Programa Juntos pelo Desenvolvimento Sustentável). This program was first launched in 2013 by Comunitas, a non-profit corporation, which aims to improve the management and delivery of public services by fostering partnerships between government and the private sector. The goal of this program is to expand investments in education, health, and infrastructure projects across Brazil.
The Together Program is supported by many business leaders in Brazil who either donate funds and/or their own expertise. To support project implementation, Brookfield participates in working groups alongside its government partners, provides funding support and assists with the development and maintenance of a ‘Best Practices’ archive so that processes from successful projects can be shared and replicated across other cities and states.
The Together Program network operates in the cities of São Paulo (SP), Salvador (BA), Campinas (SP), Petrolina (PE), Caruaru (PE), Curitiba (PR), Juiz de Fora (MG), Paraty (RJ), Pelotas (RS), Santos (SP) and Teresina (PI). And since 2018, some provincial state governments have joined the Together network. The program has had a positive impact, directly and indirectly, on some 100 million Brazilian citizens.
Tegra Incorporadora, BRK Ambiental and VLI also support the Together Program.
Brookfield and NTS support the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra
Since 2000, Brookfield has been a sponsor and partner of the oldest and most well-respected orchestra in Brazil, the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra (OSB). Founded in 1940, the OSB’s mission is to share the beauty of classical music, expand audiences and support the development of musical talent.
In 2017, NTS, a natural gas transmission utility and Brookfield portfolio company, became the orchestra’s primary sponsor. Together, NTS and the OSB collaboratively developed Musical Connections (Conexões Musicais), an outreach program that provides musical training to local musicians and musicians-to-be in the various communities and regions NTS operates.
The program was first launched in 2017 in the city of Japeri and then in the city of Volta Redonda in upstate Rio de Janeiro. As part of the program, local musicians received training and coaching from members of the OSB, at the same time, public school teachers received training so they, in turn, could offer musical education to their students. In 2018, this project was extended to the municipalities of Guapimirim, Barra Mansa, Barra do Piraí, Mangaratiba and Paracambi, located in the state of Rio de Janeiro, and Santos and Osasco, in the state of São Paulo.
Throughout 2018, the program delivered over 300 hours of classroom instruction, workshops and rehearsals, and allowed local musicians to perform in concerts with the OSB, sometimes to audiences of 8,000 people.
At the classroom level, over 14,000 young people from 70 schools took part in the ‘Orchestra in the Classroom’ (Orquestra em Sala) program. A further 1,500 children took part in ‘Orchestra in Movement’, (A Orquestra em Movimento), a music program customized for the city of Barra Mansa (RJ).
In 2018, the OSB held 29 concerts in the Sala Cecília Meirelles and 12 performances in the Theatro Municipal (located in Rio de Janeiro), along with eight Musical Connections performances. The OSB estimates that throughout 2018, roughly fifty thousand people were entertained by its performances.
Estrela Dalva Program: supporting young people from low-income communities
The aim of the Estrela Dalva Program, which Brookfield has sponsored since 2007, is to identify and support gifted young people from low-income communities in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Each year, the program runs an exhaustive selection process to identify and support disadvantaged youths and provide high performers with the opportunity to write admission exams for entry into some of the city’s leading schools.
In 2018, as part of the annual identification process, more than 3,700 students from 48 institutions in the Rio de Janeiro municipal school network were identified as ‘high potential’ students. After much review and assessment, 24 fourth grade elementary school students and 21 eighth graders were chosen to take part in the exam preparation program. From Monday to Friday, these students participate in additional lessons during the second part of the school day, covering subjects such as Math, Portuguese and Essay Writing, along with an intensive cultural program. At the end of 2020, these students will be able to write admission exams.
In 2018, 65 students from the 5th-grade and 23 students from the 9th-grade took part in the admission process. Among the 5th-grade students, 27 were approved for admission (an approval rate of 77%), and among 9th-grade students, 17 were approved for admission (an approval rate of 82%).
Since implementation, the Estrela Dalva program has assessed over 30,000 high-potential students from various local schools.
BRK conducts a study on the impact of sanitation services on the lives of Brazilian women
BRK Ambiental, a Brookfield company, provides 180 cities with water and sewage services in Brazil. In 2018, the Trata Brasil Institute, in partnership with BRK Ambiental and with the support of the United Nations Organization’s Global Compact, published a study entitled ‘Sanitation and the Life of the Brazilian Woman’.
The study was based on official data from the Brazilian Federal Government Statistics Office (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística or IBGE) and from the Ministries of Health, Education and Cities. The complete methodology for this study can be found at www.tratabrasil.org.br.
The study found that while the inability to access basic sanitation had an adverse impact in society as a whole, it was also a leading factor in reinforcing gender inequality in Brazil. It also revealed that:
27 million women in Brazil (or one in every four women), did not have adequate access to basic sanitation infrastructure.
1.5 million women had no bathroom in their home.
A lack of access to treated water and sewage disposal is one of the leading causes of diarrhea, causing women living in these conditions to take 3.5 days off from their routine activities each year.
Inadequate sanitation is most dangerous for elderly women: 73.7% of deaths occur among women with no access to sanitation.
School-age girls without access to bathroom facilities exhibit sub-par academic performance, scoring on average 25% lower on the National High School Examinations (ENEM) compared with the average for Brazilian students as a whole.
The study also concluded that access to basic sanitation (a determinant in health, education, income and wellbeing) would immediately pull 635,000 women, primarily young women and women of Afro-descent, out of poverty.
Launched in 2013 by the Federal Government, the National Sanitation Plan (PLANSAB) has a goal of delivering universal access to water supply and sewage collection and treatment by the year 2033. However, the country has been unsuccessful in providing sufficient investment over the past 11 years and studies indicate the government would need to invest BRL 20 billion annually to meet its goals. Given the budgetary constraints on the public purse, it is clear that participation from the private sector is critical in meeting these targets.
Brazil’s largest private sanitation company, BRK Ambiental, remains committed to the development of basic sanitation services in the country. Over the next five years, they are planning investments in the country’s water and sewage services that are estimated at BRL 7 billion.
Arteris combines highway investments with wildlife preservation
In 2018, Arteris Fluminense, the Arteris group’s concessionaire responsible for the management of 322 kilometers of the BR-101 interstate toll road between the states of Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo, began construction of the country’s first green overpass crossing for wildlife. This project was initiated as an ‘environmental conservation measure’ in response to construction work taking place in the region. It has been endorsed by the National Land Transportation Agency (ANTT), Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) and the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio).
The overpass will be installed at km 218 in the municipality of Silva Jardim (RJ) at a cost of BRL 9 million. It will link the Poço das Antas Biological Reserve, one of the main habitats of the Golden Lion Tamarin, a species threatened with extinction and endemic to the region, and Fazenda Igarapé. The overpass will enable a safer crossing for animals and create ecological corridors that link isolated stands of forest, ensuring gene flow among the wildlife populations.
In order to meet the needs of the region’s diverse wildlife, Arteris Fluminense worked closely with various experts, and looked at best practices from similar projects implemented in other parts of the world. 54 meters in length and 20 meters wide, the overpass will consist of green cover in the form of plants and trees native to the Atlantic Rain Forest. Planting will take place under the supervision of the ICMBio, an arm of the Ministry for the Environment. The structure will have access ramps and two-meter-high hedges that will guide the animals to the overpass.
At a total investment of more than BRL 52 million, which includes the BRL 9 million for the green overpass, the project also includes the building of four concrete structures and six in metal to connect trees (canopy-to-canopy connection) from one side of the highway to the other, along with 15 underground passageways and nine passages along the dry span sections of the bridges.
Once this project is fully completed, this section of the highway will be one of the most unique federal highways in Brazil, allowing Arteris Fluminense to maintain this section of the toll road while preserving the region’s biodiversity.
Brookfield Renewable fosters agroecology and the training of women
Each year, Brookfield Energia Renovável (BER) promotes an open selection process to fund community development projects in the locations where it has operations. In 2018, one of the selected projects was The Formation of Community Agroecology Agents (Fapea). Implemented in Caetité, in the state of Bahia, this program offers agricultural training to people living in communities located near Brookfield’s wind farms.
As part of the program, ‘agroecological gardens’ (small areas for the production of vegetables and medicinal plants) are planted. The focus of planting these gardens is to: improve community productivity, promote sustainable use of natural resources and protect the headwater springs. This initiative benefits approximately 50 people and provides both a source of alternative income and food for local participating families.
Just like the Fapea project, another initiative called the Hanging Vegetable Gardens project encourages the development of sustainable agriculture within the local community. Targeted at small farmers in the city of Posse in the state of Goiás, participants are trained to grow vertical gardens, using natural fertilizers and minimal water.
Brookfield Energia Renovável also sponsors projects through the National Development Bank’s (BNDES) social sub-credit scheme. One example is Vista Alegre Artesan’s Association, an initiative that promotes female empowerment. Women from the city of Maracaju, in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, are trained in the production and sale of handicrafts. This program helps them develop new skills and creates opportunities for income generation.
Fazendas Bartira completes the sale of credits for its non-genetically modified soybeans
The Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) is an initiative formed by multiple parties, including soy producers, retailers, and civil society organizations, to promote sustainable soy production and trade on a global level.
In December 2018, Fazendas Bartira, a company in Brookfield’s agricultural investments portfolio, completed its first sale of “RTRS non-GMO” (conventional non-genetically modified soybeans) credits to foreign buyers. RTRS non-GMO credits is a new certification model that supports the production of soybeans through a credits system.
To obtain RTRS non-GMO credits, soy producers must comply with the local legislation, RTRS Principles and Criteria (e.g. legal compliance and good business practices; responsible labor conditions, responsible community relations; environmental responsibility and good agricultural practices) and meet all the prerequisites for production in a rural area.
This was the first-time approval had been given to a Brazilian producer under the RTRS non-GMO scheme. Two foreign companies, one in the dairy products industry and the other in the convenience, retail and services sector purchased the credits, which totaled 1,280.
When it comes to its agricultural and timberland operations, Brookfield remains committed to responsible production practices.
In addition to the RTRS certification, Fazendas Bartira, Brookfield received the Bonsucro Certification, which certifies that their sugarcane production is done in a responsible and sustainable manner.
In 2018, Brookfield was a recipient of the first FSC® (FSC®-C144039) certification for its forestry plantations in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. This certification was created by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC), an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organization, established to promote responsible forestry management around the world.
Brookfield also had 21 properties certified, totaling a production area of 210,000 acres in six different states. Other notable certifications include ISO9001 and ISO14001 standards, Ceflor (Inmetro) and CRS - Certified Responsible Soy (Cefetra and RTRS).