Trends in Standards and Certification in Brazil are Focus of Workshop

How might LatAM banks advance their policies, products and tools to better incorporate sustainability measures? And what models for engagement might evolve as best practices for public and private entities addressing deforestation concerns?  Those were just some of the subjects discussed at a daylong workshop organized by the Rainforest Alliance and Citi, supported by Imaflora and the Cornerstone Capital Group in São Paulo, Brazil, on April 24, 2015.  The purpose of the workshop was to create a learning opportunity for the Brazilian and international banking industry, corporate supply chain participants and certification systems. Those present had a chance to learn from experts, and from each other, about the role that standards and certification can play in the financial and corporate sectors within Brazil to limit deforestation in supply chains.

The aim of the workshop was to share information and assess the level of use and interest among banks and corporations in international initiatives such as the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI) and Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), as well as commodity certification. Cattle and soy supply chains, and related sectors, were of particular interest given their dominant role as one of the main drivers of widespread deforestation, as well as their importance as export commodities in Brazil.

The main goals of the Workshop were: 1. To introduce Brazilian banks and companies to international initiatives such as the CGF and BEI; 2. To discuss various company sustainability commitments and the business opportunities offered by certification to banks and companies, and 3. To educate Brazilian banks and companies about the details of certification systems in use in Brazil.  The event began with a welcome address by Citi Brazil CEO Helio Magalhães and an institutional presentation by Rainforest Alliance Executive Vice President Ana Paula Tavares.  Next there was a presentation by Tasso Rezende de Azevedo, founder and first general director of the Brazilian Forest Service (SFB), contextualizing sustainability challenges for agriculture and cattle-raising, in particular with regard to deforestation and climate change.

A report of the proceedings, which has been published in Portuguese, English, and Spanish, can be found here.