Social Investment

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Fulfilling its committed to society, Votorantim invests in the areas of education, citizenship, and health in partnership with the Votorantim Institute and has the role of influencing the portfolio companies to generate social and environmental value through their businesses.

In 2021, the Votorantim Institute implemented 244 projects in 146 municipalities in Brazil, continuing its work in response to the pandemic and its social and environmental initiatives.

One of the projects that stood out during the year was the Partnership for the Enhancement of Education (PVE, for its initials in Portuguese). This initiative, aimed at improving public education, continued to focus on activities to fight the pandemic and resumed its work to strengthen the skills developed in municipal schools and districts. Through remote learning initiatives, adaptation of teaching methods, guidance on resuming classes, and the development of learning loss recovery strategies, PVE helped 53 of the 68 towns served by the project achieve the expected skill development levels. In view of the positive results, Votorantim reaffirmed its commitment to education by extending the initiative to a new four-year cycle, during which new skills will be developed, including a focus on learning, people development, and integrated management under the umbrella of PVE 2.0.

The Via Solidária (Solidary Way) campaign, organized in partnership with the portfolio companies to promote the culture of donation, continued during the year and benefited 14 projects to ensure the protection of the rights of children and adolescents. In its fifth year, the campaign, which allows employees to donate between R$10 and up to 6% of their income taxes, raised approximately R$880,000 (a 41% increase compared with 2020) and had a 109% increase in the number of participants.

In 2021, Desafio Voluntário (Volunteer Challenge), a collection of volunteer activities carried out by the holding company and portfolio companies, made a difference in the lives of people and communities in Brazil and Latin America that were heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, in the form of a healthy competition between the companies, launched three thematic challenges during the year:

  • More resilient communities: emergency actions that offered support or assistance to people and communities impacted by the pandemic
  • Leaders of development: activities in which the volunteers used individual abilities or technical skills to support social organizations, people, and communities
  • The company’s cause: volunteer initiatives that were aligned with the social and/or environmental strategy of each company

More than 200 activities were carried out throughout the year, involving more than 1,250 volunteer employees and benefiting approximately 58,450 people. Some of the important initiatives included (i) training programs for women in civil construction, in partnership with Votorantim Cimentos employees; (ii) initiatives to promote gender equality in the town of Três Marias, where the Mais Mulher (More Women) group was created by Nexa volunteers; and (iii) the distribution of lunch kits to financially vulnerable people, carried out by the CBA team.

The citizenship program, which promotes activities to empower citizens, advanced on two fronts: support for local projects focused on young people and the strengthening of a network of organizations that work to promote citizenship and democracy in Brazil.

On the first front, the program promoted initiatives to strengthen political participation and the culture of democracy in the regions prioritized by five portfolio companies (Votorantim Cimentos, CBA, Votorantim Energia, Nexa, and Citrosuco). In 2021, it benefited 300 people through more than 40 engagement activities.

The second front focused on solutions to address the challenges regarding citizenship and the Brazilian democratic culture identified in the corporate ecosystem, on three levels: innovation, knowledge, and networks. With regard to innovation, the program launched the Challenge for Democratic Culture, which aims to support four innovative initiatives to promote citizen participation. In the area of knowledge, the program is supporting the implementation of studies on citizenship in Brazil through the development of a systemic map that will deepen the understanding of challenges and levers for democracy. Finally, through its focus on networks, the program seeks to improve networking and partnerships with other organizations that already work on the issue of citizenship, aiming to further strengthen this ecosystem.

Fighting COVID-19

Although the effects of the health crisis subsided over the course of 2021, Votorantim maintained most of its initiatives to support communities in addition to investing in new ones, such as Tele ICU and Support for Public Health Management (AGP, for its initials in Portuguese), conducted together with the Brazilian National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES, for its initials in Portuguese).

Tele ICU benefited hospitals in 12 municipalities. Through this project, doctors from BP—A Beneficência Portuguesa de São Paulo participated, virtually and in real time, in the daily visits to patients in intensive care, exchanging knowledge and sharing solutions with the local doctors caring for them. This not only provided better care to the patients but also helped develop the healthcare professionals in these towns.

The AGP program offered technical mentoring to healthcare teams in the 40 municipalities where the portfolio companies operate and in another 40 locations selected through a public call for proposals carried out in partnership with BNDES. The objective was to provide support to improve skills and management processes to help fight COVID-19 and offer comprehensive healthcare.

During the year, the Municipal Vulnerability Index (IVM, for its initials in Portuguese) was also updated to identify locations with high levels of vulnerability to enable not only the proper allocation of resources, but also the design of more successful strategies to fight the pandemic.

In 2021, the construction of vaccine plants in the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, a project that had received financial support from Votorantim in 2020, was also completed.

The Votorantim Institute, a center for intelligence applied to social and environmental issues, revised its strategy in 2021. The objective was to align with the challenges of the portfolio companies and leverage business opportunities to create impact. In addition, the institute started to provide other organizations with products and services that had already been developed to serve the portfolio companies.

In 2021, the institute continued to create value for the portfolio by developing ESG strategies for CBA, Nexa, and Citrosuco, including the development of sustainable suppliers. It also created an impact strategy for the Associação de Assistência à Criança Deficiente (AACD), an organization supported by the Family Board.

One of the highlights was the launch of iV Ventures, an impact fund with resources raised by the Votorantim Institute and the portfolio companies that will be allocated to the identification of early-stage solutions developed by start-ups in the area of low carbon economy, water and sanitation, and social housing.