Already well-known as one of the BRICS (an association of five major emerging and fast-growing national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) did you know that Brazil is also a leader in the green energy rankings? In 2012 82.8% of Brazil’s domestic energy production was in renewables, ahead of every other country except Norway, and at 42.8% of their energy consumption from renewables.
That’s why the news coming from VERGE Sao Paulo last week is so exciting…
Despite Brazil’s rich experience in social projects, there is always room for innovation. This is the case of the Rio Sustainable City (Rio Cidade Sustentável) project implemented in the slums around the city center in 2011. It aimed to offer inhabitants new professional skills to open income opportunities and take well being into the favelas in the hills, places with little or no government presence.
“We were looking for something that could be replicated in other places and that could show that a public-private partnership is able to deploy known social technologies”, said Marcos Bicudo, chairman of the board of the CEBDS, the Brazilian chapter of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
By connecting local communities along the highway with access to the Internet, project managers can identify community needs related to education, waste , access to food and even entrepreneurship.
What all of these initiatives have in common is that not only they integrate several technologies and social know-how, but they also depend on an interaction among perhaps seemingly unrelated groups of people…
Out of the experience in Rio, Fernandes of Votorantim said that not only are people developing local food gardens, but they’re also setting up new businesses. And if the local community had not been consulted in what needed to be done, the project would not have had the same reach.