25 de novembro de 2021

Cooperation is a featured agenda at COP26


The 26th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26) kept alive the goal, albeit unlikely, of limiting the increase in the global average temperature to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. At the same time, there was a strengthening of goals involving good environmental, social and governance practices, known by the acronym ESG.

This is about a movement that began to be built through conversations between the business sector, governments and other segments of society long before COP26, which ended this month in Glasgow, UK. The meeting, however, demonstrated the scale of this engagement, demonstrated for example by the growing number of organizations that have committed themselves to net-zero emissions by 2050.

Planning and delivering results with methodology and management are activities that are intrinsic to the business routine. The climate agenda requires the same skills in a collaborative way. This is a characteristic of the ESG approach, which does not support individual actions for the purpose of superficial reputation building.

Companies took a stand during COP26 to announce sustainability commitments based on their natural vocation to plan, articulate, engage and mobilize other companies and governments towards the same direction, with a strategic business vision.

ESG practices are here to stay. They are a demand from society based on concrete commitments. Therefore, the thing that can distinguish the real agenda from greenwashing is a public commitment to short-, medium- and long-term goals. And there are several resources that enable the transformation of these principles into results, such as the regulated carbon market, whose rules were approved during COP26. Other initiatives may also reinforce the incorporation of sustainability into the business strategy, such as linking executive compensation and fundraising to environmental, social and governance performance indicators.

The disclosure of achieved results serves as an agent of engagement, because it offers references to be used in other companies’ initiatives. This is where communication plays an essential and challenging role.

Sustainability requires a long-term vision and a holistic view, and demands continuous monitoring and permanently evolving goals and commitments. At the same time, it is a complex and massive agenda that needs to be explained to different audiences.

Days before the beginning of COP26, Suzano announced its goal of capturing a surplus of 40 million metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2025, previously scheduled for 2030. In doing so, the company reinforced its commitment to carbon capture and the understanding that climate change is a priority for the organization. After the announcement, Suzano also invited other companies to follow the same path of advancing their goals, aiming at both long-term commitments and short- and medium-term goals.

In practical terms, 40 million metric tons represent 2 years of emissions of the city of São Paulo. In order to do this, Suzano has a total of 2.4 million hectares of forests under its management, 40% of which are dedicated to conservation areas.

Carbon capture is one of Suzano’s 15 goals contained in its “Commitments to Renew Life”, commitments to society that cover aspects linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as emissions and climate change, water management, diversity and fighting poverty. Regarding the latter, the social aspect is represented by Suzano’s goal of removing 200,000 people from the poverty line in the areas of influence of the company’s operations through programs that generate income and improve education.

It becomes increasingly clearer that building a reputation based on these principles creates opportunities by attracting new talent and engaging the employees. It also strengthens the collaborative and transformative spirit with other stakeholders.

This is the purpose behind the “2050 Agora” initiative, in which Suzano calls on the business sector to establish long-term goals to address climate change. The purpose is to maintain a debate on the topic in addition to the annual COP meetings, with information and production of content that promote a proper sense of urgency.

This is about a contemporary agenda that promotes positive impacts on society. We understand that it is time to talk about it and contribute with results that can be a reference for other companies. We are at the beginning of this journey and frequent, consistent and coherent Communication will be essential to position our companies and promote positive transformations for society as a whole.

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