More than a business: iFood's goals to transform Brazil

In March 2021, iFood established five public commitments in education and the environment. Our goals for 2025 are to eliminate plastic pollution in delivery, be a neutral company in CO2 emissions, train and employ 25 thousand people from underrepresented groups in technology, train 5 million people for the work of the future and impact another 5 million encouraging the use of technology in basic education.

We make these commitments for two reasons. The first is to believe that, in the future, companies will resolve issues that go beyond their business, such as social problems and environmental or technological challenges. The more companies understand that they are also responsible for the country's prosperity and ending inequality, the faster we will get there.

The second point is gratitude. iFood was one of the first unicorns of the country and today is a global reference in what it does. On this journey, we are very grateful to the country and to the Brazilians who make our success happen.

With this in mind, there came a time when we asked ourselves what we could do to reciprocate the prosperity that Brazil generated for iFood. This awakened in us the desire to make a positive impact, genuine, in the country. 

To find out what our priorities should be, we spoke to 60 experts and activists on topics such as the environment, diversity and technological training. This is how we arrived at three main agendas: education, environment and inclusion.

Education today, income tomorrow

Education is a topic that I am passionate about. I lived in Singapore for three years, and it really impacted me to see how the country transformed into a developed nation in just one generation, through education. Therefore, a point of consensus between iFood and experts was that, for Brazil to succeed, we have to advance in education and demystify technology so that people gain this knowledge.

We live in a moment that brings a new wave of prosperity in the world with the advancement of technology. It is essential that we catch this wave now, because then we will have a real chance of transforming Brazil into a technology powerhouse through education. And this has to be done looking at all groups, especially those who are currently underrepresented in the technology area, such as women, people of color and those at the bottom of the social pyramid.

Without education, there is no prosperity or reduction in inequality. A study carried out by the Central Bank in 2019 shows, for example, that the average earnings of a person with higher education increases by 107% compared to that of someone who went to primary school. Today's education is tomorrow's income. Therefore, it is not possible to talk about prosperity without talking about education.

Less plastic waste, more electric motorcycles

Our commitments to the environment have two very clear goals to neutralize the environmental impact of the delivery operation: Be a carbon neutral company It is eliminate plastic pollution.

We know that we will not be able to eliminate the emission of polluting gases in the short term, which is why we have invested in objectives that we can achieve now: compensate for polluting gas emissions and invest in reforestation, on electric motorcycle and on plastic recycling.

A very important project to reduce the impact of deliveries is to put 100 thousand electric motorcycles to run on iFood in the coming years, in partnership with Voltz, and negotiating with financial institutions an accessible credit, with lower interest, so that the installments are lower than the costs that delivery drivers have on fuel.

This past year, we saw that the model we created is not only good for our operation: it is also encouraging other companies to enter this market and produce electric motorcycles.

As for plastic, we work on two fronts: replacing and recycling. To do this, we researched how to do sustainable packaging that are cheaper than plastic ones and can be sold in bulk on the iFood Shop, so that the price is worth it swap plastic for paper.

Even so, we know that it is difficult to eliminate plastic consumption, so we invest in increasing plastic recycling capacity. Today, iFood recycles around 27% of the plastic waste it generates. In partnerships with Soma, Recycle Orla and other NGOs, we recycle up to 5,000 tons per year and are adding recycling capacity in the country.

Sociodigital revolution with food on the table

In the technology area, the best opportunities are offered to few people. An example: only 20% of technology professionals are black people, and only one third are women. Our commitment to inclusion, therefore, is to take education and training initiatives (such as Tech Power) for all groups that are currently underrepresented, such as women, black people and those who come from the bottom of the social pyramid.

At this point, I make a provocation. Today the Technology jobs are among the highest paying from the country. If we can teach technology to those who live on the margins of these opportunities, we will make the biggest socio-digital revolution in history and greatly reduce social inequality.

Talking about inclusion, for us, also means reducing the food insecurity, as no one will be able to learn technology without first eating properly. Therefore, we thought about how we could use our technology, our chain and our intelligence in this field as well.

We are doing this in two ways. The first is to use the iFood app as a platform for donation collection which is becoming increasingly relevant for partners, such as Cufa, Gerando Falcões and Ação da Cidadania. 

The second is the project Everyone at the Table, in which we help industry and retailers understand how they can donate food that is currently discarded. Together, we optimized the chain so that companies could donate more than 1,800 tons of food since the end of 2021.

The dream for the future

When I look at this first year of iFood's commitments, I see that we have opened up many opportunities to change the country's reality, to return everything we have already received (an example is that we have become one of the main philanthropy and donation agents from Brazil).  

But the idea is not to be a solitary protagonist of this social and environmental transformation. What we really want is to inspire more people and companies to do good for society and the environment, to set goals that can go beyond their businesses. And they are already coming to meet us: in 2021, many companies and organizations approached us to form partnerships in impactful socio-environmental actions, such as reforest the Atlantic Forest.

With all this, my dream is that, in the future, every time a person presses the button to confirm an order on iFood, they know that they are doing good not only for themselves but for a huge ecosystem — and contributing to the country moving forward .

Was this content useful to you?

Related posts