Sustainable Development: 2.5 million people beneficiated by partnership work
By Taís Meireles
In 2010, Banco do Brasil, WWF-Brasil, Brazil's National Water Agency and Banco do Brasil Foundation joined forces for sustainable development in the country through the creation of the Water Brazil Program.
Sustainable productive landscapes maintained and fostered by a green economy, ensuring the balance between supply and demand of water and its natural resources for a responsible society.
After a series of results during its first phase (2010-2015), in its second phase (2016-2019), the partner focused on forest restoration near water basins, support for farmers, new sustainable business models, social and environmental risk management and mobilization of people for the social and environmental cause.
In total, from 2016 to 2019, R$ 33 million were invested in the sustainable development of the country, of which R$ 13 million came from the Water Brazil Program and R$ 20 million were designated by local partners. See below the results of this work, divided into three major areas:
1) Social and environmental impacts
In the field, the Program worked with 88 local partners to improve the quality and increase the quantity of water and natural vegetation in the Descoberto (DF), Guariroba (MS), Peruaçu (MG) and Pipiripau (DF) basins. Among the main results of this work are:
• 194.75 hectares of forests recovered;
• 15% more water production in the four basins;
• 2,000 farmers benefited, being 45% women and 30% young people (14-29 year-olds);
• 2.4 million people benefited in the cities by the increase of water quantity and quality;
• 207 Payments for Environmental Services (PSA) contracts, a mechanism that encourages environmental conservation;
• 230 domestic cisterns for rainwater storage;
• 4 cooperatives created in the basins;
• 18 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) projects created: 15% of the country and 60% of the Federal District.
These and other field results are available in the video below:
With over 4,000 branches across the country, Banco do Brasil has 67.9 million customers, as well as suppliers, partners, creditors, shareholders and competitors, according to the bank's 2018 activity report. With so many stakeholders, 96,889 of Banco do Brasil employees are key information disseminators.
For this reason, the Water Brazil Program focused in disseminating content to this internal public about eco-efficiency, including recycling, reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, paper consumption, water and energy efficiency.
In addition, the BB Environmental Management System has been improved and many studies have been developed from 2016 to 2019, such as the report “GHG Emission Offset Models”, with a benchmark and strategy proposition for Banco do Brasil to mitigate its emissions.
3) Sustainable Business
Another area of work in the Program was the management of social and environmental risks. Through the Water Brazil Program, Banco do Brasil and WWF-Brazil carried out a social and environmental assessment of its suppliers and developed socio-environmental risk mitigation mechanisms for 10 sectors of the economy and 10 commodities.
A water and a photovoltaic calculators were also developed, as well as water saving and photovoltaic power tools. Both open to the public and free.
Partnerships with the Secretaries of Environment of the states of São Paulo and Mato Grosso are also now enabling a large-scale Legal Reserve forest recovery project. A partnership between BB, the Center for Wood Producing and Exporting Industries of the State of Mato Grosso (Cipem) and WWF-Brazil will encourage the conservation of the Amazon rainforest by financing the sustainable timber forest management supply chain.