quarta-feira, 16 de novembro de 2022
On November 10, 2022, in an event that brought together representatives from Idec (Brazilian Institute for Consumer Defense), Conectas Human Rights, Instituto Sou da Paz, and World Animal Protection in the Sala dos Estudantes, at the University of São Paulo's Faculty of Rights, the 9th edition of the Responsible Banking Guide was launched. During the presentation of results, which was followed by debates, the entities raised the main problems and pointed out solutions for the evolution of social and environmental responsibility of Brazilian financial institutions.
The objective of the event was to strengthen the discussions on sustainable finance from the civil society's perspective, and to verify that despite the small improvement in socio-environmental policies, banks still score low on important topics. Carlota Aquino, executive coordinator of Idec and Ione Amorim, economist and coordinator of Idec's financial services program, highlighted the consistency of the study at the opening of the event. "It's 10 years of GBR, which is a pioneering civil society initiative, and which has grown and is now in 14 other countries. In Brazil it was also a pioneer in demanding regulation on more transparency regarding Socio-environmental Responsibility Policies, requiring this before the 2014 Central Bank Resolution, which deals with the topic," Amorim said.
After the opening of the event, the results of the study were presented firsthand by Idec's financial services program researchers Julia Catão and Fábio Pasin (see the main findings of the study below).
The first roundtable also included contributions from João Gonçalves, executive director of the World Animal Protection, Natalia Pollachi, from Instituto Sou Da Paz, and Camila Mikkie, from Conectas Human Rights.
Natalia Pollachi, from Instituto Sou Da Paz, highlighted the importance of the GBR for the institution when it comes to the weapons sector theme. Despite the low average scores in the theme among the banks, it was in weapons that one of the highlights of this edition was registered. "The inclusion of new commitments by Banco Safra in the theme represents a positive example for all banks and other sectors. A proof that it is indeed possible to have more responsible policies to deal with the weapons sector".
The presentation of the results was followed by the first debate session, which featured speeches by João Peres, founder and editor-in-chief of Joio e o Trigo, Karina Ishida, Food System Campaign Coordinator of World Animal Protection, Naira Hofmeister, investigative journalist from Repórter Brasil, and Jeane Bellini, member of the national coordination of the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT).
The guests addressed the relationship between bank financing, agribusiness, farm animal welfare, and food systems, presenting the social and environmental implications of the support of financial institutions without the adoption of responsible criteria for the promotion of the Brazilian agroexport model. This way, in face of the zero score in the Animal Welfare topic, the importance of adopting the requirements evaluated by the GBR was presented, essential for the preservation of the environment, for human health from the control of epidemic diseases, and for the sustainability of the business model itself.
The last panel discussed the implications of financing and investment in polluting sectors for climate change and human rights, with the participation of Anton Schwyter, coordinator of Idec's energy program, Gabriel Sampaio, coordinator of Strategic Litigation at Conectas, and Tchenna Maso, PhD student in Human Rights and Democracy at UFPR.
Schwyter pointed out how the return of coal-fired thermoelectric plants goes against the climate commitments made by the country, implying several human rights violations. "In all production chains and economic activities energy efficiency comes in. The ideal would be that we had a mutual policy on these issues that are so important", said Schwyter.
Gabriel Sampaio spoke about the climatic Civil Public Action that Conectas Human Rights filed against BNDESPar, the investment arm of BNDES, on human rights violations and the perspective of banks on the subject. "Besides the Transparency Deficit of some institutions, there are equity stakes being directed to polluting sectors. It is urgent that civil society, the public power, and the private sector mobilize to face the climate emergency we are experiencing. Notes Gabriel Sampaio, lawyer and coordinator of the Strategic Litigation area at Conectas.
In the 2020 study the average score for banks was 3.2. In 2022, the average performance increased, on a scale of 0 to 10, to 3.8. This means that, on average, these institutions comply with 38% of the evaluated policies, an increase of 6 percentage points in relation to the last evaluation, still considered insufficient. The highest score was 5.2 for BNDES, and the lowest was 3.1 for BTG Pactual. "Considering our scale of scores, the banks are still very far from being responsible. To be classified as such, they should have at least an average of 8," says lawyer Fábio Machado Pasin, researcher for Idec's Financial Services program.
The novelty of this edition of the GBR was the inclusion of the analysis of “Animal Welfare”, in which all banks scored zero in the theme for not considering it in their socio-environmental policies. In it, it is evaluated if the financial institutions have guidelines that take into account the adequate treatment of production animals, according to the Farms Initiative's international guidelines, and that ensure the protection of wild animals, considering that they invest and finance companies in the livestock, fishing, fur and leather, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and pet breeding sectors, among others.
"The following GBR studies give a complete panorama of how financial institutions relate to and care about socio-environmental sustainability in the country. It is a process that has been strengthened over time and includes advances such as the unification of the global methodology, establishing a new level of good practices for financial institutions to improve their sustainability policies based on internationally aligned principles", emphasizes Idec's executive director, Carlota Aquino.
The event was held in São Paulo, in partnership with the University of Law of São Paulo
Collaborators: World Animal Protection
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