Occupation of urban spaces enters the corporations’ agenda

A hot topic when it comes to the search for more sustainable organizations, the ESG pillars currently appear as points of attention on companies' agendas. Data from the financial sector confirm the trend and indicate that reflections on better environmental, social and governance practices are not a passing phenomenon.

Out there, studies by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (Global Sustainable Investment Alliance) point to global growth in the so-called “sustainable market”, which today totals more than US$30 trillion in assets — an increase of 34% in relation to data obtained in 2016. Here , according to the Brazilian Association of Financial and Capital Markets Entities (2020), there is currently around R$543 million invested in sustainable equity funds — an increase of 29% compared to June 2019.

For companies, one of the main topics of debate is the occupation of urban spaces. Located in large urban areas, identified as responsible for 70% of harmful gas emissions (estimated by the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research), large companies have been concerned with proposing new reflections aimed at reducing the impact of their operations on the environment.

“When we think about the climate, an agenda on the subject is necessary, and the states start to deal with this more quickly, understanding that cities are key elements for this change”, stated Inamara Melo, from the Secretariat of Environment and Sustainability of Pernambuco during the Summit Tembici 2021 event, held on August 16th, and a reference in debates on mobility.

According to her, the expectation is that, by the year 2050, around 7 million people will be living in urban centers. To illustrate, he brought the case of the state he represents. “In Pernambuco, 17 commitments were made, aimed at the climate, revitalization of city centers and reduction of social inequality”, he pointed out. For Inamara, this is a possible starting point for companies that are looking for alternatives for their own ESG-related objectives.

Sustainability in focus

With the theme “Is the future made of more technological or more human cities?”, the Tembici 2021 Summit is an example of how the discussion has increasingly become part of corporate agendas.

Among the topics covered in the program was the panel “ESG: What does corporate responsibility have to do with urban space”, with the participation of André Borges, Head of Sustainability at iFood.

“In March, we announced our public commitment to the environment through the iFood Regenerates. We set some goals. One of them is to eliminate plastic pollution in iFood operations by 2025; another is to rethink packaging materials, producing more sustainable alternatives, based on paper, for example”, commented Borges.

According to the executive, iFood has been looking for solutions to compete with plastic models, which have dominated the delivery and food market for so long. With the creation of a functionality in the application, which allows customers to do without cutlery and other disposable plastic items, there have already been more than 31 million orders free of these items.

“We are investing in recycling programs, with 80 Voluntary Delivery Points (PEVs). Furthermore, in our goals, we want iFood to be a carbon-neutral company and to have 53% of deliveries made by non-polluting modes, such as cycling”, he explained.

For Carol Rivas, Relationship Director at Tembici, also present at the event, the use of bikes brings not only a positive environmental impact, but also a social one. In her speech, she mentioned the project iFood Pedal, of shared manual and electric bicycles, aimed at the app's delivery people.

“The entire iFood Pedal project was based on more than 600 surveys carried out with delivery people. We take three pillars into consideration: exclusive electric bikes for delivery drivers registered with iFood; Support Points, which are support bases where they can, for example, wait for orders and access bathrooms; and a course via WhatsApp – the iFood Responsa -, about traffic safety, COVID care, among other topics”, he said.

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